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Meddle Reimagined: A Tribute to Pink Floyd

Review by Gary Hill

Tribute albums like this are always interesting, but also often disappointing. I really thought this could go either way, particularly because Meddle is one of my all-time favorite Pink Floyd albums and a real work of art. I have to say that for the most part, this works really well. There is only one song that didn't work for me, but that's the only song on Floyd album that I don't care for. There are at least two here that I would consider just about even with the originals, and that says a lot given the exalted level at which I hold the actual Pink Floyd release.

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Track by Track Review
One Of These Days
This rises up almost trippier than the original in some ways. Yet there is a modern edge to it as it begins to grow. When the guitar drives in, it gets more in line with the sound of the original. Still, there are some different bass elements and other things lending modern angles.  The voice has a more modern take, too. When they fire out into the smoking hot section from there, this is more faithful, but still a little fresh. They really do justice to it. There is a cool little space thing at the end that is completely different than the original. This piece features Jyrki 69, Geoff Downes, Steve Stevens, Bootsy Collins and Carmine Appice.
A Pillow Of Winds
The lineup on this track is James LaBrie, Martin Barre, Derek Sherinian and Alan Davey. As much as I love the original Pink Floyd version of this song, the more purely prog rock arrangement delivered here is positively magical. I'm not saying that it's better than the original, but it is certainly its equal. The intricacies and beauty really shine here.    While this is a big change, it's also recognizable. I always say that if you are going to cover a song, you should make it your own. They accomplished that here and did it with so much style.
I dig the spacey, psychedelic edge that's brought to this one. It's not as much of a reinvention as the last couple were, but it does have some suitable variations. This is classy. The musicians here are Mark Stein, Helios Creed, Bob Daisley and Rat Scabies.
San Tropez
They really play up the bluesy, jazzy elements here. It's not a huge change, but this groove is so strong. The guitar on this is so much fun. Then again, the whole song exudes that quality. The lineup on this one is Graham Bonnet, Chris Poland, Rick Wakeman, Joe Bouchard and Dave Lombardo.
This is the work of Terry Reid and Brian Auger. The one track that I usually skip on the original album, that's largely because of the dog wailing. I was hoping they'd leave that off of this version, but they didn't. Instead they leaned even harder on the old-time blues concepts and the dog sound is even more annoying. I think I'll be skipping this version, too. If you like the original, you'll probably find this more to your tastes, but it definitely doesn't work for me.    
This is another rendition that I think stands pretty level with the Pink Floyd version. The "sonar" beeps of the original are iconic, and they kept those in place. Synthesizer washes over creating atmosphere as it continues to build gradually. The piece feels at once faithful and fresh as it evolves. The vocals seem so similar to the original that it's scary. While this manages to stay reasonably close to the sound of the original a lot of the time, it gets positively freaky on the spaced out section. This is such an epic and powerful journey, as the original was. I think they really captured the "magic in a bottle" of the Floyd version, while also updating it and taking some chances with it at times. The musicians responsible for this winner are Frank Dimino, Dweezil Zappa, Jordan Rudess, David J  and Pat Mastelotto.


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