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ROGER WATERS

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


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Roger Waters biography
George Roger Waters, born 6 September 1943 in Great Bookham, Cambridge, UK

Roger WATERS' musical career took off when he joined the band PINK FLOYD in 1965 along with highschool friend SYD BARRETT. After BARRETT's drug problems got him kicked out of the band, WATERS became the primary creative force, and thanks to such inspirations as his father who died in World War 2 before they could ever meet, his strongly left wing political views, and his ex-bandmate BARRETT, he went on to compose such masterwork concept albums as "Dark Side of the Moon", "Wish You Were Here", "Animals" and "The Wall" during his time with the band. However, by 1983 when the band completed "The Final Cut", he had taken total control, and guitarist David GILMOUR wasn't going to take it. The two began to fight feverishly, eventually resulting in WATERS quitting the band thinking they could never go on without him. They did however, leaving him to his own solo career. Roger's solo music bares striking resemblance to the final few albums he did with PINK FLOYD, in that it is very dark and driven by a concept. Any fans of "The Wall" or "The Final Cut" would do well to give his solo work a listen.

Roger's solo career actually dates back to 1970 when he worked with avant-garde composer Ron Geesin on the soundtrack to the film "The Body". His first real solo album came in 1985 with the brilliant "Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking" though. This is an essencial album for fans of his later work with PINK FLOYD, although some may find it a bit boring and overly personal (it's based on a dream he had, and touches on almost all of his typical themes in his lyrics). In 1987 he contributed music to the film "When the Wind Blows", and also created another concept album in "Radio K.A.O.S.". This is the least essencial of his solo albums, and is really plagued by the horrible 80s sound that was dominating music at the time. That said, it still has some bright spots, and is by no means a weak album. His next solo work didn't come until 1992's "Amused To Death". Many consider this his best, and it is without question his most political album ever. None of these are particularlily accessible, so it couldn't hurt to just go from the beginning and start with "The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking" if interested in his work, though you can't go wrong with "Amused To Death" either (that is, if you agree...
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Is This The Life We Really Want?Is This The Life We Really Want?
Explicit Lyrics
Columbia 2017
Audio CD$9.89
$6.16 (used)
The Pros And Cons Of Hitch HikingThe Pros And Cons Of Hitch Hiking
SBME SPECIAL MKTS. 2008
Audio CD$4.87
$4.86 (used)
Roger Waters - In the Flesh (Live)Roger Waters - In the Flesh (Live)
Multiple Formats · Anamorphic
Sony Legacy 2001
DVD$8.80
$1.80 (used)
Radio K.A.O.S.Radio K.A.O.S.
SBME SPECIAL MKTS. 2011
Audio CD$4.85
$4.84 (used)
Amused to DeathAmused to Death
Box set
Sony Legacy 2015
Audio CD$14.91
$8.58 (used)
The Wall: Live In Berlin [2 CD Remastered]The Wall: Live In Berlin [2 CD Remastered]
Remastered
Mercury 2003
Audio CD$16.16
$9.76 (used)
In the Flesh: LiveIn the Flesh: Live
Columbia 2000
Audio CD$14.72
$8.67 (used)
Roger Waters The WallRoger Waters The Wall
Sony Legacy 2015
Audio CD$9.62
$7.97 (used)
Wall-Live in Berlin-Special EditionWall-Live in Berlin-Special Edition
Multiple Formats · Import
Imports 2008
DVD$9.49
$9.48 (used)
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ROGER WATERS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

ROGER WATERS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.87 | 110 ratings
Roger Waters & Ron Geesin: Music From The Body (OST)
1970
3.03 | 311 ratings
The Pros And Cons Of Hitch Hiking
1984
2.97 | 238 ratings
Radio K.A.O.S.
1987
3.95 | 429 ratings
Amused To Death
1992
3.40 | 105 ratings
Ça Ira
2005
3.74 | 144 ratings
Is This The Life We Really Want ?
2017

