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Pink Floyd - The Final Cut CD (album) cover

THE FINAL CUT

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.17 | 1184 ratings

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tdfloyd
4 stars Pink Floyd's The Final Cut rates right up there with Yes' Tales From Topographic Oceans as the album that is most divisive among their respective fan bases. A long lost friend of mine said at the time that it was a masterpiece and the best thing that PF ever did. Another friend from back in the day felt it was a boring piece of garbage unworthy of the famed Pink Floyd. Obviously it can't be both, or can it?

The Final Cut is an extension of The Wall with some of the tracks even being leftovers from the famed set. Gone is keyboardist Richard Wright, who was fired during The Wall sessions but he stayed on as a paid session musician. Most fans did not know he was gone until they read the credits to TFC. So to expect this album to have any of the spaciness or even atmospheric textures of past triumphs was misguided.

The end had been coming for a while as Waters had assumed more and more influence over the band in the past couple of albums. There are no writing credits from Nick Mason or Richard Wright since Wish You Were Here, and only a few David Gilmour credits interspersed throughout. Gilmour chafed at the constant fight to get his work recorded.

What we do have is an album with sparse orchestration largely replacing the band while featuring a man who has a ton of bile, pain and loss in his soul. Roger Waters has a story to tell and he is going to tell it even if it cost him his band. One look at the credits displays Waters in total control.

The Final Cut tackles subjects such as World War II and the death of his father, the Falklands War, Maggie Thatcher and a wide range of "tyrants and kings". He also talks about loss of soldiers lives, the effects on the lives of others and suicide. It makes The Wall almost seem like light reading.

Waters handles all of the vocals except "Not Now John", which he shares with Gilmour. The style he mostly employs is mostly spoken / sung and a low volume and then hitting you hard with loud passages. Waters voice is in fine form. Musically, it is also very quiet and then very loud. Gilmour's guitar is not present very often but when it is he displays is top notch playing. The production is pristine as always but I feel it is even a step above the usual Floyd sound. There is also a ton sound effects and Musique Concrete throughout.

Standout tracks are the title track, "Your Possible Pasts", "The Hero's Return", "The Fletcher Memorial Home", and "Two Suns in the Sunset". The last track has Nick Mason replaced on drums and describes the horror at the thought of a nuclear explosion. Not a light moment to finish off a decidedly different album.

This is definitely not the place to start with Pink Floyd and I can see where fans who are more into rock music rocking instead of very deep, personal, biting dark album would not welcome this. Personally, I feel that there is no album like it anywhere and when in the proper mood, it can really hit home.

4 stars.

PS - The remastered version contains "When the Tigers Broke Free" as the 4th track on the album. Its original appearance was in The Wall movie.

tdfloyd | 4/5 |

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