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Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) - Out Of Phase - The Wall 2000 CD (album) cover

OUT OF PHASE - THE WALL 2000

Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)

 

Various Genres

1.20 | 8 ratings

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The Whistler
Prog Reviewer
1 stars Oh...oh dear God. I do hope that Mister Waters' Broadway play ideals for his record do not follow the pattern of this, admittedly easily danceable...thing (sorry, that's bound to date this, my apologies to anyone reading this as soon as Rog gets that BroadWall thing underfoot. Assuming he ever does, of course). Because as far as dancey musicals go, this thing sucks. On ice. Rick Wakeman would NOT be proud. He...would cry.

See, the Wall is easily the best Pink Floyd record I own, and therefore, certainly one of the most prized pieces of my audio collection. This, however...this joke, is, without a doubt, the worst piece of plastic I have the (mis)fortune of owning. Sorry, excuse me, TWO pieces of plastic. I bought it before the Wall because it was cheap, and I figured it would serve as a suitable substitute. Ha-ha, right? I listened to the first disc, and promptly put it far, far back in my record collection. Somewhere behind Big Generator.

After I got the Wall proper, some time later, I figured I could take it out again, dust it off. Maybe a redunking in the original would help me appreciate, if not gape in awe at, this thing. Wow. Was I wrong? Oh yes, yes I was. Join me, won't you, in a track by track analysis of hell itself.

Now, what is the sordid tale behind this thing? Oh, I don't know, but let's use our imaginations! One day, the flashy techno bar wasn't bringing in enough dough for Jorgen, and so he randomly decided to butcher a classic piece of art rock! Luckily enough, ole Dave Gilmour is always willing to make a buck, and besides, the Wall was mostly that rathole Roger's anyway. So Jorgen grabbed Wingus, Dingus and some drum machines, and, voila! A couple of hours of my life I'll never get back!

It is a REAL bad sign when "In the Flesh (Part 1)" doesn't being with that monster blast of angry riffage anymore. Now, we have some...quiet swamp noises?!? Okay, a cool concept, I'll admit, but the LEAST they could have done was, at some point, turned the volume up. Nope. Why could we do that when we always have the option to suck instead? The song fades from speaker and memory shortly.

"The Thin Ice" somehow magically turns from the original charming ballad into upbeat, world beaty, disco flavored pop rocker! And yes, it sucks as much as it sounds. How could it not? Similarly, "Another Brick in the Wall (Part 1)" is somehow reinterpreted as a fast paced dance number, which contains the atmospheric subtlety of an unflushed toilet. The voice effects can be cool sometimes, admittedly, but is it REALLY worth it?

"Happiest Days of Our Lives" has a bizarre, anthemic opening. Which isn't that bizarre, since so did the original, but I mean c'mon! Dude! It's freaky! And not in the good way. And the "ahs" that used to lead into "Part 2?" They sound totally wimpy! However, "Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)" WAS a disco rocker originally, and for some reason, the version on the album is live, and therefore a little more energetic and less techno laden, so in all honesty, it's actually okay! Weird, eh?

But don't worry folks, "Mother" will reaffirm that, yes, the album still sucks. It sounds like a bad reggae pop number. Yes. It really does. Not to mention the fact that it's FRIGGIN' ENDLESS!!! The opening to "Goodbye Blue Sky" is actually very faithful to the original, which means unimaginative, but pleasant. Which is how I would describe the whole thing actually, it never does anything, but never offends. "Empty Spaces" starts out atmospheric, but then they HAD to give it a ridiculous dance beat, didn't they? God this sucks.

Now I asked myself, how can one screw up "Young Lust?" It's straightforward cock rock fer gosh sake! Oh, but those clever techno dudes, they KNEW I'd ask that. So they asked themselves, "How can we possibly screw this one up? OH! I KNOW! Let's remove ALL guitars from it, even the solo, and toss in some dopey sound effects instead! BRILLIANT!" The bastards...

"One of my Turns," instead of being an emotional powerhouse, becomes lazy! Yes, even when it speeds up and the drums kick in, it still sounds lazy! Must be the dorky synths in the background, mocking the original tune with every press of a key. I actually like the creepy opening to "Don't Leave Me Now," but was that the right song for it? I don't know, and in the end it really doesn't matter; the rest of the song is badly sung, and the guitar part is replaced by a cheesy choir. It's about as captivating as watching a dog being slowly run over by a truck; you know, on the one hand you can't quite look away, but on the other, you're stomach churns at every second? Like that. And that's really just a credit to Roger Waters, since it's his melodies that occasionally force their way out of the murk.

"Another Brick in the Wall (Part 3)" actually blasts out of the radio, the first (and possibly only) Wall-like use of sonic contrast on the album. Not that it's especially good or anything, it just happens to be almost tolerable. Maybe because it's a rehash of "Part 2?" Well, it's that vibe at least. And guitar solo. "Goodbye Cruel World" was never all that strong a piece, but here, it sounds equally wimpy and cheesy (oh sure, let's bring in the piano NOW. Why not?).

