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CD REVIEW: ROGER WATERS – Is This The Life We Really Want?

CD REVIEW: ROGER WATERS – Is This The Life We Really Want?
Sony
June 2017
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
9/10

Never one to write anything so facile as a silly love song, Roger Waters’ first new solo album in 24 years is a bile-laden tirade against all that is wrong with our modern world – and that is a lot. It may also be his finest – and most Floydian – solo album yet.

Enlisting Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich was a meister-stroke: his lush and layered sonics (he’s credited with, amongst other things, “sound collages”) evoking all we love about Pink Floyd, and giving Waters’ musings on the impossible tumult of modern life genuine character and soul.

Waters opens the opus musing on aging in Déjà vu, declaring “if I had been god, I would’ve arranged the veins in the face to make them more resilient to alcohol and less prone to aging.” It’s a strangely vain opening gambit from the man responsible for some of the most thoughtful musical conceptual pieces of all time, but he quickly makes his point: “If I had been given the nod, I believe I could have done a better job.”

Life in this redacted, reality TV staring, celebrity coveting, corrupt, money worshipping, terrorism infused, planet-raping modern world isn’t easy for any of us, but most of us can’t put that anywhere near as eloquently as Roger Waters.

He paints an accurately bleak portrait of a world which has lost its way, but this isn’t a dead end: Waters clearly signposts the way forwards throughout the record. “Wake up,” he implores us. “Do not listen to their bullshit and lies.”

It’s a fitting rebellion from the man who once likened being a singer in a rock and roll band to being a fascist dictator.

Waters’ point barely needs spelling out, but in such scary, uncertain, troubling times – times where “a nincompoop becomes President,” times where people are more concerned with their Facebook profile picture than with election rigging, corporate manipulations and systematic political abuse of the population around the world – this isn’t just a thoughtful, intelligent piece of social and political commentary, it is an important, even essential one, and as powerful a protest album as we’ve heard in many years.

 

 

CD REVIEW: ROGER WATERS – Is This The Life We Really Want?

Filed Under: CD Reviews

About the Author: Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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