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  • John K. Bigstraw

It is still difficult to make an assessment, but after the first listen, the initial sensation that one gives with many songs is that they are developed on ideas already exploited previously, reaching in some moments almost self-plagiarism (there are parts almost meshed to passages_cc781905-5cde- 3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_de Dogs, Pigs on the Wing, Welcome to the Machine, Sheep, Mother... etc. etc.). In that sense it is almost a return to his final stage with Pink Floyd much more evident than on his previous solo albums. Compared to "Amused to death" (in which Jeff Beck played), the first thing that is missing is the presence of electric guitar, which is conspicuous by its absence in almost all the songs (I think there is not a single only only in everything I've heard). There's quite a bit of synth and orchestral arrangements very much in the Final Cut style, but hey... it's what it is... It's Roger Waters, he released an album at the age of 73 and I like it  :) :)

  • Rosa S.

How difficult it is to digest a first listen. I have had access to listen to the album since yesterday and perhaps after more than five different listens I dare to make, let's say not an assessment, but a comment about Is This The Life We Really Want?, the new album by Roger Waters that will be published tomorrow, June 2.

At no time are we going to gut song by song, because it is something each one must do personally, since each one has a different opinion of each cause, nor do the typical cut and paste of various comments published on another page, nor give importance to lyrics or technical aspects, but simply the visceral thoughts that emerge from within me, in the musical aspect.

It took Waters 25 years to record a new album with 12 songs, except for songs like To Kill The Child, Leaving Beirut, Each Small Candle or Flickering Flame, which he has offered in drops over the years. In other words, it has been a whopping two years to write a song. He has surpassed the good old Georgie Dann who is resting for a whole year to later record once a year "masterpieces" like El Chiringuito, La Barbacoa or El Negro No Puede.

There are tracks with an uncanny resemblance to Have A Cigar or Raving and Drooling (the first version of Sheep which is included in Wish You Where Here Immersion Edition). 

And it is also Waters' most orchestral album, surpassing The Final Cut, which although recorded under the Pink Floyd name, is considered by many to be his "best" solo album.

Many will find similarities to Dogs, Wish You Where Here, The Wall, to the aforementioned The Final Cut and other albums, but of course to Amused To Death in sound effects and although in a certain way it has no resemblance, if a plot structure to Radio KAOS , because mentioning this recording there are some songs with a cut similar to Get Back To Radio and Going To Live in LA, two songs discarded for the album, but which were introduced on the B-sides of the singles.

But perhaps where Waters is most comfortable is in his facet as a singer-songwriter, which he discovered in his beginnings on songs like Granchester Meadows or If  and continued on songs like Flickering Flame .

The album practically lacks a guitar solo, so its detractors will get their teeth to vent at ease.

It should not be forgotten that Waters gives absolute importance to the lyrics, and more so in this album with a more direct attack on the Trump administration or the problems of the refugees 

In her vocal work she has surprised me, because with her worn-out voz, although of course today in studios they do wonders, she does a good job.

And well, now there will be the usual controversies, some that when someone returns to their roots like in songs like Picture That or Smell The Roses that sounds like plagiarism, like a copy, others if they show their part as a singer-songwriter, others that it is not Floyd sound, others that it is a masterpiece, others that it is a nondescript and boring short, everyone has to make their own assessment and when listening to the album, forget if it is signed by Waters, but rather listen to it in their musical value.

For me, the album must be listened to in its entirety, both musically and lyrically, and for this reason it seems like a great album after so few listens. I do not deny that, like many, I am a lover of Gilmour's guitar sound, which is completely conspicuous by its absence, but perhaps we must remember that, as David himself said, Pink Floyd is musically dead and therefore, ladies and gentlemen, we are only listening to Waters We don't want to find out more.

And as I write these lines, I keep listening to it and each time it seems to me a much better album. Déjá Vu seems to me an impressive theme.

  • Adrian Fernandez

Is this the drive that we really wanted??

Paraphrasing the title of Waters' album, I encourage to say yes. I liked it. I liked it a lot.

I have "accepted" it much easier than Gilmour's solo albums, and that I declare Gilmuriano to death!

I think that Waters has not innovated almost nothing. It sounds like his other records. Without the sublime quality of Amused, for me his best solo work, ni de The Pros, is a good continuity of Floydian atmospheres and spaces._cc781905-5cde-3b3194 -136bad5cf58d_Recognizable in its melodies, in its voice, in its effects, and of course, in its brilliant lyrics. 

Engaged. Challenging. Brave. With his usual obsessions. 

With its references to war, to powers, to death.

I admit that after so long we could expect something more, but the works of art that the 4 Floyds made together will no longer return.

I have listened to the entire album many times now, as a psychedelic fanatic, and I can say that each time I discover something more. 

Choirs, sounds, voices, machine noises, and in some songs it seems to me to be reliving great passages from The Final Cut, Animals, Wish Yoy were here...

Hay muchos moments of a return to the origins... I have spoken with more Floydians and we agree that there are songs that sound a lot like Animals or The Final Cut...

Déjà Vu is an extraordinary song. Brilliant music and lyrics... Broken Bones combines a delicious sound of acoustic guitar and strings plus keyboards. ballad. 

The other songs with those typical volume increases and with Waters squeezing the voice. I like the 1970s Floyd-heavy intro to Bird in a Gale. 

