Richard Wright

Broken China

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    8
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This rather humdrum effort from Pink Floyd's keyboard player does have touches of his former band's haunting ambience, but the tracks on Broken China lazily skim along on shallow waves of new age-like synthesizer passages and lilting rhythms rather than engulf its concept of a man who is experiencing the repercussions of clinical depression, which is in itself Pink Floyd-like. The album is divided up into four sections, each representing a different stage of the character's mental illness. The idea is interesting enough and, while Wright's vocals are eerily reminiscent of Roger Waters, the concept fails to gain any momentum from one cycle to another. The music is dark...but too dark, and the lyrics are abstract...only they're too abstract. Wright gets too caught up in the complexities of his imagery, so much so that he fails to extend his concept outwardly in the form of music or message. Rather than jut out or take hold, the tracks all converge into each other with little or no rhythmic resurgence or elevation. "Reaching for the Rail" and "Breakthrough" are sung by Sinead O'Connor, one of the album's upsides, while oboe and cello add noticeable weight to the music's somberness in all the right places. Wright's first solo release, entitled Wet Dreams, is a much more entertaining effort, as is Zee-Identity, his 1984 collaboration with Dave Harris.

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