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Pink Floyd - Animals CD (album) cover

ANIMALS

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.52 | 3624 ratings

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CVoss
5 stars Oh, yes. One hell of an album. Animals is probably the hardest Pink Floyd album (more David Gilmour than ever on the instrumental perspective), but it actually sounds much sharper than the majority of their works. Pink Floyd took this socio-political turn with Animals over 25 years ago, attacking with a zeal and anger that the group had never displayed before-or they were apparently waiting to show it. In only five tracks they pack a powerful punch that I am still waiting to see equaled. Bassist Roger Waters truly emerged as Floyd's premier songwriter by writing absolutely everything, and for good reasons (besides his growing ego, which would later lead to the disintegration after The Final Cut). I will admit that the man is a creative genius; he takes concepts and morphs them in such a way that creates a motion that stirs up the imagination. His voice is also similar to that of the brink of insanity, and I love it. Besides, his bass lines are underrated throughout. Still, he can't do it without the rest of 'em. Guitarist Gilmour is the true musical force here, running on all cylinders as the album rolls on. Drummer Nick Mason is continually steady, and he knows just how hard to hit the set (and it's hard). Keyboard player Richard Wright does not "exist" as much as previous albums, but his playing sets the tone for the three epic tracks here, especially during the break in "Dogs" (read on).

The two short "Pigs on the Wing" tracks, used as the album's bookends, are bittersweet, a message that I convey as telling us to watch out for ourselves. It's simply vocals and acoustics here. Truth is that he wrote those for his then-wife Carolyn, so I guess we can call these love songs. Then we go deep inside. There's "Dogs," co-written by Gilmour, a 17-minute tune featuring grinding acoustics mixed with great electric solos and vocals by both Gilmour and Waters that pinch the nerves, especially Waters' deliverance at the very end. The breaks feature barking dogs to enhance the music. The song itself defines the dogs as greedy mongers who won't survive if they are "dragged down by the stone." "Pigs (Three Different Ones) has a different eerie nature to it. I hear it in the keyboards and the opening bass most of all, and it goes on for 11 minutes. The pigs are mirages; they are upper-class stiffs who are "charades", as Waters uses incremental repetition to make his point. Gilmour is great yet again, especially during the ending solo. The animal effects are back, and Waters' vocal is the craziest part of all when he talks into a box. That's only a preview compared to what's next. We come to "Sheep", the 'shortest' at just over ten minutes, but the greatest one here, and one of the greatest Floyd songs ever. The sheep are the followers being slaughtered by the dogs and pigs above them. The entire band goes crazy with a nihilistic and rather psychotic drive, warping everything there is. Waters sounds like he ought to be committed, and he lets out a primal scream-laugh in the last verse to prove it (just had to throw it in-it was cool). His bass lines, combined with Wright's keyboard intro, set the tone for the song; it begins with sheep grazing, and then we go into overdrive. Gilmour screeches on the guitar, sounding so coarse but so good, and Mason bangs the drums like there is no tomorrow. They WERE angry, weren't they. I was especially creeped at the part where the sheep rise up and finally get revenge, and I actually imagined such a mass and bloody rebellion (let alone Waters' evil scream and laughter in the last verse). The end is the clincher, fading out with a crunching guitar-laden section repeated about four times. Then its back to the meadow, and back to the end, looking for a 'shelter from pigs on the wing.'

Animals is still excellent, as the band just goes completely goes to another end. It, well, it rocks harder than any of their albums. Too bad The Wall was their last great stand with Waters. That's why it is high on my list. Again, just one hell of an album.

CVoss | 5/5 |

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