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Pink Floyd - Animals CD (album) cover

ANIMALS

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.52 | 2456 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars It was only recently that in my restless prog mind I finally decided that this is my fave PF album ever, after so many years of giving it silver or bronze status. Following in the trend of stylish, lush symphonic-oriented psychedelia that had been gloriously laid down by their DSOTM and WYWH albums, the major asset in favor of "Animals" is the return of a rocking edge that had been somewhat subdued after the release of 1971's "Meddle". In the three main tracks the listener can find the perfect confluence of hard sounding guitar parts played by Gilmour, and the multiple layers and colours brought in by Wright's keyboards. These two sonic sources are heavily featured in unison, in this way creating a solid musical nucleus for each one of those tracks. Meanwhile, Waters and Mason are evidently trying to keep up with their partner's renewed sense of energy, and they manage to do so in an impressive manner. The album's conceptual link is based on a bleak overall look at the three species of the human race in the modern culture, each one more abject than the other: the greedy elite of finance top bosses and promising status seekers (the Dogs); the wily powers- that-be (the Pigs); and the meek, oppressed, oblivious majorities who are also accomplices for their own victimization (the Sheep). The articulation of this unpleasant neighborhood is founded on an Orwellian scheme that dehumanizes human beings and turns them into mere cogs of a monstrous machinery. So, the appearance of the vocoder in 'Dogs' (the delirious barking during the spacey interlude) and 'Sheep' (the oppressed man's credo) helps to illustrate musically this particular point. Waters, as the main writer (of all lyrics and most of the music) puts himself on an "objective" location, as a lucid outsider who depicts the ways of the world - that's why the acoustic intro 'Pings on the Wing (Part 1)' conveys such an air of intimacy and complicity. Then comes the first epic, 'Dogs', which pretty much sums up the overall essence of the album. Gilmour shines brightly as a diamond, creating lots of varied tenures on his guitar harmonies, riffs and solos: he is clearly enjoying his creative freedom within the confines of the well structured musical ideas comprised in this epic. The interlude gives Wright some wide room to assume the leading role for a while: his synths create an almost cinematographic ambience, which suits the inherent drama. Due to the fact that is more obviously blues-rock centered, 'Pigs' turns out to be the most conventional number in the album, but it doesn't mean that it's dull or boring, just less challenging: but Gilmour's talk box guitar middle solo and ultra-aggressive final solo are nothing to be missed. My favorite track is the last epic: 'Sheep', when compared to 'Dogs', is equally brilliant in terms of arranging and performing, but superior in terms of power and musical magic. The interplay among all four Floyd members is the most cohesive in the album, and the diverse successive sections constitute a fluid amalgam right up until the climatic closing motif goes fading out among the noises of sheep bleating. It's happened to me more than once: feeling captivated by the fury exposed by the instrumentation and the lyrics, I ended up hating those noisy animals. Waters' hopeless message hides a clear message: its subtext is a call to conscience that is to be understood and developed by the listener. But meanwhile, the deceitfully calm cynicism of the acoustic intro is reprised by the closure 'Pigs on the Wing (Part 2)'. The way I see it, this album's main purpose on a conceptual level is to plant a seed of discomfort in the listener's soul: now, it's up to them to leave it as a mere complaint, or to take it to the next level and grow a plant of clever criticism in their heart. On an artistic level, this is simply one hell of a PF masterpiece.
Cesar Inca | 5/5 |

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