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Pink Floyd - Animals CD (album) cover

ANIMALS

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.52 | 2477 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

lazland
Prog Reviewer
5 stars I find it staggering that I have been here so long, and yet it has taken me until now to review one of the most fundamentally important albums in my collection, and, indeed, my life.

In 1977, punk rock was raging across the UK (to a lesser extent elsewhere as well), and THE band that the gobbing yoofs decided to target more than any other was The Floyd, supposedly the epitome of dinosaur rock; boring, overlong symphonic suites, and with no relevance whatsoever to life in the depressed mid 1970's. I should add as a backdrop that Britain in 1977 was not exactly a bundle of fun. The economy had stalled, unemployment was a real issue, especially for the disaffected youth, strikes abounded, and nobody seemed to have a clue as to how to address this (if this sounds familiar to the present situation, then that is because it is). Punk was the reaction against all of this.

So, what does a band of the "old guard" go and do? Well, what they release is easily the finest punk rock album of all time. Yes, that's right, a punk rock album, because, as a teenager around this time, I remember the movement and its supposed raison d'etre very well. It was supposed to rail and rant against the established order, thus providing the kids with an outlet with which to change things.

Just listen to Dogs, quite possibly Waters' finest lyrical moment amongst a crowded field. It exemplifies the bitterness that many felt (and continue to feel) against the idol, greedy, selfish classes. Content to feed off of others labours, living a life of a leech, bleeding others dry until, one day, your life crimes catch up with you, and you die of the massive stroke your indulgences and life crimes deserve, unloved, and missed by none except, possibly, close family. Heavy stuff, this track, more than any other, shaped my lifetime political views.

Pigs takes the mickey perfectly out of the ruling classes (the establishment), whilst Sheep is a direct pop at the rest of us, the "ordinary" people, for following said classes like lemmings into oblivion.

Musically, it is unrelentingly gloomy, again capturing perfectly the times. Richard Wright, although not contributing a single note in the writing, performs perfectly on the keys to cast an overall cloudy feel. Gilmour is nigh on perfect, whilst Mason provides a steady hand at the tiller.

The star, though, is Waters. His bass performance is workmanlike, but this is an album that is as important, no more so, for its words as it is for a musical performance. He was, of course, revolting against the untold riches that the success of the previous two albums had brought him and his colleagues, this going against the grain of all his personal beliefs.

At the end of it all, Waters has the sound and feel of a man who has laid himself open to the world, and tries to redeem himself - "You know that I care..... what happens to you".

Pink Floyd released many albums that were easier on the ear. You simply cannot compare this to the likes of Meddle or Wish You Were Here. However, in terms of the relevance of the band in the society in which they played, this is their definitive work. It is an extremely difficult album to enjoy, but patience rewards itself amply. For when you "get it", you realise that Waters speaks for an entire generation.

Five stars - a masterpiece of progressive, or, indeed, any other form, of rock music. Utterly essential in my opinion, and an album I will take to my dying day.

lazland | 5/5 |

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