ROGER WATERS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.24 | 104 ratings
The Wall - Live in Berlin
1990
3.59 | 147 ratings
In the Flesh - Live
2000
3.71 | 29 ratings
The Wall (The Soundtrack From A Film by Roger Waters and Sean Evans)
2015

ROGER WATERS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.15 | 66 ratings
The Wall Live in Berlin
1990
2.81 | 12 ratings
What God Wants, Part I (VHS)
1992
4.30 | 141 ratings
In The Flesh (DVD)
2001
4.28 | 30 ratings
The Wall (A Film by Roger Waters and Sean Evans)
2015

ROGER WATERS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.57 | 47 ratings
Flickering Flame - The Solo Years 1
2002
3.52 | 14 ratings
The Roger Waters Collection (7CD + DVD)
2011

ROGER WATERS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 2 ratings
Every Strangers Eyes
1984
1.00 | 1 ratings
The Pros And Cons Of Hitch Hiking
1984
4.00 | 4 ratings
The Tide Is Turning (After Live Aid)
1987
3.00 | 1 ratings
Who Needs Information
1987
3.00 | 1 ratings
Sunset Strip
1987
2.15 | 16 ratings
Radio Waves (EP)
1987
2.17 | 5 ratings
The Wall - Berlin '90 - Commemorative EP
1990
4.50 | 8 ratings
What God Wants, Part I
1992
4.22 | 9 ratings
The Bravery Of Being Out Of Range
1992
4.71 | 7 ratings
Three Wishes
1992
3.28 | 33 ratings
To Kill the Child / Leaving Beirut
2004
4.00 | 5 ratings
Hello (I Love You)
2007
2.00 | 1 ratings
We Shall Overcome
2010
3.93 | 14 ratings
Smell the Roses
2017

ROGER WATERS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Is This The Life We Really Want ? by WATERS, ROGER album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.74 | 144 ratings

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Is This The Life We Really Want ?
Roger Waters Crossover Prog

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions Team

4 stars Weird to think that after 25 years I'm listening to a new Roger Waters record. Strange to also imagine that this is the best record I've heard so far in 2017... and it's almost the end of the year.

Well, odd in parts, I've always considered Waters' solo work of high quality, and I pretty much love all of his solo records, so the surprise is simply because it happened unexpectedly.

I've heard many people say that the album is too political, is it? Humm, commentaries like these can only come from people who do not follow Waters career. Roger Waters has been a political man since circa 1977 when he wrote Animals with Pink Floyd...

Animals, The Wall, The Final Cut, Radio KAOS, Amused To Death, Leaving Beirut... all of Waters' work over the last 40 years is political. To say that his new record is 'too political' is nonsense and not knowing what you say. Is This The Life We Really Want? is a political record and one has to listen to with that in mind. Period.

I also heard a lot of people saying that Is This The Life We Really Want? is 'a copy of everything he's ever done in his career with Pink Floyd,'. Really? So, 2 million bands can copy Pink Floyd and be praised about it but one of the creators of that sound can not? The 'critics' are funny, aren't they? But then again, everybody is a critic nowadays.

Anyway, the album is not perfect, I will give you that, but having in mind that Waters has nothing to prove by now I believe he worked hard to get a good record out and he did just that. The album has a bit of everything a Waters/Floyd fan would like to hear but with a new approach (producer Nigel Godrich certainly helps with that). I am not a political person so I can let go some of the lyrics, but for the most part I really enjoy Water's writing and is no different in the new record.

I still have to hear the record a few more times but I have the impression this one is a grower and it will come to be a favorite in the future, let's see.

So do yourself a favor and stop to listen to it. It is worth it!

 Is This The Life We Really Want ? by WATERS, ROGER album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.74 | 144 ratings

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Is This The Life We Really Want ?
Roger Waters Crossover Prog

Review by SteveG

4 stars A Roger Waters album that sounds like a Pink Floyd album? Well, that's a first. And if not quite factually a first, its certainly welcome.

