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Roger Waters - The Pros And Cons Of Hitch Hiking CD (album) cover


Roger Waters


Crossover Prog

3.06 | 357 ratings

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3 stars The pros and cons of hitchhiking yourself away from Pink Floyd.

Trying to disentangle Roger Water's first real solo album from the entire 'He abandoned Pink Floyd' soap opera of the mid eighties is difficult to do. Even 30+ years later. Yes, it's been that long.

For those who don't know the background to this album, the concept was initially offered to Floyd to record along with the concept of the Wall. The band rejected the former, and the rest is history, as they say. So after the big split, Roger walked away with this concept of an album under his arm, and went to work. Enlisted were guitar god Eric Clapton, keyboard player and arranger Michael Kamen, along with David Sanborn on sax.

The vibe of this album is blues based so the inclusion of Clapton probably seemed like a good idea to Water's at the time, and he does help. But it's Sanborn that really gets the album to swing at times. And of course, there are the female background singers oohing in the choruses.

What this album documents is what Water's once contributed to the sound of Pink Floyd, especially on the albums Animals and The Wall, and The Final Cut, obviously. The songs on this album are far from mediocre. But unlike songs like Mother, from the Wall, they simply lack the musical gravitas that co visionary and co musical director David Gilmour gave to them. And there's nothing here to rival the punch of Pigs, the majestic flights of fancy of Comfortably Numb (co wriiten with Gilmour), or the dark abyss brought into the light on Hey You. What we do get is Water's 'Hey Laddie' persona that only goes so far in being entertaining and, more importantly, musically satisfying.

If listening to The Final Cut was akin to listening to The Wall deprived of coherent song structure, then listening to The Pros And Cons Of Hitchhiking is akin to listening to The Wall deprived of it's musical highlights.

So, is it possible to disentangle Roger Water's solo output from that of Pink Floyd 30+ years later? No.

Water's is one part of an equation where the sum was greater than the parts. That's all. Nothing more. Nothing less. That is what The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking documents, for all times. If you don't believe that, than I suggest you listen to David Gilmour's solo albums and see what part of the equation he's equal to or remiss at.

Water's would go on to redeem himself eventually with the excellent Amused To Death album in 1992.

It would be the closest he would get to being whole. But still only close.

3 stars for an album that still has many pros and cons 30+ years later, and could never have been any better than it was.

SteveG | 3/5 |


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