Although this was an early 1970s release by Pink Floyd, it will always be overshadowed by the gargantuan success of Dark Side Of The Moon and some of the other Pink Floyd albums that followed. Also, this album was not received very well for a Pink Floyd album. Bearing in mind that Pink Floyd was really getting ready to release Dark Side Of The Moon at this point. This may come as no surprise that this is frequently overlooked in their musical back catalogue, as a result. Still, this should be an enjoyable oddity in the Floyd’s back catalogue, so let’s hear it.

Obscured By Clouds begins with an organ sound that is dark and fuzzy, and gradually fades into the mix. This launches into quite an ordinary sounding piece. This is definitely not the Pink Floyd that one is hoping for. Some awesome David Gilmour Fender Stratocasters sounds then enter. This is a bit of a sonic trip, but still, this is not as good as even how Atom Heart Mother was quality wise. It’s an okay instrumental, but this album was obviously put together to appease their record company’s interests. Still, it is moody and broody enough to impress, even if it is awful. It fades out after three minutes, really weird music.

When You’re In begins with a sort of 1970s lush sounding groove that is somewhat catchy. Again, this feels like filler material and sounds a lot like fellow contemporaries Yes. Nothing special here, once again, and this tune is fairly ordinary, verging on mediocre. It’s only really recommended for hardcore Pink Floyd fans. A bit of an instrumental drag, but it’s okay. It fades out very quickly and is a short piece that is only two and a half minutes long. Very weird.

Burning Bridges has more organs, and some lush and laidback Fender Stratocaster parts by David Gilmour. Roger Waters begins singing along nicely here as well. This is an improvement on what has come before, and there is some really great potential here, with some alternating vocals here as well, likely from Richard Wright. This sounds like Rock music to smoke a lot of weed to, but even sober, this is a real joy to hear. There is some very Dark Side Of The Moon slide guitar present here, which is actually pretty cool. Not the greatest Pink Floyd piece, but it does have its moments. This definitely has potential musically, and it sounds really magical. The slide guitar is quite surreal here, but this tune does sound dreary, unfortunately. It fades out quickly again.

The Gold It’s in the… is one weird track name. It launches into a very 1970s Hard Rock groove that is more sounding like Led Zeppelin than Pink Floyd. A strange listening experience, it is very ordinary sounding and just sounds like something that Pink Floyd’s manager told them to do. This music shows Pink Floyd’s potential at this point, but again, it doesn’t work out tremendously well. There is a great guitar solo from David Gilmour, proving that indeed, he had some real playing ability and chops at this point. If this song had a good rethink, it would have worked better. Still, David Gilmour’s soloing is quite impressive and works very well. Slightly catchy, but again, needs a rethink.

Wot’s…Uh The Deal? is an acoustic ballad right from the start, again sounding a lot like Led Zeppelin. Roger Waters sings quite nicely here, and this tune is quite nice and chilled. A good piece of music that still sounds really quite good today, it is disappointing that this is not on a better Pink Floyd album as it would have been better to put it on there instead. Despite that, the music on this album is interesting and the lyrics are very much stoner hallucinogenic, keeping with the whole Hippie vibe of this time. It’s a good song with a sweet piano solo, but again, this is a little lacking musically. Good but lacking the Pink Floyd magic of later times, this has some rather ordinary slide guitar solo work present as well in it. Roger Waters gets singing again, and this tune drags on a bit towards the end. Good stoner music, but nothing out there spectacular. In any case, this is a five-minute-long song that could have a minute or two shaved off of it. Pleasant listening, however.

Mudmen begins with piano, slightly delayed drum sounds, deep bass guitar and some interesting keyboard and guitar sounds. This sounds like a wah-wah fantasy and would be suitable music for a Pink Floyd lounge bar of sorts if there ever were one. Again, this is another instrumental that sounds quite promising. Nick Mason’s drums sound fantastic, and David Gilmour reaches out to heaven with his guitar solo. This has a strange solo section in the middle, with wah-wah keyboards and some nice slide guitar playing to match. It does drag on a bit this song, and that is its fatal flaw. Still, elements of it do work quite nicely, although the guitars and melodies do not fit together perfectly well. A weird piece that sounds rushed, and could have been much, much better.

