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Roger Waters - The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking CD (album) cover

THE PROS AND CONS OF HITCH HIKING

Roger Waters

 

Crossover Prog

2.98 | 210 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

progaardvark
Prog Reviewer
3 stars If you exclude Roger Waters' collaborative work with Ron Geesin, The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking marked his debut as a solo artist. The beginnings of this album date back to 1978 when Waters played demos of it and The Wall to his band mates in Pink Floyd. They of course decided The Wall was better, so The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking sat on the shelf for awhile before Waters returned his attention to it.

Waters' debut is very similar in style to Pink Floyd's The Final Cut, which many consider a Waters solo effort since he was the dominant force behind it. So, the album is filled with lots and lots of lyrics delivered in Waters' trademarked style. Musically it's more upbeat than the depressing The Final Cut or The Wall, although it has its usual biting moments of paranoia and such. Michael Kamen does a nice job on the piano and Eric Clapton performs lead guitar. Though this is not Clapton's best work, he makes a suitable "replacement" for Gilmour, thus giving The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking that Waters-era Pink Floyd feel. An interesting addition to this work is a group of "actors" who read lines between and during some of the short musical interludes giving this album the feel of a musical drama. Some of the "actors" include Jack Palance, Cherry Vanilla, and Madeleine Bell. Waters of course plays the main role.

I find the major downside to this album to be, like most of Waters material, a lack of musical development. It is literally bombarded with endless lyrics which often take front stage. The music itself has some promise but never fully develops because it plays a minor backing role throughout the whole album. Roger, you've got Eric Clapton! Why not really use his skill to make something amazing? Instead Clapton fills in short solos between Roger's endless verses. Another problem is trying to figure out what it's about. Apparently it's about a man's mid-life crisis, but there's so much else thrown in and it wanders on so much that the concept is basically lost.

Not as depressing as The Wall or The Final Cut, The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking is still a worthwhile purchase for the Pink Floyd fan. For the rest of you, good but hardly essential. Three stars.

progaardvark | 3/5 |

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