I think most Roger/Floyd fans know this album was produced by Radiohead producer and engineer Nigel Godrich and this has helped in making it a more Floyd sounding album to add to Roger's solo arsenal. Roger's past disregard of the use of synths, no doubt triggered by his toxic feelings toward the late synth wizard Rick Wright, pushed Waters into a solo guitar based sound using only real orchestrations from the late Michael Kamen to color the songs on his solo albums starting with the Pros And Cons Of Hitchhiking in 1984. Kamen's sea sickness conjuring orchestrations worked wonders on songs like Comfortably Numb, but fell short on coloring the many moods required for Roger's solo songs. And let's face it, what is a Pink Floyd album or a solo Floyd endeavor without the use of synthesizers? Floyd and synths are nearly synonymous and it's a shame that Roger realized this fact after the great Rick Wright passed on. Would Wright have ever played on a Roger Waters solo album? Perhaps, but it's unlikely. But no need to fret as Waters and Godrich have assembled a handful of expert keyboardist that bring to mind a wonderful hybrid of Animals and The Wall synth colorings and tones, which does wonders both on the artistic and nostalgic fronts.

There's little guitar heroics on Is This The Life We Really Want? and that also is a good thing. Having someone like Jeff Beck shredding just to let David Gilmour know that betters guitarists exist is poor reasoning for employing him on Waters' past work titled Amused To Death. It's not the sole reason as Beck is legendary, but once again on a Waters solo album, Beck was a hired hand. He was not a musical contributor who helped arrange the songs on Amused To Death the way that Gilmour did on all Pink Floyd albums up to The Final Cut.

That was what was truly missing in Roger's solo outings. A collaborative partner. With super Pink Floyd fan Godrich arranging both the music and the dramatic strings on Is This The Life We Really Want?, that problem is firmly solved. Climatic guitar solos are missing on a few songs where they would have driven home an emotional point to the music, but we can't have everything, can we?

Is This The Life We Really Want? sounds to me like the great 1977 Pink Floyd album Animals not only revisited, but expanded upon for the 21st century, and is a really fine and, I'm sad to say, timely album. (It doesn't hurt that Roger and Godrich consciously or unconsciously resurrected the sound of the Animals' rhythm section on this album's harder rocking songs.) I rate Is This The Life We Really Want? at close to to 4 stars as it has 2 recurring faults of Waters' solo work. First off, like Waters' previous solo albums, Is This The Life We Really Want? seems anti climatic due to Roger's heartfelt "love cures all" sentiments on the album's final two tracks, the final track itself ending clumsily and abruptly, which only works with Radiohead, I'm afraid. Secondly, it's Roger once again in a political rant 25 years after releasing Amused To Death, an album I can rate no higher then 3.5 stars.

Will Is This The Life We Really Want? ever hit some type of classic status in the future? I don't believe so but I do see myself spinning this disc, if only on occasion, 25 years from now. That's more than I can say about Amused To Death, which I've only played a few times in the last 25 years. Music as art is always strange and personal and that's why we keep coming back to prog icons like Roger Waters. These icons don't always deliver, but when they do, watch out, stand back, catch your breath and enjoy yourself.

 Is This The Life We Really Want ? by WATERS, ROGER album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.74 | 144 ratings

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Is This The Life We Really Want ?
Roger Waters Crossover Prog