Childhood’s End begins very slowly, with a long fade in with some audio panned organ parts. It sounds moody and quite good, to be fair. this is possibly an instrumental pastiche that the band were thinking of Syd Barrett in mind. Soon enough, some electronic sounds and a mixture of acoustic and electric guitar parts enter the scene, followed by cool tom-tom drums and organs. Roger Waters gets singing away very well, and he sounds confident and calm, singing about the dreams and ambitions that one has as a child. A good tune, and a reminder of growing up from the days of youth. Some really awesome guitar soloing by David Gilmour is again, here. He plays with real soul, just like a traditional Blues musician would. Not a bad tune for what this is, it sounds excellent and well-played here. A highlight of this rather average album, it does demand to be heard. It ends with swirling organs by Richard Wright.

Free Four begins with a count-in, some fuzzy keyboard and acoustic guitars that don’t match each other, with handclaps galore here as well. Roger Waters sings in quite a chilled-out way and sings about the concept of death ahead in life. None of us can ever escape death itself, but this is a cheerful tune about it. David Gilmour plays some more screaming Fender Stratocaster solos on this tune, and the tune is interesting lyrically and musically. A good tune, although more representative of the hit-and-miss era between The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn and the Dark Side Of The Moon. There are themes of the latter here, however. Some amazing Floydian guitar solos are present here, and this piece is a real joy to enjoy, even though it is located on this album. It fades out nicely.

Stay is a piano ballad from the start. It has some neat surrounding and supporting sounds to match it as well, including some nice wah-wah guitar. It is a strange listen and sounds like some real stoner music, yet again. A good tale of sorts, this is quite decent and adventurous musically, even if the quality of the melodies could have been improved. It sounds rather chilled and mellow and is a decent piece of music throughout. This does sound like a clever Richard Wright based composition, as he is often overlooked as a musician. A wah-wah guitar solo by David Gilmour is present here, which is quite interesting sounding. A great, clever and excellent listen, even for a tune on this album, Pink Floyd was experiencing the calm before the storm. Sweet to hear.

Absolutely Curtains is the last track on this album. It begins with swirling keyboards and organ sounds and launches into a very Psychedelic tune with soft hi-hats. Some harpsichord piano enters, and this piece sounds very dramatic. This does sound a little dreary, and although is suspenseful and different, sounds a little lacking here. It’s good, just not phenomenally great. The harpsichord piano sounds really sweet, though. This is heavily Electronic based, and although it does really sound a lot like Pink Floyd noodling along, it’s okay. Soon enough, this piece gets quite loud and dramatic, before settling down into a repeated loop with some other background sounds in it. Some ghostly sounding chanting which sounds really weird is here, and sounds reversed. The music eventually ends with the chanted singing being front and centre. Weird sounding all right, it sounds dark and satanic, in actual fact. Still, this is an ordinary finish to an album that, quite frankly, isn’t overly impressive. Weird, and not very wonderful.

In retrospect, record company obligations probably saw Pink Floyd having to record and release this album. It’s not outright bad, but having said that, this is a disappointing musical listening experience at hand. Many of the melodies sound off or out of tune with each other, and one can imagine Roger Waters saying to the rest of Pink Floyd, “Stuff it, we’ll put something naff out if they have no clue how to promote it or improve our share of their earnings as musicians”. Still, it’s okay but Dark Side Of The Moon released the year after, is miles better. This was recorded as the soundtrack to the French film, La Vallee before the band fell out with the film company. That says a lot. Not the best Pink Floyd listening experience as a result.

A disappointing listen that could have been better.