Richard Wright: Wet Dream

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ImageFrom a band member’s solo albums, one understandably expects at least some music that the parent group could not comfortably embrace. To judge by what I’ve heard lately, however, a lot of solo efforts by band members seem primarily aimed just at approximating the group’s sound as closely as possible.

Wet Dream, the cerebral first solo outing by Pink Floyd’s keyboardist Richard Wright, offers a quintessential case in point. Perhaps Wright consciously or unconsciously hungers more for recognition for his role in the Floyd than he does for artistic freedom; perhaps he wants to guarantee himself a share of its giant market; or perhaps he gets all the elbow room he needs in the group but wants his name on a solo LP anyway.

Be that as it may, Wet Dreams comes so directly from the Floyd mold that, when I first heard it on the radio, I didn’t even hang around for the DJ to identify it. I simply assumed that Floyd’s followup was at hand.

Actually, while it would have been nice to hear Wright try something different, I can’t complain. Featuring ethereal production, enigmatic lyrics, breathy vocals, and atmospheric keyboards and sax, the set does effectively satisfy my appetite for some new Pink Floyd. In fact, a fair-sized chunk of the LP compares favorably with anything the quartet has produced since Dark Side of the Moon. So who knows? Maybe the arrival of this set constitutes better news than would the release of another from Pink Floyd.

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