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Old 10-11-2008, 03:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Dark Side Of The Moon Review, Take #2

Through the Dark Side of the Moon

Quote:
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?

- T.S. Eliot, Choruses from the Rock


Author's Note: The first Dark Side of the Moon review I did was sort of out there. I tried to take you through a narrative journey, and in the end it failed since it provided little context. That doesn't mean I've all of a sudden done a run of the mill review. This album has been written about so much, that a standard review would frankly be boring and tedious. But what I first did, was way too experimental and out there. I sort of tried to expand the notion of what a review could be but I ended up shattering the test tubes. Let's see if this one works.

Speak To Me



It all begins with the beating of a heart, the purest and simplest sign of life. From the time we are a curled up little fetus inside our mother’s womb, to the fateful time when our lives fade and we pass into the great unknown, the beating of our heart is the one constant. It’s the ticking clock in our lives, and every beat is a grain of sand slipping through our fingers. Then another sound enters the picture, the clicks and ticks of machinery. Already, within the first forty seconds of the album, the central theme is subtly introduced; man versus the modern world he created, and each new soul’s struggle to make their way through it. With a piercing scream and manic laughter, the journey begins.

Breathe



Hypnotic guitar chords. Cryptic lyrics. What does this song mean? Here's what I got:

Open your eyes. Look at the world around you. Find your place in it. Everyone has a niche, but you better find yours quick or someone else will take your spot. Everyone needs to stake out their territory. You look to your parents with resentment and spite. You push them away. You want them to leave. But you don’t want them to leave you. Being abandoned sucks. And it feels good to have someone to fall back on if we fail, and we seem to fail a lot in this life. Remember the things that matter. Look at the machines that do everything for us. What do we have that they don’t? We cry, we smile, we ****, and we fight. Try to see things, see new perspectives and ways of looking at things. Stop every once in a while and look at the flowers around you. They smell pretty nice. And don’t forget to get all up close to those things that interest you. Touch them, not just with your hands though! Touch lives; touch the hearts of those you care about. You will change their entire world. That’s the power a human has over a machine. Just be careful though. Remember the Romans? All they wanted to do was fight and ****. They lived on excess, brought on by the hard work of their ancestors. We live on the wave of a superficial pop culture. Try to avoid the wave. But there is one thing that is the most important, above all others. Breathe.

On The Run


Footsteps crashing in an alleyway, belonging to a pour soul on the run. The crushing sounds of electronic repetition assault us. Daily, we're assaulted with advertisements that are the same, over and over again, we see images of death and war on the nightly news and we are desensitized. Desolate wind in a technological soundscape whirl in the background. I had a dream once, I was in a graveyard of technology. I walked past mounds and mounds of abandoned circuitry and wire, all the computer chips were baked dry under a brutal desert sun. The graveyard ended, and before me was a vast empty wasteland. In the distance I saw a computer, rising up from the landscape. I ran after it, the only sign of salvation in this empty world. But it never got closer. I just kept running after it. Then suddenly it was gone. I looked around, and I was alone in the wasteland. The computer was just a mirage. I thought it would be my savior, an oasis in an empty world, but it ended up being the death of me. I started laughing. What else was there to do in such a dire situation? I got my bearings and went in the direction that looked the most promising. I don’t know how it ended though, since my alarm clock woke me up.

Notice the use of voices on this song. They start to get crazier, as if they can't stand the repitition anymore. How much of the same do you see everyday? I'm sure it would drive you crazy. This is why I love this album. Musically, it's excellent, and it introduces complex themes in subtle ways, using voices and other sounds from the modern world.

Time


Someone once said that time is the universe's greatest teacher, too bad it kills all its students. Time is without a doubt the most precious commodity in any of our lives. It slips through our fingers constantly. It's also a relative thing, Einstein proved that. If any of you live in small towns, look at the people who were born there, and are now adults and still live there. They went to school there and they probably married their High School sweethearts. This song basically talks about those people. The people who were popular in school but then wake up one day, ten years later and find themselves with a boring wife, boring kids and a boring job selling insurance back in their hometowns.

Those people had dreams. So what happened to them? They tried, and they got smacked down. It happens to all of us. You say you want to be something to your parents, and they either say it's ridiculous or they smack it down. You are told that you should get the jobs with the most money. Where is the happiness in any of these equations? Look at guys going through a mid-life crisis.

"And you run, and you run, to catch up with the sun but it's sinking. And racing around, to come up behind you again."

This reminds me of another of the 20th century's seminal pieces of art, like Dark Side of the Moon, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. If you haven't read it, my god, read it. It's my favorite book. It's the tragedy of chasing the past, trying to recreate something that is no longer there. Here is a passage from it, that sums up everything.

