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Roger Waters - Is This The Life We Really Want ? CD (album) cover

IS THIS THE LIFE WE REALLY WANT ?

Roger Waters

 

Crossover Prog

3.72 | 200 ratings

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FunkyM
4 stars Roger Waters is back with his first new solo studio album in about 25 years, Is This The Life We Really Want?

On this album, Waters incorporates the sound of classic Floyd albums such as Wish You Were Here and Animals into that of his later solo work. In my opinion, the result is probably the best Roger Waters solo album to date. Is This the Life We Really Want? sounds like the album that Waters' last Floyd record, should have been.

The album is a song cycle, typical of previous Waters works. Thematically, Waters takes aim at political and social issues (no surprises there) and it seems that in the current political climate he has found renewed vigour.

In the very Floydian sounding 'Picture That' we hear Waters trumpet the line, 'Picture a leader with no f***ing brains' and it wasn't too surprising to see that the CD booklet displays an image of the current U.S. president on the lyrics page.

Then, there is the title track which begins with a Trump sound bite shortly before we hear Waters sing, 'every time a nincompoop becomes the president'.

Waters is singing about more than just about Trump though. He addresses many of the themes he has written and sung about for the past 40 years. After a short spoken introduction, the album opens with the ballad "D'j' Vu" which begins with a simple acoustic guitar but soon opens up to orchestration. Waters sings about what he would do if he were God before symbolically shifting his perspective to that of a military drone. We then segue seamlessly into the beautiful 'The Last Refugee', which seems to be referring to the Syrian refugee crisis.

One of my favourite tracks is 'Bird in a Gale', a dark track which references the death of Alan Kurdi (the three-year-old Syrian refugee who drowned in the Mediterranean Sea while trying to escape the civil war).

There's also 'Smell the Roses', which musically sounds a bit like 'Have a Cigar' part two. This was the lead single from the album and it's easy to see why. It's perhaps the most 'classic Pink Floyd'-sounding song on the album.

The album ends with three songs that work a bit like a 10-minute suite, 'Wait for Her', 'Oceans Apart', and 'Part of Me Died'. They tell the story of a man waiting for a refugee woman and when he meets her, a part of him (metaphorically, one assumes) dies.

Overall, I think Is This the Life We Really Want? is the Roger Waters comeback we've all been waiting for. Waters recalls his past without getting lost in it and his sardonic wit is as sharp as ever. If you are a Pink Floyd fan, I would consider this album a must-listen.

Higlights: "D'j' Vu", "The Last Refugee", "Picture That", "Is This the Life We Really Want?", "Bird in a Gale", "Smell the Roses", "Part of Me Died"

FunkyM | 4/5 |

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