Smell the Roses  has high points too.

This opinion is not intended to be a deep analysis, much less a specialized criticism.

It may not be a masterpiece of music.

But I can say that it is another conceptual album in Waters' career that does not leave me indifferent.

That makes me want to listen... One more time... And another...

  • Toni Marchante and Javier Marchante

25 years of creative abandon putting passion in remembering the past, remembering magnanimous works, mainly his Wall, his most precious creature, spectacular tours of the wall around the world, investing resources in a spectacle of impressive image and sound. After Pink Floyd's “Final Cut”, each component made their decisions, but Roger Waters was clear that he had to follow the path marked out in the band's last two albums, the result of his tormented creative mind, after several solo albums and 25 years of returns to offer a new album, perhaps the closest to that state, we are talking about possibly the closest Waters album to Pink Floyd, even closer than “The Endless River”, the cd of leftover sessions released by the band itself in 2014.

The fact of being a consecrated guy and having belonged to one of the biggest bands of all time raises the bar and sets the bar very high considering how difficult it is to do something new and having masterpieces like " The wall", "The final cut" or "Amused to death", among many others. The age of 74 also says a lot about the ability to generate based fundamentally on experience. One of the updating elements in the sound is the work of Nigel Godrich as a producer, his experience with Radiohead has clearly served to understand and shape the sound that Roger wanted for this album.

For Waters to return with a new album after 25 years, motivation is essential. The current social and political climate provokes a reaction in someone who has always expressed his deepest feelings through music. It is there where Roger reaches his maximum compositional quality, we saw it in "The Wall" and that is perceived in a conceptual album of 12 songs of a rather acoustic cut, with soft and successful orchestration arrangements. A lot of time is spent on the sung parts, evidently due to the importance of the lyrics, the melodies being a recurring vehicle for the texts. The resource of songs based on acoustic guitar is charming, giving the work a very personal style, with very level instrumentation, probably because Roger and Nigel carry the weight of it and that is perhaps where the only black spot is found. The low emotional empowerment at specific moments, the few instrumental moments and above all, the little use of the guitar at moments where it is clearly appreciated that the song is in demand. I can't understand how Roger hasn't used Dave Kilmister on this album, the guitarist he used on his The Wall tour, who surely would have harvested impressive solos to round off this good work.

The album begins with "When we were Young", the typical Pink Floyd and Waters intro, with sounds and voices speaking; and never miss a clock! With the first song that we come across is "Déjà vu", a song that he composed previously and that he even performed live in 2014 under the title "Lay Down Jerusalem (If I Had Been God). It is one of the strong songs on the album. , so much so that it could be perfectly part of "The final cut", the orchestrations used in this song and throughout the work remind us of the Floyd's posthumous work. "The last refugee" is a very simple song with light arrangements where the the rhythm of the drums and the voice make up the important part of the song, it could remind us of "Don't leave me now". The voice stands out fundamentally, with its two very different registers, the deep voice as opposed to the high and heartbreaking one, characteristic of Roger.

“Picture that” is pure Pink Floyd, a multitude of sensations are what make lovers of this band perceive by the continuous review of the ancestral resources of the British combo with clear visits to albums like “Animals” or Wish you were here” in the longest cut of the disc. "Broken bones" is another of the great songs on the album and he already played it live in 2015 under the name "Safe and sound", it is configured within the parameters of "The final cut", making it clear that acoustic ballads are one of the strengths of this work. “Is this the life we really want” may be one of the weakest on the album, although the harmonic base is very symphonic rock. It hardly has a melody; It is almost the lyrics recited, although the reference to the Floyds still does not disappear with those double-voiced lines. Continuing, it is listening to "Bird in a gale" and the sound gives it away, absolute plagiarism of moments from "The wall" and "Animals", where Roger's voice stands out again using very familiar resources such as the echo in the voice that stays for several seconds.

– The most beautiful girl: the only song based on the piano and in 3/4, waltz style, perhaps in this cut is where Roger uses his highest tones to the voice, without reaching the levels of excellence that we can hear in the pinkfloidian “The Final Cut”. "Smell the roses" shamelessly transports us to the "Have a cigar" of "Wis you were here", it goes out of the general line of the album as it happens with "Young lust" in "The Wall", it does not clash and gives it a touch from variety to the linearity of the disk. In a song like this is where we miss a typical guitar solo that does not arrive, although yes, the choirs are a house brand. "Wait for her" is another of the jewels of this album, another ballad in which the piano plays a leading role and which is preparing the end of the album, the references to "The Wall" are very evident in the style of "When the tigers broke free ” in the interludes for an excellent chorus lacking sound intensity; a more forceful guitar sound and a higher wrap and volume on the final keyboards would have lifted it from the heavens to infinity. “Oceans apart” is an acoustic interlude that leads us to “Part of me died”, an acoustic extension of “ Wait for her” which ends in a reprise as an epilogue.

This Roger Waters album is the closest thing to Pink Floyd that we can hear today and it has many of the attractions that this band projected at the time. It is obviously not at the level of the great works, but with the current musical offer we are talking about a work that is not insignificant. Great songs and critical messages that invite us to reflection are always a common denominator in the compositions of Waters, who begins his American tour this summer, let's hope he has time to show us this new work in Europe, because despite his age, Waters loves there's rope left for a while.

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