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Roger Waters - The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking CD (album) cover


Roger Waters


Crossover Prog

3.06 | 373 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars Frankly, the only reason I continue to own this album is because it belongs in my PINK FLOYD collection. I'm not sure whether I have worse problems with Pros and Cons or NICK MASON's Profiles, but I decided to give this one a slightly higher rating because there ARE a couple of good songs on here that I actually find genuinely moving: "Each Stranger's Eyes"/"The Moment of Clarity". These songs, where he manages to find some actual empathy are the only really touching part of the album, and the reason I'm giving this half a star more than I did Profiles. All of the others are, sad to say, utterly and completely ruined by one factor or another, even where there might have been parts with potential.

On musical grounds there is, for the most part, much better to be found. ERIC CLAPTON sounds mechanical here; it seems that rather than feeling anything he's playing, all he's been hired to do is to "outdo GILMOUR". Perhaps on technical merits he might have pulled that off--but the result is that he sounds completely devoid of all emotion, which renders his work null and void. The saxophone certainly does not come up to the standard of Dick Parry. I can't really remember what MICHAEL KAMEN did here, but my suspicion is that his best FLOYD-related effort was The Final Cut, so if his work interests you, I suggest that instead. This album, frankly, is not much more than a demo, and is drop-dead boring from a musical standpoint.

The other problem comes in with the concept. This should have never seen the light of day, period. Trust the judgment of RICHARD WRIGHT, NICK MASON, and DAVID GILMOUR; there's a good reason they didn't take this one on instead of The Wall when ROGER presented both of them...because it was awful. Maybe ESE/MoC could've been adapted and put with something else, but otherwise, this was a mistake. For one thing, although it might be good from some high-brow "art" standpoint, this thing is so incoherent that it loses a great deal of power right there. While it can take a lot of intellect to create something that abstract, to be sure, there IS something to be said for actually making a connection with the audience--and that's sorely lacking here.

The other problem I have, frankly, is the absolutely disrespectful, if not violent attitude I hear, as a woman, listening to this. Let me note here that I am NOT some kind of raging feminist; rather, I am egalitarian in philosophy. Maybe some women find the mixture of violence and sex to be a turn-on, but not me. "Yeah, but tonight lie still / While I plunder your sweet grave": sounds like the female character here is getting no choice in the matter. Frankly, this gets into EMINEM territory--and on a FLOYD-related record? What gives? I have absolutely no use for someone's misogynistic fantasies. Supposedly ROGER dreamed this, and I DO know a person has no control over what happens in their dreams--especially the dreams that come from the lower mind such as this one--so let me make it clear, I am NOT blaming or accusing the real-life individual in any form or fashion. But, I DO think ROGER should've used his brain before he wrote this one down and sold it.

To sum it up in one sentence: The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking is a near-complete disaster that should have never been released.

FloydWright | 2/5 |


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