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Roger Waters - Amused To Death CD (album) cover

AMUSED TO DEATH

Roger Waters

 

Crossover Prog

3.94 | 293 ratings

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Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Our species has amused itself to death

A very interesting social commentary by Roger Waters. Roger's fourth solo album and admittedly his best, this is a very well written concept album with a dark topic dealing with everything from war to modern society, religion and back to war. Quite interesting, especially since Roger manages to avoid being redundant by putting out some kind of The Wall Disc 4. It's quite a cynical look at things, so if you fancy yourself a very positive and upbeat person then this might not be the kind of thing for you. Roger doesn't sugar coat, but he does use some amusing commentary, one particularly fun part of the album has two football (or some other sport) commentators announcing a game of war between two countries - ''As I speak the captain now has his cross hairs zeroed in on the oil rig!''. You can tell that Roger had a lot to say simply by opening the liner notes. You don't even need to read them to see how opinionated he is... the book just keeps unfolding and unfolding and in the end it's about 2 feet long, filled with lyrics on either side. Not a bad thing of course, because Roger knows how to sing, and he clearly likes to do it, but it never seems to be overly intrusive.

Style wise we have everything that hasn't been in Pink Floyd since Roger left. Quite literally, actually, it's astonishing at points. Take The Wall and remove Gilmour's guitar and you kind of have the style of the album. There's a lot of guest musicians on the album - in fact everyone from Jeff Beck to Randy Jackson (he's on this site quite a bit isn't he?) - but none of the musicians really let loose with their talents as one would expect. Perhaps Waters tied them down and said, ''now you play this!'' as could possibly be expected, or maybe they just didn't want to take away from the overall mood of the album. The world will never know. Still, some flashy moments here and there where Jeff Beck actually kind of sounds like Gilmour for a second or two. The rest of the album is very bass driven as could be expected coming from Pink Floyd's bass player. It's a fairly midpaced album with no songs becoming overly fast or slow. We get moments of brilliance between times of tedium, but all in all the album flows very well and never loses site of it's intended target.

What makes this album great are the really angry moments. Listening to the military pace of What God Wants, Parts I - III really get the blood boiling (in a good way) and Roger's yelling of, ''give any one species too much rope and they'll f*** it up!'' really sits well with the listener (perhaps ironically). The social commentary and poking at cowardice in The Bravery of Being Out of Range (which discusses how people can sit far away and simply launch missiles at each other) makes for a great tune when mixed with some very soothing music. There's also a few sound effect parts which work very well in context with the album (explosions and what have you). The amused musing of the title track makes for the album's standout at it's coda (also the longest song on the album), as it seems that Roger was saving the best for last.

The rest is somewhat give and take as sometimes it gets a bit slow, making us wish we had that military anger back. What's redeeming about these parts is that they still contribute to the whole of the album, because really, it's not an album you can pick a song out of and listen to that one only. Roger must have designed it that way, but isn't that what prog has always been about anyways?

This one ultimately gets 3.5 wishes out of 5. A very good album which is recommended for people looking for some Floyd flavored music and for those who really enjoyed The Wall, although those who didn't might want to give this one a shot anyways. Slightly uneven but ultimately amusing, this one is recommended!

Queen By-Tor | 3/5 |

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