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

3 stars It seems that it's been a very long time that I have heard some new material from Roger Waters and I was glad to hear his voice on this new album. It's like his voice didn't change and was taking me back to the 70's and the 80's with that Pink Floyd sound. The songs are divided into two kinds; the quiet ones, and, the more upbeat songs where the tempo is faster. We can hear the same type of vocals echo in the track "Bird in a Gale" that we heard in the past with Pink Floyd. The pace is starting to pick up with "Picture That" showing some spacey keyboards, and a very nice melody. The music is also rich in classical arrangements with violin and piano. "Broken Bones" is a song about war, a theme cherishes by Roger over the years. "Smell the roses" is a more positive song remind me of "Money" with a second part close to the atmosphere of Eloy/Pink Floyd with some spacey passages. The last three tracks are connected in a suite finishing the album in a peaceful way. In conclusion, this is for me more of a nostalgia thing than a great album that I enjoy but will enjoy even more Roger Waters and Pink Floyd fans.
 Is This The Life We Really Want ? by WATERS, ROGER album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.74 | 144 ratings

BUY
Is This The Life We Really Want ?
Roger Waters Crossover Prog

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars It's been a quarter century since former Pink Floyd bass player/frontman Roger Waters delivered his greatest solo artistic statement with 1992's `Amused to Death', and despite the occasional new piece or cover song popping here and there, and no shortage of multiple lengthy live tours, a full-length follow-up studio work had not emerged. Cue 2017, and the current political climate has proven to be a huge inspiration in spurring the artist to kick up momentum, resulting in the Nigel `Radiohead' Godrich produced `Is This The Life We Really Want?'. It's a new work that's instantly recognizable as a Waters solo disc, holding plenty of the lyrical ammunition, raspy vocals, moody atmospherics and adventurous rock pieces the artist is known for, with an equal number of exciting revelations and (whisper it) oddly disappointing elements.

Completely noticeable from the first play is how producer Godrich has spared no expensive in delivering a gorgeous sonic canvass, and all the ambient sound-effects from Pink Floyd and Roger solo albums past - switching channels, news soundbites, shattering glass, explosions, ticking clocks, you name it - form a rich and evocative soundtrack in-between and around all of Roger's words and the instrumental backing they sit in. It's a reliable framing device, present on pretty much the two final Floyd works with Roger (`The Wall' and `The Final Cut') and his three solo discs that started with 1984's `The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking', and musically and vocally `...Life' is very much in the same style of those ones. So if you're not a fan of the more Waters-dominated Floyd works, his unique personality of those solo discs and the frequently political-themed lyrics that he eventually moved into, you're very likely going to struggle with this one as well. But it does offer plenty of unexpectedly safer Floyd-friendly moments worked in, Roger's voice sounds inspired and in surprisingly good form, and he still even delivers a few of those trademark histrionic multi-tracked vocal spots!

One thing that should be instantly be pointed out - in no way, shape or form is `...Life' a prog-rock album - and let's face it, Roger and Pink Floyd long eclipsed being merely a `prog' band decades ago - and nor should it have even expected to have been. There are absolutely `proggy' sections, with some passages of thick spacey keyboards popping up here and there (although the album is definitely short on guitar solos - we were spoiled by Jeff Beck's fiery wailing on `Amused to Death' all those years ago!), moments of slightly more ambitious arrangements and a couple of really dynamic diversions. But instead, at least half of the album is made up of ol' Rog strumming along on acoustic guitar, or crooning mournfully over sparse piano backed by sweeping orchestration. `Déjà Vu', `The Most Beautiful Girl in the World' and the closing trio of `Wait for Her', `Oceans Apart' and `Part of Me Died' all offer variations or reprises of these, and rather disappointingly, most of them are carried by acoustic guitar chords that all drift uncomfortably close to a mix of `Pigs on the Wing' from Floyd's heavy classic `Animals' and `Mother' off `The Wall'. It works fine and sounds lovely on the surface, even instantly comfortable, but it's also a little lazy.

Sadly the Floyd fall-back carries on, even if there's not a truly bad tune to be found amongst them. The gutsy `Smell the Roses' plunders `Have a Cigar's heavy bluesy guitars and the `Leave those kids alone' moments off `Another Brick in the Wall', and despite being one of the most overtly proggy moments of the disc, `Picture That' nearly sounds like a re-write of `Sheep's thick electronics and treated echoing voices, joined by the soulful female backing harmonies of `Dark Side of the Moon/Wish You Were Here', but it does deliver one of the only (brief) moments of soaring David Gilmour-like guitar slow-burn of the disc.