"Hey You" was one of my favorite numbers, but the second those techno beats come in, I know it's ruined. Besides, it's sung with such saccharine, glossy, pop star dishonesty, that I can't take anything from the lyrics anymore! It's so dorky, that I can't even call the melody a guilty pleasure at this; it would be like eating six galloons of wet ice cream after a diet. Ugh.

"Anybody Out There?" is PROBABLY supposed to sound ominous, but it sounds as ominous as the music for a boss level on Super Mario Brothers 2 (for those of you without Nintendo educations, that means it doesn't sound ominous. It sounds dorky, unless you happen to view that kind of stuff as art). Actually, in hindsight, the Mario Bros. comment is actually a positive one, but what's with those goat noises at the end? Huh, maybe this IS a highlight...

The opening to "Nobody Home" sounds like the soundtrack to a TV movie. A BAD one. But don't worry, once the song starts, it just becomes another butchering of the original. "Vera" somehow manages to sound both sludgy and technoy. Fancy that. "Bring the Boys Back Home" is about as emotionally stirring as a dead slug. At least the original had the corny but fun brass band and Roger, this has only a children's choir. I guess, unless they could only afford midgets. No musical accompaniment to speak of.

Now, perhaps because I was never the greatest fan of the song to begin with, my expectations set low, "Comfortably Numb" becomes the best song on the album. Yep. It's the same as the rest, basically identical to the Floyd version, just dryer (if you can imagine) and with a dorky beat, but the first guitar solo is replaced by this very refreshing sounding flute. Of course, the rest of the number is the same as everything else, but by now it's almost tolerable. Almost.

"The Show Must Go On," however, returns us to the vapid world of boredom. And "In the Flesh (Part 2)?" They STILL don't have it! The intro is still quiet, just a mishmash of ambient synths and misplaced drum beats. Oh well, at least the Germanic pronunciation of some of the more fascist lyrics is fun. Perhaps "Run Like Hell" doesn't suffer THAT much, after all, it was always supposed to be an upbeat pop rocker...okay, it suffers too. But maybe it's less noticeable. Maybe. It's short, okay? Surely that's a reason to like it...

"Waiting For the Worms" isn't offensive, which is the problem. Instead of the great ole metallic anthem to Nazism, it's just a mildly interesting bit of techno fluff. Very mildly. With an overlong ending. "Stop" is one of the few numbers with any real dressing, a sort of music box sound effect runs in the background. Maybe without the drums, it might have been okay?

I actually had high hopes for "The Trial." I mean, that number was SUPPOSED to be ridiculous, right? Maybe the feeling would somehow come through the techno beats? Well, no such luck Sunshine! It's so painfully under produced, that NOTHING bleeds through; and it's not like they're not exactly trying, there's an almost cool shuffling percussion effect. But there's no difference between any parts of the song! What an utter waste! But you know the problem with everything sounding the same? When "Outside the Wall" comes along, you don't care. Instead of the unresting difference between the crashing wall and the quiet accordion, you just sort of go, "What, is this STILL on?!?"

Okay, now, I'm going to climb off my wall here for a second and try to look at this as "new material." If I'd never known about the first Wall, then I would say that this...really sucks. What, trying to write a techno rock opera? These must be the most pretentious dudes in the galaxy! Okay, that didn't work, let's go back to the comparisons...

Except that won't work either, because whereas the Wall was a shape shifting emotionally charged monster, this is just sort of long, dull, and all sounds the same. The flow is all messed up, because it's spaced like a "real album" rather than an "opera," ya dig?

So the basic problem with this thing is that everything sounds the same, and that it all sounds bad. Really, really bad. REALLY bad. It's not that it's directly offensive, it's just that it's often boring as sin. Of course, sometimes it IS offensive. Unfortunately, most of the time it's just boring, because under produced techno sometimes just sounds like really bad bubblegum pop. Which is, of course, neither ear killing nor what the Wall is supposed to be about (the Wall WAS ear killing! Offensive to the extreme! And it didn't all sound the friggin' same!).

When it REALLY gets annoying is when the ambient synths give way to weird, noodling noises, and the drum beats get turned up. But, hey, I'm open minded! If something as stupid as "avant-garde techno" sounds good to YOU, and you don't mind the words and music of Roger Waters, pick this sucker up. It might just be the only thing on earth that will satisfy your horrible, horrible, misguided taste.

It is only with the highest, absolute respect for the original recording, which is present here only in the scattered lyrics, and what melodies and riffs (accidentally) managed to survive the industrial waste, and what little entertainment can be culled from the few "good" numbers, like "Part 2" and "Numb," that I sickly hand out the rating of a solid one star to the album, and even that is kind of iffy. Without the presence of that damn flute sound (since I doubt it's real somehow, don't you?), this would get a...I don't know, knowing my whacked out ratings system, a zero-point-five would be too generous.

Look, I've heard some bad albums, but this takes the cake. This isn't even fun from a "hear what this could have been" angle, or a "ha, hear how much this sucks" angle. This is only fun from an "I like to hurt myself" angle. Listen only if you hate Roger Waters and all he stands for, and you find it in the trash. Don't actually pay for this. You've been warned.

The Whistler | 1/5 |

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