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Pink Floyd - The Wall CD (album) cover

THE WALL

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.05 | 1954 ratings

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Marc Baum
Prog Reviewer
4 stars - Uncomfortably numb

Ah, the famous concept-album "The Wall". The Floyd's most commercial successful effort together with Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here, but also as brilliant as these two incredible masterpieces? Well, IMO the answer is nope. That doesn't mean that The Wall is not a great album though, but it has it's flaws.

The concept behind The Wall is Roger Water's two disc meditation on the travails of a rock star, whose unhappy life causes him to build a psychological barrier between himself and the rest of the world.

The musical content contains brilliant songs, as well as some flawed ones. Most of them are short interludes between the "real" songs, which seem like filler material. The album definitely has it's flow, like any great concept album should, only that The Wall hasn't the consistence of other great concept works, like for examples, Operation: Mindcrime, Metropolis pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory, The Perfect Element, Quadrophenia, The Lamb lies down on Broadway or even American Idiot (purists may now want to hang me up on my balls, but that's the same to me). Before you are going to write me hate-letters to my private messenger mailbox, I want to say I really like The Wall. Roger Waters is a passionate, if very depressing songwriter, who threads on nagative things like war, hate, familiy/society struggles with pointful, aggressive disapprovement in his lyrics. I highly respect that, even if some listeners may have problems with the general dark tune of the music, which is immensly collaborated by the lyrics, which set the tune for the music. Like said before, in lyrical terms it ranks as one of Pink Floyd's best works, but not always musically. Highlights including the strong opening "In the Flesh?" which flows perfectly into the short but effective "The Thin Ice", the three essential "Another Brick in the Wall" parts, the emotive masterpieces "Mother", "Goodbye Blue Sky", "Hey You" and "Comfortably Numb" (co- written by David Gilmour, including one of the greatest guitar solos ever), the underrated "Is there Anybody out There", the beautiful piano piece "Nobody Home", the aggressive rock'n'roll vibe of "Young Lust", the dance-compatible "Run Like Hell" with it's amazing guitar work by Dave Gilmour and the fitting closer of CD 1, "Goodbye cruel world". The double album seems like a rendez-vouz, where meets light and darkness. There are also dull pieces like the mostly awful "Don't leave me now" (the only good thing about it is the guitar solo at the end), the annoying "Bring the Boys back Home", the Beach Boys-alike but pretty uninspired "The Show must go on", the annoyingly strange "Waiting for the worms" (which has a good guitar work though) and the misplaced "The Trial", which is not that bad but would be better fit on a Gabriel-era Genesis album, specially The Lamb lies down on Broadway.

By some (Roger Waters) fans considered as Pink Floyd's biggest or even finest hour, or by some press-people called the best concept album of all time, I must say it's great, but could have be done better. Without a doubt highly influential and it's essential to any PF fan and progressive rock lover, alone for the highlights this release includes. But if it's truely a masterpiece, then a flawed one. I prefer the criminally underrated The Final Cut (The Wall part 3?), which I find more consistent and doesn't scream "hype" at all.

album rating: 8.5/10 points = 85 % on MPV scale = 4/5 stars

point-system: 0 - 3 points = 1 star / 3.5 - 5.5 points = 2 stars / 6 - 7 points = 3 stars / 7.5 - 8.5 points = 4 stars / 9 - 10 points = 5 stars

Marc Baum | 4/5 |

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