But of the proper highlights, sound collages like the intro opener `When we were Young' instantly intrigue, `The Last Refugee' holds gorgeous piano and light spacey washes to a gentle jazzy patter, and `Broken Bones' is a defiant and oddly elegant ballad, swearing and all. But best of all is the back to back ten-minute stretch right in the middle of the title-track and `Bird in a Gale'. `Is This The Life We Really Want?' drips with supreme f*cking danger, Roger's scathing malevolent purr delivering a thoroughly confronting and depressing lyric weaving between murky cutting orchestral stabs and brooding drumming, all building in hair-tearing intensity. It bleeds right into `Bird in a Gale's storm of skittering beats, strangled guitar and pulsing electronics (and is that Mellotron buried in there somewhere or heavily treated orchestration?), and the piece could have easily appeared on any of the `Kid A' onwards Radiohead albums (although the final moments ape `Dogs' droning spacey shimmers a little too closely).

`Is This The Life We Really Want?' has so much going for it. It all sounds great on the surface, Roger's voice is in charismatic and commanding form, and the fifty-five minute set is oddly quite accessible, with more causal Floyd fans likely to find great comfort in how much it sounds like the truly classic Floyd and Waters moments of the past. Those that appreciate Roger's biting social commentary and blunt political-themed lyrics will probably find `...Life' most rewarding of all (other reviewers will hopefully explore those lyrics in much greater detail than here), and there's no denying that clearly the lyrical aspect is the priority here. Others, however, may find it to be nothing more than a reliable effort that ticks all the pre-requisite boxes but doesn't quite live up to its potential to truly deliver something new and vital instead of plundering past sounds and tunes for inspiration. But it's still a relief to find such a decent and worthwhile Roger Waters solo album in 2017 that is a more than worthy addition to his body of work.

Three and a half stars, rounded up to four.

 Is This The Life We Really Want ? by WATERS, ROGER album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.74 | 144 ratings

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Is This The Life We Really Want ?
Roger Waters Crossover Prog

Review by moulsham

4 stars I just keep expecting things to blow up.

Listening to Roger Waters' music is often stressful, whether it is something to do with the ominous chord progressions or just past experience its generally not too long before something blows up. In stereo and now in HiRes.

Thankfully there are just two loud bangs in this new work but that doesn't mean it isn't a stressful album. Is it me or this guy truly pissed off... with everybody and about everything? On the plus side, the use of keyboards which has been lacking from the earlier solo albums means in many ways that this album is closer to The Final Cut which should please Floyd fans.

The use of field recordings including the Speaking Clock, Shipping Forecast, BBC Continuity Announcers, Post Office Counter and even the Tube are surprisingly not irritating. In fact they provide a reassuring "homeliness" that counterbalances some of the more disturbing musical content.

What this adds up to is an album that is at once hard to listen to and utterly engaging and unstoppable when you do. It is an album that ought not to work - the ravings and droolings of a very cross man - but works brilliantly. Utterly superb.

 Is This The Life We Really Want ? by WATERS, ROGER album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.74 | 144 ratings

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Is This The Life We Really Want ?
Roger Waters Crossover Prog

Review by cedo

3 stars To be objective with Roger Waters' 2017 album, there are two levels that have to be considered. A message component, and a music background.