Quote:
And as I sat there brooding on the old, unknown world, I thought of Gatsby's wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy's dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.

Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter — tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther... And one fine morning —

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

The Great Gig In The Sky


Some call this song, "The Mortality Section" or the part that deals with death. To that I sort of agree. The voice at the beginning talks about death. But to me, it isn't just that. When I hear C. Torry's vocals, inevitably, orgasm comes to mind. But in reality, there's nothing dirty about that concept alone. I think this is basically a celebration of of the extremes in life. The extreme ups, the extreme downs, because in a sense they are all connected, like ying and yang, dark and light, without one another they couldn't exist.

Due to character limits and convenience(since this is the end of the first side), the rest of the album will be reviewed in the next post.
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Old 10-11-2008, 03:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Part II

Money


Ahhh, Money. In my opinion, the weakest song of the album. And really, it is the time when the theme becomes obvious. I would agree that money is certainly the root of a lot of evil out there today. But really, I don't think money in itself is to blame. Money is just a convenient excuse for humans to act like the monsters that they really are. A friend of mine in school is really into conspiracy theories. He thinks that certain families control the world and such. I don't believe that. I have a much more pessimistic view of the world.

The Russian Mafia is probably the hardest crime organization to stop. Why is that? Well, American agents point to the fact that they differ from the Italian Cosa Nostras in many key aspects. The Italians worked in a hierarchy. The Russians are organized in a cell structure. There is no head. If you kill the head, someone will come to take their place. It is like the hydra, you slice off a head and ten more appear. That's what I think about humanity. It is our base greed within us that drives us forward like a virus. The heads of these banks and corporations aren't all scheming together to rule the planet, they are all acting independently of one another, but all driven to the same goal: more. Like a virus. Money is an extension of that virus. I wish there was no money in the world. But that is a stupid wish. I guess the best any of us can do it try not to let it corrupt us into a sort of machine, like what we've seen happen to so many people and artists.

Us and Them


Though this song may be about something else, I got a sort of different interpretation from it. One of the most intersting things in society I've noticed, is the split between older generations and new generations. The older generations always seem so offended at the extent the new generation will go to rebel against them. When they were younger, they thought what they were doing was really rebellious. But everytime, and without failure, they get proven wrong.

And the newer generation always disregards the wisdom that the older generation tries to pass down on it. Each time, they arrogantly assume that they are different, that they are a new breed. But they never, ever are. They're people, just like their parents. We really aren't all that different from each other. We just love to perceive each other as different.

I can’t even tell the difference anymore. The culture has become too sarcastic and ironic. That basically sums up this new generation that I walk amongst. We are the Adderall Generation, or The Internet Generation. Black is blue, and isn’t that so ironic that they are? I hate the insincerity and sarcasm, but at the same time, embrace them like a newborn baby. That’s the paradox of our generation I suppose. We’re walking contradictions, all of us. Even as I type this, I am contradicting myself, and personally, I find it beautiful and ****ing liberating.

Any Colour You Like


Roger Waters describes this interesting little instrumental the best:

Quote:
In Cambridge where I lived, people would come from London in a van - a truck - open the back and stand on the tailboard of the truck, and the truck's full of stuff that they're trying to sell. And they have a very quick and slick patter, and they're selling things like crockery, china, sets of knives and forks. All kinds of different things, and they sell it very cheap with a patter. They tell you what it is, and they say 'It's ten plates, lady, and it's this, that, and the other, and eight cups and saucers, and for the lot I'm asking NOT ten pounds, NOT five pounds, NOT three pounds . . . fifty bob to you!', and they get rid of this stuff like this. If they had sets of china, and they were all the same colour, they would say, 'You can 'ave 'em, ten bob to you, love. Any colour you like, they're all blue.' And that was just part of that patter. So, metaphorically, 'Any Colour You Like' is interesting, in that sense, because it denotes offering a choice where there is none. And it's also interesting that in the phrase, 'Any colour you like, they're all blue', I don't know why, but in my mind it's always 'they're all blue', which, if you think about it, relates very much to the light and dark, sun and moon, good and evil. You make your choice but it's always blue.
Brain Damage


I just want to say right off the bat that this is an absolutely beautiful song. It's about insanity, but what some people may not see, and maybe I'm just pulling this out of my ass here, but this song is about old age. When I hear the first verse, I think of an old man sitting on nice green grass in a retirement home, remembering all the games and laughs he had in his life. I went to my grandmother's nursing home and they all take morning walks and stuff. Reminded me of "got to keep the loonies on the path." Also in my grandmother's nursing home, there is a little boy of about 12, who is a volunteer type of person, and he delivers newspapers to them all. Most of the elderly people there look only at the obituaries, to see if anyone they know has died.

