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Pink Floyd - The Wall CD (album) cover


Pink Floyd


Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.08 | 2703 ratings

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Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars All in all this is really just another review of The Wall

Now here's one that I've put off touching for a long time. This is one of those albums that you either love or hate, and while the entire rock community seems to have an immense love for this album it's clear that the reactions in the prog community are mixed. Yes, it is considered one of Floyd's greatest, but still people disregard it. There's many things to like and dislike about the album, and those I'll get to in a second, but first let's examine the style of the album. For anyone who is still unfamiliar with the album and how it plays this one is different from anything and everything the Floyd have done prior. While their previous albums had been full of long and spaced out songs even going into their ''classic'' era (post Dark Side) this one takes a sharp turn for the shorter side of things. While other albums had their long, winding tracks connected by theme, this one has short, sometimes choppy tracks connected by a story. Yes, this is a rock opera. And it's a thick one. Indeed, the concept can be very hard to get into at times, especially when you're just trying to listen to the music. The lyrics are omni-present and urge you to listen. Is there any time for you to simply get lost in the music? Yes. But first you have to get immersed in the music.

To talk about the music even more let's get into the sound. This album sounds a lot more emotional and a lot more geared towards ''rock'' than anything the band has done before. The songs are heavy and not really all that spacey. At all. This is fine if you're someone looking for something to sing along to, but if you're a prog purest looking for instrumental goodness then just be warned. Songs like Another Brick In The Wall are very much radio friendly, but they still have their charm, especially the three segments of the previously mentioned track, two of which are scarcely known, being as they really have that prog feel to them.

I'm not going to get into the actual story or it's meanings because that would be mostly semantics, but I'll do a quick overview. If you didn't know - this is the story of a rocker who goes pretty much crazy and builds up a ''wall'' around himself thanks to all the crazy forces in his life and becomes something of a hermit. It also touches on the false idol worship of rockstars and the lot. Written by Roger Waters after spitting on a crowd member at a concert who tried to spit on stage, Waters felt that he was separating himself from the audience, and mixing that with his own childhood memories of his father and the misadventures of Syd Barrett, he created this tale.

Something to note about the album is the age group it seems to effect. Now - this is by no means accurate, but someone once told me something that resonated with me. He told me that it was a very teenage album - an album which is very emotional and whose story can snag people in around that age so that they gain a kind of obsession with it. This definitely rang true with me when I first listened to it so many years ago, and it seems that way with most of the people I've known - they were all younger when they got into the album - although I'm positive that this is by no means the rule.

So this is a prog flavored rock opera with a lot of tracks. While a lot of the tracks are simply intro/outro tracks to press the songs forwards and segue them with the next tracks there's a few songs of high interest. The opening In The Flesh? gets the ball rolling with a bang as Water's lyrics come in to start the show. Mother is a good, slower number which is sure to attract some of the more brooding of the younger audience with it's lyrics (although that's not the only draw). Young Lust paired with One of My Turns makes for a great way to portray rage at it's finest - the sharp and eerie lyrics match well with the hungry guitar to make for a rocking couple of tracks. Other tracks make for a truly lonely and isolated feel that works quite well on the album such as Don't Leave Me Now and Hey You, and especially the haunting Is There Anybody Out There?.

Of course what would the album be without a couple of it's most famous tracks? Run Like Hell is an excellent rocker who's sing-along lyrics actually work quite well, another brooding track with it's underlying message. But of course the definitive standout on the album has to be the masterful Comfortably Numb with it's almost pretty delivery and wonderful solo from Gilmour. The Trial is another amazing track, finishing the album with a bang as the terrifying Judge comes in to make for a very unique Floyd track. As the climax of the story and album you'd want this one to deliver - and it does.

I must say that while it does get mixed reactions this is an essential prog album, like it or not. Whether it be for the story or the music or the love of Floyd there's a lot to like here. The bad things to be said about it are the exception rather than the rule and I'd recommend this one to everyone! 5 cruel worlds out of 5!

Queen By-Tor | 5/5 |


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