Regarding message level, I will write down it this way. After several years of touring, promoting "The Wall" concept around the globe, as his crucial life achievement of music, words and stage presentation of human alienation and destroying differences, Roger Waters sublimed all those thoughts and emotions in this album, at the moment when all this negative connotations are before exploding, when planet society is breaking at the seams. You don't have to be English language born citizen to understand what is all about. The title says it all. Strongly, and direct. This album is a musical manifesto, a sad true of what we have became, the enemies to each others. And this is the voice of sanity, a call to each of us to come to our senses. Unfortunately, almost everybody who will be listening to this album already know that, through Mr. Waters work from Pink Floyd days, or through his solo career. So, probably it would be "nothing new under the sun", "nothing new on the west nor on the east". I think that impact of this record wouldn't be huge, but that doesn't decrease its value and effort to call for a better world.

And speaking of its music background and origins, I have a feeling that stylistically it is a directly linked to 1983 Pink Floyd's "The Final Cut" album, as a most similar. Or should I dare and say Roger Waters' 1983 "The Final Cut" album, because in reality it is so. I considered Pink Floyd's 1979 "The Wall" album one of the greatest studio recordings in rock history, and "The Final Cut" as a descendant to it. And now, a grown up and matured son of "The Final Cut" showed itself to the world. Many artists and bands made part 2, part 3, of their popular works, often only to gain attention of proven consumer of their albums. So, Roger Waters might titled this album as, for example, "The Final Cut, part 2", or "Return for Final Cut", or "Rebuilding the Wall" maybe? But he cleverly chose this echoing and asking title, directed to world leaders (explicitly addressed as "...with no f..king brains..."), and to each and everyone, in other words saying: "We all deserve much better than this!".

Listening to music itself, many particles of it is pulled from Pink Floyd and Roger Waters legacy, especially Pink Floyd's. Many text and music segments are reminiscences of some Pink Floyd's songs. The atmosphere is dark, songs flow in slow chords progression, most notably by using keyboards, and bass and drums rhythms, with sound effects connecting the songs in one great epic work. Here and there, some acoustic guitar, in Roger Waters' manner, and that is. I learned that producer of album, Nigel Godrich, a Radiohead producer, is responsible to this prog-pop sound (can't tell 'cause I'm not familiar with Radiohead at the moment), but sure is very significant to the album sound. It's evident that on this record there are no musicians that backed Roger through years on great world tours, so the aim to sound different is obvious. A dark world to live in, a dark record to listened to. No moments that lifts up your soul to higher levels, or moments that for just a second bring joy to your heart. And Roger Waters' voice? Extremely and amazingly good, confident and assuring in saying all that, "like in the good old days".

To extract some songs from album as good or bad, to point out to some as a highlight or unsuccessful, is no of any use. This is a whole, from start to finish. Mr. Waters reached strong artistic level, especially in words, backed by his most dark music. There is no "tear down the wall", no "the tide is turning", no "each small candle that lightened up the darkness". Only accusing question: is this the life we really want? To the shame of all those who are leading us to a dead end. Or in his words: "If I had been God / with my staff and my rod / if I had been given the nod / I believe I could have done a better job".

Album like this avoids "masterpiece" or "excellent addition" sticker, because it passes the boundaries of rock record. It is not just a progressive music record. It is art in action and in mission. So it makes no sense to recommend album to someone just because of music. Who likes Waters, sure will like this record, even it is different and dark. But this time, the point is to spread the word this music carries. Also, the album artwork is with the same intention, visually representing and suggesting that many people live a censored and badly directed life.

My rating is three and a half stars as a sign of addiction to Mr. Waters music, but rounded down, as a sign of emphasis on fact that music here is in second place compared to words.

 Is This The Life We Really Want ? by WATERS, ROGER album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.74 | 144 ratings

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Is This The Life We Really Want ?
Roger Waters Crossover Prog

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams

3 stars We can't expect that a 73 years old man renewes his music and makes something different from what he has done in the last 25 years (not considering Ca Ira). This album is exactly how you can expect it to be: a Roger Waters album, with his usual chords, screams, Dylan like singing, female choirs and all the elements which dominated his music since The Final Cut.

Is it bad? Absolutely not.

