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Roger Waters - Radio K.A.O.S.  CD (album) cover

RADIO K.A.O.S.

Roger Waters

 

Crossover Prog

2.93 | 156 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

progaardvark
Prog Reviewer
2 stars 1987 saw two camps of fans emerge from the Waters and Gilmour/Mason mess. Fans that stuck with the Pink Floyd name as Gilmour released the first post-Waters Pink Floyd album and fans that stuck with the Waters-version of Pink Floyd (starting with The Wall). All these years later this now seems like it was a silly debate to be a part of because both albums released by these two versions of "Pink Floyd" were a far cry from their glory years. Waters' contribution to 1987 was his second solo album called Radio K.A.O.S.

Again, like similar Waters projects, Radio K.A.O.S. is a long-winded concept album that wanders around in a lost mess of half-thought ideas and complexities involving several characters. This time Waters couldn't get enough of the ideas into the music that he had to explain the storyline in the liner notes. Why not just write a book? If you're curious you can read a summary of the storyline on the Wikipedia page for this album. After reading it, you'd probably wonder if Waters had lost his mind as it sounds more like the storyline to one of those B-rated Sci-Fi channel movies.

A couple big changes are very apparent on this album. Waters seems more cheery than usual, with his biting commentary not as pervasive in this set of lyrics. Oh, it's there, but it seems more hidden due to the rosier style of music. The music is much more developed on this than in prior albums, however it takes on a more song-oriented and radio-friendly approach. I assume the idea behind this was that most of the album revolves about the Billy character and his interactions with a radio DJ, making the album sound like one is listening to the radio. Thus, the songs sound like they would be the kinds of songs one would hear on the radio. The downside to this approach is that Waters' voice and delivery does not fit this style very well and the 1980s digital synths and programmed drums are frankly annoying. It basically boils down to a middle-aged, bitter man singing pop music about a long-winded, complex, and silly concept that is basically lost to most listeners (even skilled ones). However, I applaud Waters for the detail he gave to the between-songs effects and character interactions. These are well done. The songs are where more work was needed.

Clearly A Momentary Lapse of Reason has aged better of the two "Pink Floyd camps" albums of 1987. Radio K.A.O.S. probably could have been pulled off even though the concept idea is not really that good. Waters failed in my opinion on this one making this the worst release of his career. Definitely worth the effort to look for if you're a die-hard Waters fan. All others probably should avoid. Even Pink Floyd fans might find this one hard to digest. Collectors only. Two stars.

progaardvark | 2/5 |

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