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

THE PROS AND CONS OF HITCH HIKING

Roger Waters

 

Crossover Prog

3.05 | 347 ratings

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stefro
Prog Reviewer
2 stars Issued a year before he stormed out of Pink Floyd, this 1984 debut from Roger Waters features all the expected hallmarks - and more - of it's erstwhile creator. Developed by Waters sometime after the release of Pink Floyd's 1977 album 'Animals' and presented to the group for consideration whilst the quartet commenced sessions for new material in France, 'The Pro's & Cons Of Hitch Hiking' would ultimately be rejected by his former bandmates. Instead, they would opt to develop Waters 'Bricks In The Wall' project, which would eventually become 'The Wall'. Despite their enormous success, however, all was not well in the house of Pink Floyd during the dying days of the 1970's. 1976, of course, had brought the awful whirlwind of punk rock, the groups financial situation was, incredible as it may seem, a serious cause for concern, and most worryingly of all a nasty schism was developing between Waters and lead guitarist David Gilmour. This was manifested by some seriously egotistical behaviour from all involved, but especially so from Waters, who then started to dominate the group. After the enormous album-film-tour merry-go-round of 'The Wall' had finally been completed, an exhausted group were in pieces, with three of the four members barely on speaking terms, keyboardist Richard Wright fired, and Waters now scaling Napoleonic heights of megalomania. The final straw would come during the recording of the rightly-maligned 1982 album 'The Final Cut', an album seemingly constructed out of re-heated leftovers from 'The Wall' that simply weren't good enough for a new Pink Floyd album. Dominated, of course, by Waters, 'The Final Cut' continued the themes of war, emptiness and madness probed by Waters increasingly damaged psych on 'The Wall', only this time he was pretty much doing it alone. Sessions for the album were tense, fraught affairs often punctuated by vicious arguments, and by the end the relationship between Gilmour and Waters had completely broken down. It would take a further three years of non-activity until Waters finally walked, the incredible Pink Floyd story coming to a sorry end sometime during 1985. By this time, all four members had issued solo albums, with Gilmour's bluesy, stripped-down 1978 effort easily the best of a lacklustre bunch. Elsewhere, drummer Nick Mason - under the 'Sports' moniker - opted to produce a truly bizarre hybrid of jazz-fusion and avant-garde pop that barely got noticed, whilst keyboardist Richard Wright went all early-eighties new wave, teaming up with a trendy songwriter half his age for the now very dated 'Zee' project. So, when compared to his former colleagues efforts 'The Pro's & Cons Of Hitch Hiking' can actually look quite good, though the sad truth is that this is very much a decent album utterly overshadowed by the shrieking vocals of its supremely-talented yet mentally fragile creator. Charting 45 minutes of a very bad night for the album's protagonist(i.e. Waters), this can best be described as slickly-furrowed art- rock shot thru with a hefty dose of Waters surreal sense of self-importance. Wordy, clumsy and frustrating - but still with occasional flashes of lyrical brilliance struggling to work there way to the surface - this is an album that has to be experience several times to truly grasp; even then, however, making sense of 'The Pro's & Cons Of Hitch Hiking' remains a truly exhausting undertaking. In the end, Waters solo work will always be compared to his work with Pink Floyd, and sadly this doesn't even come close. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2013
stefro | 2/5 |

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