They make her take lots of medication. My grandmother is one of those stubborn people who thinks that doctors are out to get her. When I hear the lines" The lunatic is in my head/The lunatic is in my head/You raise the blade, you make the change/You re-arrange me till I'm sane/You lock the door/And throw away the key/And there's someone in my head but its not me.", I think of her. She tells me when you get older, your mind doesn't decay, your body does. It reminds me of the line "And if the band you're in starts playing different tunes, I'll see you on the dark side of the moon."

Eclipse



There was this funny fact I learned. Did you know that the moon revolves and rotates at the same rate around the Earth? We always see the same side. The side gets really dark, and it gets really light, it gets to be any color you like, as long as the colors are black and white. Maybe gray.

Another interesting fact I heard, is that when the heart stops beating, the brain stays active for six minutes. Have you ever fallen asleep, had a really long and complex dream only to wake up and find you were asleep for only five minutes? This could be where the whole "life flashing before your eyes" thing comes from. Imagine what could happen in that six minutes, when all you see is pure information. Maybe you are given a final revelation that everyone receives moments before they die. Who knows what you would see? All that you've ever touched perhaps? All that you've seen? All that you taste, all you feel? All that you love, all that you hate, all you distrust, all you save?All that you give, all that you deal, all that you buy, beg, borrow or steal? All you create? All you destroy?

Well, the only thing I know is this: All that you do, all that you say, all that you eat, everyone you meet, all that you slight, everyone you fight, all that is now, all that is gone, all thats to come, and well, everything under the sun, it's in tune. You see, we're all one. We'll all fade away.

When the universe started off after the Big Bang there were only two elements, Hydrogen and Helium. After the universe stopped being a sort of primordial soup, stars and galaxies started to form. Through a process called nucleosynthesis, elements were created. The inside of stars, which were Hydrogen, got so hot they created new elements. When the star dies, it implodes and sends the newly created element flying out into the heavens.

We are carbon based life forms. Eons ago, inside of some star, carbon was formed and was blasted through the universe. Eventually, life formed from this carbon substance. You could call us humans star dust if you wanted.

Everything that was, that is and will ever be came from that tiny infinitesimal singularity at the beginning of existence. Right now, everything is expanding, but soon the universe will collapse once again, until we are back at the starting point, that small, little singularity. And the process will repeat itself. I sort of believe that everything in nature goes in cycles. Planets orbit in cycles. Seasons come and go in cycles. History repeats itself.

And it all begins as it ends, with the beating of a heart.
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Old 10-11-2008, 04:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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This review quite frankly pisses all over mine and I applaud you. Very good review and nice to see that I'm not the only who thinks that 'Money' is a weak link on the album.
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Old 10-11-2008, 04:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I think I enjoyed the review more than the album.

Nice album though, I like the last two songs much more than the others.
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Old 10-11-2008, 10:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Great review.
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Old 10-12-2008, 04:50 AM   #6 (permalink)
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To me at least, Money seems out of place in the whole concept of the album. It just seems to break the flow and mould, probably one fo the reasons I hate it... Not to mention it was whored to death by those around me in my youth :p

Top review though, love it.
Music is different for everyone, and the best reviews IMO are the ones where the reviewer conveys their own views on what the songs mean as well as their own feelings and emotions that are conveyed...
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Old 10-12-2008, 06:27 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zarko View Post
To me at least, Money seems out of place in the whole concept of the album. It just seems to break the flow and mould, probably one fo the reasons I hate it... Not to mention it was whored to death by those around me in my youth :p
Fortunately I have not had Money force fed down my throat by Classic Rock radio so it still feels right in terms of flow and mould. I feel for you. Classic Rock radio has killed a few good and great songs.
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Old 10-12-2008, 06:29 AM   #8 (permalink)
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And yeah. Great review. I am really jealous, in a nice way, of the quality of writing around here.
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Old 10-12-2008, 09:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jackhammer View Post
This review quite frankly pisses all over mine and I applaud you. Very good review and nice to see that I'm not the only who thinks that 'Money' is a weak link on the album.
I haven't thought of it before, because DSOTM really is a solid album all-around. But yeah, I certainly think so as well.
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Old 10-18-2008, 09:43 PM   #10 (permalink)
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i have noticed that it doesn't really fit in... i wouldn't call it weak by any means but i do agree with you and it is definitely overplayed and overhyped (by my father especially)
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