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Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) - When The Wind Blows CD (album) cover

WHEN THE WIND BLOWS

Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)

 

Various Genres

2.49 | 19 ratings

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Joolz
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars The animated film When The Wind Blows is a desperately bleak, but darkly whimsical, tale of an old couple coming to terms - or rather, failing to come to terms - with a nuclear war, written by Raymond Briggs who is best remembered for writing The Snowman. There are only 2 characters - husband and wife - voiced by Peggy Ashcroft and John Mills who build a shelter by propping a door against a wall, all done in accordance with the pitiful instructions provided by their government. It is a brilliant film, but a difficult one.

This, the soundtrack album to the film, is defined in PA under the name of Roger Waters who was commissioned to provide the score, presumably because the subject matter is right up his street, but the first 5 tracks were nothing to do with him, nor indeed had 4 of them anything to do with the film itself - the title track, sung by David Bowie, was played out over the film's end credits, but the others do not appear at all! It doesn't help that none of these songs are particularly memorable. Track 6 onwards represents Roger's material, but sadly most of it is musical sound collages designed to complement specific passages in the film. Such are Attack and Fallout which are his musical interpretations of the nuclear attack and its consequences: neither make much sense outside of the context of the film.

Aside from one or two very short sound effects tracks, we are left with just 2½ songs. Towers Of Faith is a fairly typical late period slow-paced Waters song, very wordy ("oh the lonely boys in their towers of faith") and performed in his stylised impassioned sing-speak. Clare 'Great Gig In The Sky' Torry assists with the vocals and Jay Stapley provides some nice guitar work. The whole effect reminds me of his recent Leaving Beirut song. For Hilda's Dream - a short acoustic guitar passage backed by some gentle strings - we find Roger re-hashing an old tune, in this case the intro to Brain Damage. He later returns to the same theme and expands it into the full song Folded Flags, another instantly identifiable Roger Waters post- Pink Floyd song, complete with his trade-mark melancholy and bleak outlook. The main song is sung quietly to a mainly acoustic guitar backing, but the full band jumps in halfway through before sinking back to end quietly and sombrely.

So, we have 2 good Waters songs and a lot of forgettable filler. Fans and collectors will want those songs, so I shall award the album 2 stars, but only just.

Joolz | 2/5 |

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