Classic Rock Review

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Rick Wright Wet Dream (1978)

MI0000053242From amazon.com

As a pretty big Pink Floyd fan, I’ve always appreciated Rick Wright’s contributions to the band, especially on their pre-Animals albums–I think he adds some great texture with his keyboards, some great vocals and harmony vocals, and some excellent songs that were part of an era where the entire band was contributing creatively.

I think he’s also underrated in his contribution to what made Pink Floyd sound like Pink Floyd–give Wet Dream one listen, and I think you’ll agree. There’s something really Pink Floyd about this album, and it happens without Roger Waters’ lyrics or David Gilmour’s guitar, so we get an interesting look at just what part of the band’s sound comes from Wright.

The result is an album that, really, doesn’t break any new ground, but if you’re willing to listen closely it will reward you with some great playing (Snowy White sounds great on several tracks) and a sublimely mellow, mysterious mood. Although the album seems short on full-blown songs and sometimes seems a bit homogeneous, there’s a whole lot to appreciate here.

Wet Dream opens with an instrumental, “Mediterranean C,” based on a piano line (pretty much every song on Wet Dream is) in which Wright adds touches of familiar synth. I don’t agree with other reviews that Snowy White imitates David Gilmour with his guitar playing–if you listen closely, I think you’ll find that his playing is a bit less melodic and lyrical, but he makes up with speed and fire that Gilmour often doesn’t display.

The addition of jazzy/prog saxophone on the opening track and many others also typifies the album (it’s not quite the same kind of sound as Pink Floyd usually gets out of sax; a bit jazzier). Really, to my ears, Wet Dream sounds the most like The Division Bell.

There are only a handful of vocal tracks on the album–the second song, “Against the Odds,” “Summer Elegy,” “Holiday,” and “Pink’s Song.” The first three are similar in sound and theme, discussing some pretty contemplative feelings about relationships. “Holiday” is definitely the album’s centerpiece–its best vocal track, with a great chorus and excellent crescendo. I forget which one, but you can hear Richard tinkering with the piano part of one of these songs in the Live At Pompeii documentary.

“Pink’s Song” is a pretty mysterious ode to somebody–perhaps Syd Barrett (it seems that the members of Pink Floyd all felt a need to address their former bandmate in song). Throughout, Wright’s voice sounds clear and honest, and it’s a pleasure to hear more of his singing. The rest of the album is slow to mid-tempo instrumentals. Some highlights include the hypnotic “Waves,” and the aptly-titled “Funky Deux.” It’s not a particularly speedy album, but if you’re in the mood, the texture and vibe is pretty trippy.

I can’t agree with other reviewers that it’s the best Pink Floyd solo album, compared with Barrett’s work and Waters’ fantastic Amused To Death, but it’s not far behind, and a worthwhile statement from a member of the band who was never heard as much as he should have been. Hopefully Wet Dream will get reissued soon–it’s a good, worthwhile album, but it’s not worth how much sellers are asking for it right now.

Last, I’d add that Wet Dream is definitely better than Broken China, though the latter does have some interesting moments.

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May 26, 2013 Posted by | Rick Wright Wet Dream | , | Leave a comment