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Roger Waters - In the Flesh - Live CD (album) cover


Roger Waters


Crossover Prog

3.60 | 164 ratings

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RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
4 stars I've always been a big fan of Waters' contribution to Pink Floyd, so when I first saw the album in the shops I didn't hesitate to get it. Being much less familiar with Roger's solo output, the album was a good opportunity to get acquainted with some of the best examples of his work after he left Floyd. "In the Flesh" is a fine record indeed, with excellent musicianship throughout, great backing vocals (much better, in my opinion, than those on PF's "Pulse") and, above all, Roger's inimitable half-sung, half-whispered delivery. I know, having seen him live in the immortal 1980 "The Wall" show in London, that Roger's vocals are much of an acquired taste. His range is limited and there's no doubt that Gilmour's voice is the more traditionally 'beautiful' of the two. However, I think he can be extremely expressive, with his precise British diction perfect for his complex, disturbing lyrics. He doesn't sing in the way, for instance, Lake or Jon Anderson do: he interprets his songs in a way which reminds me of Peter Gabriel or the other Anderson, Ian - incidentally, both great lyricists as well.

On the first CD Waters and his band perform a selection of well-known PF tracks, including a magnificent version of the bitter, intense "Dogs" and an intriguing interpretation of the eerie "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun". The second CD features mostly songs taken from Roger's solo albums: at first I found these tracks a bit samey, even boring, at a definite disadvantage if compared with his stellar output with PF. However, they slowly grew on me, and now I appreciate them more and more with each listen, though none of them are easy listening, the lyrical content being quite dark, complex and politically-charged. Then it's PF again, with two tracks from "Dark Side of the Moon" and the immensely popular "Comfortably Numb", a great song even without Gilmour's signature guitar solos. However, the highlight of the album is reserved for the end: "Each Small Candle", a previously unreleased track inspired by the bitter war in Kossovo, which never fails to bring tears to my eyes. The lyrics are uplifting and full of hope in the better side of mankind, and the music is deeply moving as well. An essential listen.

A final mention for the three guitarists appearing on this record. Together with a veteran of the rock scene like Andy Fairweather-Low and a long-time Floyd collaborator like Snowy White (who also briefly played with Thin Lizzy!), the young but extremely gifted Doyle Bramhall II does a great job of replacing Gilmour. Overall, a very satisfying live album, warmly recommended to everyone.

Raff | 4/5 |


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