Cortlyn’s Time Traveling: Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon

It feels like it’s been a while since we heard the drone of my little time machine, doesn’t it? Well, this is starting back up for at least a little while and then I’ll have to make a new list of albums for this little rarity. Anyway, enough of a preamble let’s get down to business.

The first song on the album is titled Speak To Me. It operates basically as an intro and was so quiet to begin with that I wasn’t sure it was playing at all. It built into a thrum of machine like noises and distant laughter before flowing straight into breathe, which gave me an idea of how quick I needed to be with this particular album. Breathe carried on with the machine noises and introduced a distant screaming before fading away into an eerie melody focusing on guitars for the most part. The vocals didn’t start until the middle of the song, and seemed really detached in a way. It was a short song, and it fit seamlessly next to on the run, which built in tempo a bit taking on a scifi video game sound as it got deeper into the song. There was a distant voice that sounded like it was coming through an intercom that was drowned out as the music got louder and more intense. At first I thought it was another song that didn’t have the vocals come in until way late in the track, but it seemed like the point of the track was to be music driven with the same faint laughter from the first track in the background. The music died off after the loudest bout of laughter, and there was the faint sound of running on the track before the ticking of clocks began, and it transitioned into Time, the fourth track on the album. 

The mass of clocks continued to tick for a few seconds before they all started to chime in a cacophony of noise. Slowly that faded away and a beat slowly built out of the silence, leading into the rest of the music as the track slowly started to build. It was a sparse and open track, with a faint music box effect mixed into the rest of the sounds. The vocals started a bit suddenly, even though the track was already two and a half minutes in. They were really stark against the minimalist backing music, but the guitar took the lead after the vocals broke off for a second. The two traded places as the song continued. As the song started to close, the vocals slowly took on the same minimal feeling that the instruments gave the song. The song transitioned with the faint hum of an instrument, dropping off into pianos as the most varied difference so far.

The fifth song on the album was titled The Great Gig in the Sky, and obviously it started with melodic pianos. The distant recorded speech seemed to get closer as the melody continued, eventually accented by a singer singing scales that progressively got higher as the song continued. The higher notes were a bit more similar to screams at points, but it really smoothed out towards the middle of the track. The track’s instruments started to soften as the end drew near, leaving the singer’s voice as the main focus in the last minute or so before the voice faded into the distance and the piano died off, leaving silence. The sixth song, Money, started with a variety of cash register songs that were built into the driving instrument of the song before the guitars started to play, leading into the vocals. The songs on this album were all really slow, but there was still a sense of variety to them. I particularly liked this track for it’s creative use of cash registers in it. This track really picked up in the middle though, which is a good thing because the beginning started to make the song feel extraordinarily long for some reason. it continued the trend of fading out into a bunch of voices and some loud, choir like orchestral sounds as Us and Them started. The seventh track kept the slow melody  and slowly fell out of the big sounds it had started with. The vocals started, and were immediately accented by a long echo effect that continued through the song on the vocals. The sound built in the middle and it was a bit overwhelming at first, but it was an excellent change from the slow and empty bits of the song. It was a pattern that really defined the track as it continued on. It was the longest track on the album, but it didn’t drag as horribly early as some of the other long songs on the album did for me. It ended with large vocals before flowing into a melody.

The eighth track, Any Colour You Like, had a very melodic but electric feeling instrumental beginning. it led to a very sparse guitar that almost sounded like it was played and recorded underwater which honestly wouldn’t surprise me. It was a very simple track, devoid of vocals like others on the album, and switched suddenly to a different melody, with less of an underwater effect. Brain Damage had vocals that started almost immediately, but it still had a sparse and open feeling. It had the same feeling of distance on some of the instruments, and the strange laughter made a reappearance around the middle of the song. By the end of the song i started hearing more distortions in the starting melody as the laughter played a few more times towards the slow part of the track. The distorted melody grew in sound as Eclipse started, and the vocals started early in the song yet again. it grew into a loud and open track before fading away into distant voices and ending as quietly and silent as it had started. 

All in all the album told a very interesting and flowing story. It wasn’t as traumatizing as I had been led to believe Pink Floyd would be, but I didn’t care for the variety of lengths. Despite the songs being very nice and complete no matter how long they were, the fact that some were so quick to complete made the longer ones drag a bit at points. I guess my main reaction to this album would be “what?” and “I like the cash registers in Money” but I wouldn’t not recommend it. It was a really interesting listen and if you haven’t tried it yet i recommend doing so because starting here’s gotta be better than starting at The Wall. Side note: there will eventually be a review on The Wall.

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