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Roger Waters - Radio K.A.O.S. CD (album) cover


Roger Waters


Crossover Prog

2.98 | 279 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars I was very torn between giving this album 3 or 4 stars...especially since I rated Amused to Death--which I despise--with 3 stars. Unfortunately, I just don't know how to justify a 4-star rating for this one, because there just isn't enough to qualify it as completely prog, or even as high quality music. While in sound effects there was clearly a lot of work, this is more like "Bob Dylan-meets-prog-meets-I Love the 80s". So as you read ahead, try to consider this one a 3.5 instead.

There's simply no way around it...the music is 80s pop. There are no out-of-the- ordinary chord structures, and if you are at all offended by the 80s sound, this is not for you. However, I must compliment the guitar work of SNOWY WHITE, the same guitarist from RICK WRIGHT's first solo album Wet Dream, because it is just as pleasant as always to listen to. I should also note that Clare Torry of "Great Gig in the Sky" fame makes an appearance on this album, although she doesn't play a central role. No songs stick out as horrible, if you are OK with the 80s, and some are actually fairly memorable to me: most notably the final triad, "Home", "Four Minutes", and "The Tide is Turning".

The concept is definitely cheesy, and better described by the liner notes and prior reviewers, but no sillier than anything AYREON has written lately. But if you can live with that, it does offer something never before seen (and never seen again!) on any ROGER WATERS work: a hopeful ending. One drawback, however, is that some songs were cut from the album and performed in concert only (most notably "Living in LA", which I really like), that could have made the concept easier to understand--they flesh out things that are in the liner notes but don't appear in the final version of the album. If you can track down a copy of that song, I think you should.

Radio KAOS is also highly political, just like Amused to Death after it, but the comments aren't quite as bitter,'s only the second time around for this set of complaints. After this it gets old. But here, it still works out OK. Plus, given that Radio KAOS was recorded in 1987, I think that distance from the events in question can help too soften any hard feelings about what he's saying. Like The Final Cut before it, this can be treated as something of a historical artifact.

I would not recommend this album to someone who is not already a serious fan of PINK FLOYD and doesn't enjoy the ROGER WATERS-dominated works by the band. However, if that's your cup of tea, I suggest getting Radio KAOS...and stopping there. Once you've heard this and The Final Cut, you don't really need any more unless you're an audiophile, in which case I'd suggest Amused to Death as well.

FloydWright | 3/5 |


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