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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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lazland
Prog Reviewer
4 stars When the first original Roger Waters rock album in 25 years was released this year, I was contacted by two colleagues working in the same government department as me.

The first is a big jazz and rock fan, but also a person with principled (left wing) political views. He absolutely raved about the album, saying it was the best thing he had heard for years.

The other is a big prog rock fan with absolutely no political views whatsoever, saving that all politicians are a bunch of shysters best ignored. He hates this album, which he denounces as basically Waters ranting about the same "bloody things he's ranted about for 40 years, now".

Well, that is a measure of just how Waters splits opinion, and, in a way, both of my colleagues are right. If you appreciate a bit of Trump bashing, raging against the inequities of the world and how, if you were God, you would change it all, then this is the album for you. If you don't appreciate such things, and the somewhat hectoring tomes of Waters get on your pips, and detract from the music, it is probably best to steer clear.

Most of us, though, sit somewhere in the middle, and, certainly, long-term Floyd fans must by now be used to Waters' lyrical style. Much of Animals, now 40 years old, influenced (and continues to do so) my personal political views, and, to be fair, old Rog is correct ? the world is in a wee bit of a state.

Musically, much of this album is very reminiscent of Floyd in a way previous works were not. Picture That, for example, sounds as if it has been lifted directly from studio outtakes of Animals, and tarted up technologically. Indeed, the keyboards are an eerie echo of Richard Wright.

The entire work sounds utterly lush, and credit is due to Nigel Godrich, the knobs man. He has produced a wonderful soundscape canvas for Waters to play and speak upon, and it is here that I feel is the most crucial point about the album. Waters is Waters, and his politics are his politics, but the man is responsible for some of the most important rock music of the 20th century, and whilst this album certainly does not touch those heights, it still ain't half bad for someone the wrong side of 70 years old.

I will rate this album as excellent, four stars. I will not dip into it as often as I still do with Amused to Death, but, as swansongs go, this will do rather nicely.

lazland | 4/5 |

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