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Pink Floyd - The Wall CD (album) cover

THE WALL

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.05 | 2016 ratings

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Warthur
Prog Reviewer
1 stars Pink Floyd's most theatrical album is a masterpiece... of cynical emotional manipulation, privileged self-pity, style over substance and mistaking daft tricks and gimmicks for genuine depth and intelligence.

Recorded during a period relationships within the band were going sour - and produced by Bob Ezrin, whose treatment by Roger Waters during the recording process was shameful - the album is Roger's exploration of the emotional barriers he had realised he was raising between himself and the audience on the In the Flesh Tour supporting the Animals album. His conclusion? He's an emotionally fragile and tortured soul who needs to bare his psychological scars to reconnect with people! Interesting idea in theory, though Waters' progressive isolation from his bandmates during the recording and over the ensuing years rather suggests that Waters didn't really put his own advice into practice - or if he did, it didn't exactly work out as planned.

The fact is that the album's concept is an infuriating pity-poor-me piece by an overprivileged rock star who uses the album to air grievances which might have better been addressed in a psychiatrist's office, coupled with lazy references to Syd Barrett which drive me up the wall - fine, the allusions on Dark Side of the Moon were appropriate in context and Shine On You Crazy Diamond was a decent tribute, but continuing to wheel out the ghost of Old Pink makes me doubt Waters' commitment to letting Syd rest in obscurity. If Waters were really committed to Barrett's privacy, he wouldn't have continually used the image of Barrett in such a way.

Musically speaking, the album one of the most turgid and lifeless collections of indulgent but contentless classic rock tunes ever assembled, the band gambling on listeners mistaking sound samples and overbearing production for actual musical depth - and people fell for it hook, line and sinker. What decent musical and conceptual ideas are present on the album had already been presented better and more succinctly on Animals, or would be explored with a bit more nuance and depth on The Final Cut, leaving The Wall itself monumentally redundant except as a gravestone for the friendship between Waters and his bandmates. An ugly album from an ugly era.

Warthur | 1/5 |

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