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Pink Floyd - Animals CD (album) cover

ANIMALS

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.52 | 2621 ratings

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NetsNJFan
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Roger Water's lyrical masterpiece, ANIMALS, is also Pink Floyd's most progressive work, and the least accessible of their commercially golden period (1973-1979). It also has some of their best guitar work, courtesy of David Gilmour, and Water's best (read: insane) lyrics to date. It is clear that by this point Water's had rested creative control from the band, as he handles all of the songwriting and vocals, formerly shared between the band mates. ANIMALS is Pink Floyd's most depressing work, but is not as creepy as Water's 1979 rock opera THE WALL or as monotonous as 1983's THE FINAL CUT. While DARK SIDE OF THE MOON is Pink Floyd's twenty-five time platinum chartbuster, ANIMALS in it's methodical way remains their greatest work. ANIMALS is as bleak and depressing as the coal-power plant on its cover, and makes the listener feel this way too. It continues the themes of depression, isolation and paranoia prevalent on DARK SIDE OF THE MOON (1973) and WISH YOU WERE HERE (1975), but is an abrupt departure from the warm sentiments expressed on WISH YOU WERE HERE. One could definitely describe this album as remote and cold. It is Orwellian in nature, and recalls Orwell's "Animal Farm" directly. It classifies humanity into three groups, Dogs, Pigs and Sheep. The Dogs are the henchmen and enforcers of the ruling pigs, who in turn oppress the meek Sheep.

It is bracketed by two light acoustic pieces Pigs on the Wing, Part 1 and Pigs on the Wing, Part 2. These are the only warm tracks on the album, and have only acoustic guitar and reassuring vocals. This safety soon ends with the harsh electric guitar, and harsher lyrics of the seventeen minute long suite, Dogs. This is one of the group's strongest tracks, and has their best lyrics ever. Dogs is fantastic, with an amazing vocal crescendo at the end. This song is written about the "Dog Eat Dog" business world, has lyrics to give firepower to its message. The song also has an interesting audio clip of a dog howling into a vocoder. Just one of Pink Floyd's countless auditory special effects. Pigs (Three Different Ones) is also exceptional, but is the weaker of the three extended pieces. Remember, it is only weak when compared to the other great songs here. It is typical Floyd, and has heavy guitar, distorted vocals, and heavy soloing. In this track Water's insults British Politicians, like Mary Whitehouse, a notorious censor. The brilliant song Sheep opens with Richard Wright's keyboards setting the mood, and quickly explodes into Floyd pandemonium. Again, we see exceptional playing and lyrics. Sheep is also a bit brighter than its album counterparts, as it ends with the oppressed masses rising up and liberating themselves from the Pigs and Dogs. It also features a very catchy synthesized coda. One complaint against this album is it is very guitar-dominated. Wright's keyboards play small roles, but when they do, they are usually good. Water's was growing increasingly irritated with Wright, culminating in his ouster from the band in 1979 by Water's. The Album closes with Pigs on the Wing again, which puts the listener back in the calm mood he started with and eases him out of the fright fest known as a Pink Floyd album.

The seeds of discontent were being sown at this time within the band, and their subsequent output is much weaker. Water's made himself band dictator, and the music later suffers for it (see THE FINAL CUT). Nonetheless, this is a very strong album and gets 5 stars as Pink Floyd's best work, easily contending with the slick DARK SIDE OF THE MOON and spacey WYWH.

NetsNJFan | 5/5 |

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