There's a number of remindings to some big Pink Floyd's high moments: short parts which seem to come from Wish You Were Here and Animals appear here and there. To give an idea of the lyrical contents, I quote a little sentence from "Wake Up And Smell The Roses":

This is the room where they make the explosives Where they put your name on the bomb Here's where they bury the "buts" and the "ifs" and scratch out words like "right" and "wrong"

Back to music, it's a good album and I wonder how it could have sounded with a bit of Gilmour and Wright inside. If you don't consider the "ballad like" songs based on acoustic guitar he has made us used to, there's enough Pink Floyd here, and let me add that this is way better than the last two Gilmour's outputs (I mean The Endless River as a Gilmour's, not a PF album).

So Waters is back with a bunch of new songs that somebody wil consider "nothing new", but this is how it has to be. This old manhas still something to say and it does it in the way he's used to do it. Even without guitarists like Jeff Beck, Snowy White or G.E. Smith, the quality of the playing and the arrangements is high.

For who has liked Amused to Death, there's less rock and screams. This album is more relaxed, more similar to Radio Kaos but luckily without the 80s sounds that album was full of.

I'm happy to have bought it. If you don't like The FInal Cut at all, stay off. For everybody else it's at least a 4 stars album. The average is 3.

 Is This The Life We Really Want ? by WATERS, ROGER album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.74 | 144 ratings

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Is This The Life We Really Want ?
Roger Waters Crossover Prog

Review by The Jester

4 stars This must be the best Pink Floyd-related album you will ever listen to! After touring around the world with 'The Wall' since I don't know how many years, he decided that it was time to release his new album, which is probably the best album of his solo career. Roger Waters can be proud of this album, because this is his best work since his days with Pink Floyd. (Since The Wall, to be exact). A deeply political ' once more ' album, including melancholic but beautiful moments, (like D'j' Vu, for example), mixed with more powerful Pink Floyd-influenced songs (Picture that, for example), overcoated with a very good production. For those who grew up with The Wall, the album will sound very familiar to their ears. All the ingredients that Roger Waters used for The Wall are present once more. Well, maybe the compositions are less inspired this time, but who could blame him for that? For the recordings almost ten musicians were used, and the production was made by Nigel Godrich, the producer of Radiohead. According to the press release, the album contains 'unflinching commentary on the modern world and uncertain times'. The album contains 12 tracks and has a total running time of 55 minutes. It is available in CD, Vinyl, and Digital format. I listened to this album 3 times so far, and every time I discover more and more things that I like in it. Also, it is very difficult for me to pick just a few songs, because I see it as a massive piece of work, and not just as songs that were gathered to fill an album. But despite that, I will try to mention a few songs that I like the most; which are the following ones: D'j' Vu, Picture that, Broken Bones and Smell the Roses. Is this the life we really want? is a very good album, definitely worth buying! I am not going to use words like 'modern masterpiece' etc, but it is a very good work, which most probably will enter my annual top-10 album list for 2017. Give it a try! My rating: 4.0 out of 5.0 stars.

 Is This The Life We Really Want ? by WATERS, ROGER album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.74 | 144 ratings

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Is This The Life We Really Want ?
Roger Waters Crossover Prog

Review by jude111

5 stars Nice to be the first to review this album! Floyd fans are going to be over the moon with this one. I've been listening to it non-stop for 2 days now [make that 3+ weeks]. It's not only the best Waters solo album, but the best Floyd-related *album* since The Wall (or The Final Cut, if you like). I'm fond of Floyd's post-Waters albums, as well as solo albums by Waters and Gilmour, but generally I skip over a few tracks on all those. But there's not a track on this album that I want to skip over. I could pick out individual tracks, but this isn't the kind of album where you'll want to only buy a few songs on iTunes - you'll want to hear the whole thing, and listen from beginning to end. That's where these songs really come alive.

