The thing about this album for me was that I virtually hated it at first - the music just didn't make sense to me in the way it flowed (or didnt). For some reason I persisted with a few more listens and was completely hooked.
What inspired me was that they seemed to have created their own logic and musical language and once you 'got it' you couldnt get enough of it. Beyond this there is an integrity about it that shines through the production values that some people complain about.
The integrity for me is in an aesthetic that is more visual than it is musical. It seems to me that Phil was painting musical pictures and like the cover art was exploring the themes dear to the Surrealists. The title Mental Notes is also entirely apt - musical recordings of thoughts.
Like the surrealists they were exploring the world of the subconscious - esp of doubts, fears. I dont think the other so called 'Progressive Rock' albums were doing this.
There is no doubt to me that this was Phils' album with the others adding their parts and being inspired by his surreal vision.
It would be great if there could be some celebration of the achievement of this album on its 30th anniversary. Even greater if they could get together and record some of the unfinished works from this period.