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Roger Waters - Amused To Death CD (album) cover

AMUSED TO DEATH

Roger Waters

 

Crossover Prog

3.94 | 290 ratings

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penguindf12
Prog Reviewer
2 stars This album is really 2.5 stars, mainly for the excellent lyrics. The instrumentation is lacking, however.

First off, I'd like to clear up a few common misconceptions about this album. The first is the meaning of the "What God Wants" trilogy of songs in the album. Many people take this to be Waters' biased attack on organized religion. But, in context of the album, I don't think that's what it is. Some of the things listed as being "What God Wants" are not even relevant to the song, so it seems. "God wants chain stores? No way! Waters must be an atheist," is the first reaction. But on closer look, the song is about what PEOPLE say God would want. Example: George Bush saying,"God is on OUR side. He wants us to go to war. He supports US, not them." or "God wants YOU to send in money for OUR cause. He wants YOU to make a contribution." It is the blatant use of God's name to further a single cause. If you read the New Testament of the Bible, you'll find that God is the ultimate neutral. He is neither on one side or the other, neither US nor THEM. He loves everybody. That's what this song is about: the use of religious fundamentalism to further a cause.

That out of the way, I'll get started on the rest of the album. The music here is very dark and night-ish. The lyrics are absolutely amazing, Waters' best since "The Wall." It opens with "The Ballad of Bill Hubbard," an excellent minimalist instrumental backed by Alf Razzell's story of WWI and a hard descision he had to make. Then it enters into a roaring rock song, "What God Wants Part One." Probably the best song on the album, it and Part Two. Just remember what it really means by God (right-wing fundamentalist's use of God to further their cause), and you'll love it (if you like concept albums and are a lefty in politics) It's as misunderstood as "Another Brick in the Wall Part Two."

Next up is "Perfect Sense Parts One and Two." The first song is pretty good, but you have to understand the lyrics to like it. Otherwise it sounds a bit awkward, with all of the metaphors it uses. Part Two is better. Then it's "The Bravery of Being Out of Range." A great rock song about 1984-esque/neoconservative mindset about war. Then it's on to "Late Home Tonight Parts One and Two" about the mindlessness of a pilot ("no questions, only orders") as he bombs the enemy, inadvertantly killing innocent people. Part Two is his return home to be hailed as a hero, much like a football star would be after he wins the game for his team.

"Too Much Rope" is a mediocre song, followed by "What God Wants Parts Two and Three," more about people's useage of God's name to further causes and the confusion of outsiders at our activities. "Watching TV" is a pretty good song, about how people who die on TV are more important to those who watch than others less famous who died for a cause just as noble.

"Three Wishes" and "It's a Miracle" are the reasons this album isn't five-star. Boring musically, lyrically mediocre. It closes with "Amused to Death," a great closing song for a great album. The song ends with a 1984 reference in Alf Razzell's final thought about Bill Hubbard's death as told in the first song.

Overall, an nice album from the greatest member of ex-Pink Floyd, but lacking instrumentally. Buy it if you are left-wing and really enjoyed "the Wall". I personally think very much like Waters, except that I have a much more optimistic view of the world and am less experienced in lyrics (although I'm told I write great short stories). Buy this album if you think like Waters and his world view, etc. Hope this review wasn't too political.

penguindf12 | 2/5 |

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