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Pink Floyd - The Wall CD (album) cover

THE WALL

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.05 | 2156 ratings

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1800iareyay
Prog Reviewer
3 stars There appears to be a curse on all double LPs released by classic prog bands. They have the remarkable affect of splitting their fanbases into two camps: those who believe the album to be the greatest the band ever released, and those who wish the band had curbed the pretentious ramblings into a more coherent set. For whatever reason, I always seem to find myself in Camp B. Lamb Lies Down, Tales From Topagraphical Oceans, and this album all seem way overdone to me. With Animals Waters assumed full lyrical and instrumental control, and The Wall is a continuation of this tyranny. Lyrically, the album is founded on a good idea (the price of fame), but it, like the Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, repeatedly loses its focus and becomes a chore to decipher.

To be sure, there are a fair number of Floyd classics here. In the Flesh, Another Brick in the Wall, and Comfortably Numb are some of the finest Floyd songs out there. Numb is the highlight of the album, which amuses me as it is the one where Waters did not have total control (there's a lesson in that). Gilmour's emotional solo is searing, and it stands as my favorite Gilmour performance. The rest of the album has its moments, but it really loses steam in the final push of the album.

The Wall is seen by many as the apex of Floyd's career. I would say DSOTM is the rightful zenith, but it takes all kinds to make the world turn. While I didn't mind Waters' dominance on Animals due to its lyrical sophistication and instrumental brilliance, this one shows Roger reaching beyond his grasp and this album would likely have sounded much better if the rest of the band was given input, judging from "Comfortably Numb."

EDIT: 4/22/2008

I've gone back to Floyd after nearly a year-long sabbatical, and the second place I went (after Animals) was this album. I've come to appreciate the album a lot more, and I thought about deleting my review and starting over. However, I stand by everything I said the first time I wrote about The Wall the first time I reviewed it; I merely do not view these flaws as harshly as I once did.

Too much of the album is merely there for Roger Waters to blame everything he perceives as wrong with his life on others. He blames his father, who was killed in action in World War II, and his overprotective mother for his childhood. He blames his teachers for trying to break him. He blames his audience for...I dunno, liking him (what a bizarre issue to have). However, even though The Wall exists as his own soapbox at the expense of the band's input, the music itself is superb. Mother is a track that has steadily grown on me. It's somber message over a light acoustic tone and the sudden searing blast of electric guitar is sublime. Goodbye Blue Sky is another song that uses a light sound to convey a dark message. Really, the album is noteworthy for being able to simultaneously depress and uplift you, which makes it rather unique. I just wish Roger hadn't lost the lyrical focus and had invited other members to contribute.

Grade: C+

1800iareyay | 3/5 |

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