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Roger Waters - The Pros And Cons Of Hitch Hiking CD (album) cover


Roger Waters


Crossover Prog

3.04 | 331 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars The pros and (mainly) cons of leaving Pink Floyd

While "The pros and cons of Hitchhiking" was nominally Waters first solo album, "The wall" and "The final cut" were of course very much his babies. Even prior to that, along with the other members of Pink Floyd, he had enjoyed a lengthy solo spot on the "Ummagumma" album.

At the time of its release, this album generated a certain amount of controversy (and continues to do so), with many considering it politically insensitive, mainly in terms of the lyrics but also the sleeve illustration. Waters of course maintains that they misunderstand the message.

The album titles take us in real time from 4:30am through to around 5:15am, each track having a narrative sub-title. The line up of musicians is impressive to the point of indulgence, including as it does such luminaries as Eric Clapton, Andy Bown and the National Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition to this, we have a list of "actors" which includes Water playing the part of "a man".

At times it is hard to distinguish this album from "The wall", "4:37 - Arabs with knives. . ." even including the accented "stand still laddie" type shouting. This is perhaps forgivable, as "The pros and cons.. " was written around the same time as "The wall", Pink Floyd choosing to record the latter when given the option.

While there is a certain appeal to the music here, for me it is far too one dimensional. Each song seems to take on the same doomy character, with Waters ranting on remorselessly. The verbosity of the lyric sheet makes it clear that this is not to be an album with lengthy instrumental breaks, and indeed we find ourselves listening to Waters voice virtually from beginning to end. Eric Clapton does his best to infuse some interesting guitar work, but for me even this is of dubious merit. Clapton's guitar prowess is beyond question, but his cold bluesy style does not fit well with Waters compositions, which cry out for the warm emotion of David Gilmour's style.

Above all though, what the album really needs is a "Money" or "One of these days" to liven things up. Even something along the lines of "Another brick in the wall" would break the tedium.

It is a pity really, as this could have been a good album. Had Pink Floyd decided to take this Waters creation on and been permitted to develop it democratically, perhaps we would be hailing this as another bright star in their catalogue. As it is, I hesitate to recommend this to anyone other than devoted fans of Waters. Even then, I would suggest listening to no more than two or three tracks at a time.

Easy Livin | 2/5 |


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