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I shudder to think that Pink Floyd could have made this instead of "The Wall" if Roger Waters had originally had his way. Fortunately he had to wait until their virtual break-up before recording this ridiculously indulgent wibble as a solo album. It's concept is an actual dream in which the protagonist picks up a hitchhiker in Germany, followed by much sleazy sex, and eventually a move to a rural farming lifestyle, but at each turn their life goes sour. In the end he wakes up from the nightmare and sees his life in a new light. The tracks are even explicitly titled with the corresponding nocturnal times.
The music is mostly just as vacuous as the story. It basically has one tune, repeated ad nauseam. The numerous sexual innuendos are often accompanied, extremely cheesily, by a musical "pelvic thrust". Roger's vocals are at their most histrionic and jarring. It's accompanied most of the way through by some bluesy guitar licks from Eric Clapton, who most notably lets loose on "Sexual Revolution", and a sleazy sax here and there. The sound is filled out by orchestral arrangements, in a similar style to "The Final Cut". We've got to wait all the way until the end for the only two decent songs here. The angular, bluesy title track has a nice hook and a childish dig at Yoko Ono. But the song that really stands out is the tender ballad "Every Stranger's Eyes", with a powerful tune and some tasteful, well-written lyrics.
Get "Amused to Death" instead, or Pink Floyd's "The Final Cut" for a taste of the quality Roger Waters is really capable of.
May 3, 2004