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Pink Floyd - The Wall CD (album) cover

THE WALL

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.05 | 2027 ratings

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progaardvark
Prog Reviewer
3 stars On The Wall, Roger Waters takes the concept album to its limits. The question is: did he overdo it? I'm of the opinion that yes, he did. And it's mostly due to a complicated and long storyline that covers a lot of personal issues for Waters. It takes many, many listens to fully understand the message of The Wall. Many listeners will be left wondering what on earth the blasted thing was about. Even watching the film that was based on this album, one may still have confusion concerning the whole story. This is definitely an intellectual work and if that's not what you're looking for, The Wall could be a dreadful experience.

Waters is entirely behind The Wall album, as the other members of the band took a back seat only contributing musically. Wright had a falling out with Waters and even though he is credited, his contributions are minimal as Waters hired several session musicians to fill in, plus an orchestra. With this in mind, you'll notice right away that this doesn't sound much like earlier Pink Floyd efforts. All of the songs are short pieces of a larger concept with the focus more on vocals and lyrics than anything else. So musically, it suffers because of it. There is very little room for musical development. Another point worth making is that if you listen to Waters' solo albums from the 1980s and 1990s, you'll notice they have a similarity in structure and format with The Wall. This is Roger's baby, just using the Pink Floyd name.

With all of that in mind, The Wall at times is an enjoyable listen, and at other times is a skipping parade in the CD player. My thoughts are that Waters' concept needed to be trimmed down a bit to fit the format it was to fill. Taking the best tracks and separating them from the garbage, one is left with about one LP worth of decent material. In other words, Waters fell victim to what troubled Peter Gabriel's The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. The music suffered and there were way too many lyrics. It's a shame Gilmour, Mason, and Wright didn't put their collective feet down and rein in Waters when he took the concept too far. Also, if you thought Animals was bleak, The Wall is probably one of the most depressing albums ever made.

Definitely a good album, but I don't think this is essential for the progressive rock genre, so my conclusion is three stars. Every Pink Floyd fan should have this and if overdone rock operas are your thing, you'll probably love this. For the rest of you, I'd recommend starting with their previous three albums.

progaardvark | 3/5 |

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