Roger Waters: Is This Really the Life We Want? (Sony)

 |   |  1 min read

Picture That
Roger Waters: Is This Really the Life We Want? (Sony)

Elsewhere is of the unwavering opinion that most of Roger Waters' recorded output and ideas – most notably Pink Floyd's The Wall, a demandingly bleak and pretentious concept album – are more an endurance test or aural torture than they are insightful music.

Yes, we know that The Wall is HUGE and popular, and knowing that we try sometimes to have another go at it, but to no avail.

Waters remains the arch pessimist if not professional miserablist here on yet another concept album for these awful days of refugee children drowned in the Med, the failure of the Gods we created and so on.

Oh, and of course Mr Trump. And again some parental issues and sort of God Complex stuff.

There are terrible things out there in the world these days but to say you find this album a grim journey doesn't mean you are unsympathetic to the plight of the oppressed or don't get the complexities of this dysfunctional world.

It just means that these frequently tuneless, often familiar sounding songs – all those descending minor chords and stentorian, declamatory lyrics – are tedious, portentously grim and a struggle to get through.

Even the song Smell the Roses comes off as all Animals-era doom (“there's nothing but screams in the field of dreams”) and so on. In Waters' misanthropic worldview the roses are poisoned, if not poison.

The politics may be right on if pretty damn obvious, but as an album this one's gravitas is propped up by orchestration, samples from radio and sweeping effects. And by about halfway through you feel you are being lectured to once more by Waters who seems so locked into his own moroseness and superiority as a commentator that he can't hear how damnably dull this is.

A blunt instrument can inflict a lot of damage, but it is always just a blunt instrument.

And this album is certainly that.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Lord Echo: Harmonies (Soundway/The Label)

Lord Echo: Harmonies (Soundway/The Label)

One of the more shamelessly enjoyable acts at the recent Womad was Lord Echo (aka Wellington producer/multi-instrumentalist Mike Fabulous) and his band. Their astute melting pot of many... > Read more

Pink Martini: Splendor in the Grass (Inertia/Border)

Pink Martini: Splendor in the Grass (Inertia/Border)

The soundtrack for a sophisticated, cocktail-sipping summer afternoon starts here with the classy amalgam of pop and classical by the ensemble out of Portland, Oregon lead by pianist Thomas... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Vij's marinated lamb popsicles

Vij's marinated lamb popsicles

I cannot tell a lie, the Vikram Vij who owns Vancouver's famous Vij's restaurant didn't give me this recipe himself. But it was published in the newspaper when I was there so I guess it is now... > Read more

Charles Mingus: Thirteen Pictures, The Charles Mingus Anthology (1993)

Charles Mingus: Thirteen Pictures, The Charles Mingus Anthology (1993)

Like Duke Ellington -- with whom he is most frequently (and fairly) compared for the vastness, depth and diversity of his recordings -- no single album could stand as emblematic of Charles... > Read more