Special mention must go to producer Nigel Godrich. He's generally considered to be the "sixth member" of Radiohead, and works closely with Thom Yorke on his solo outings as well. He brought his A game to this album by Waters, who sounds positively rejuvenated. Whereas the albums "Amused to Death" and "Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking" were rooted in classic guitar rock, this album is more keys-oriented. And let's face it, that's the Floyd most of us loved - Meddle, Wish You Were Here, and even Animals, which this album somehow most resembles. This album recalls great music of the 70s, while still sounding contemporary. Godrich has added lush pianos and strings (a couple of songs here remind me of Serge Gainsbourg's "Histoire de Melody Nelson" album), combined with Waters' acoustic guitar (I presume), tasteful electric guitars, sound effects, and the best batch of songs Waters has written since The Wall. Godrich seems to really get Floyd, and has erased some of the most annoying elements of Waters' solo albums (e.g. overbearingly cheesy female choruses, ear-piercing background screams by Waters). And while we're on the subject: Waters's voice, almost always a liability, is here beautiful and moving. This is simply his best vocal performance since the Floyd mach II disbanded.

The unifying theme that ties the album together is various weather reports. I didn't give it much thought to it at first, but when I realized what the voices were saying over the course of the album it the context of Waters' brilliant lyrics, I was chilled to the bone. "And it's the end of broadcasting for Thursday... Severe gale... It is 11:34 and 50 seconds... A Happy New Year to you all... Goodnight everyone. Severe thunderstorms... It's year Number One. The time is now three minutes past midnight... And it's the end of broadcasting." One is reminded of the Doomsday Clock; this is music of the Apocalypse, of a world gone straight to hell. Trump's voice - "And the other thing - chaos; there's zero chaos" - in the context of the swirling "Is this the life we really want/Bird in a gale" - reinforces the idea that the world itself is in utter chaos, as drones patrol the darkened skies and lay waste to cities and homes.

I wonder if others are going to be as enthusiastic and amazed by this album as I am? I predict that at the end of the year, it should have the highest album rating here at PA. If you love the Floyd of old, do yourself a favor and get this album. I long a go wrote off Waters - every previous album had its moments, while still being an utter disappointment. This is Waters back in genius mode. [EDITED 6/25/17]

 In the Flesh - Live by WATERS, ROGER album cover Live, 2000
3.59 | 147 ratings

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In the Flesh - Live
Roger Waters Crossover Prog

Review by Walkscore

4 stars Each Small Candle....

This is the opportunity to hear live versions of songs from 'The Final Cut', as well as from his from his solos albums, including 'Amused to Death'. Indeed, the most interesting songs here are those from that album, including "Perfect Sense", "It's a Miracle" and "Amused to Death", both of which far surpass those on the studio album, although I wanted most to hear "What God Wants" (but alas, it is not in this set). This live album is also notable for the new song "Each Small Candle", which is pretty good although not quite in the same league as his best (of which "Every Strangers Eyes" is among - a great song, and well done here). Of the Floyd material here, the Dark Side stuff suffers from a lack of Gilmour. The Wall material does better, but one still misses Gilmour's guitar and voice on "Comfortably Numb" and also on "Dogs". I am not sure those two should have been included here. Both "Welcome to the Machine" and "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun" are great though, with a jazzed-up production, leading to some excellent solos (very similar arrangements to his Pros and Cons of Hitchkinging tour with Eric Clapton). However, the real old-Floyd gem here, quite unexpectedly, is "Shine On you Crazy Diamond". Despite no Wright or Gilmour, or Mason, the piece does very well. Part of the reason is the excellent sound quality, which allows for the quiet parts, especially the bell-like guitar notes near the begining, to really shine. In fact, the sound quality makes even the more lacklustre tunes (like "Breath") pretty decent (and thankfully those are brief). So, while on the surface this might not seem like a compelling set, after multiple listens I find it quite musical and a great addition to the Floyd/Waters catalogue. It reaches excellence most of the time, but is not essential. I give it a straight 8.0 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to (low) 4 PA stars.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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