Sunday 11.22.2009 | 4:23 AM EDT
Stop Being Mean to Roger Waters
So many Pink Floyd fans just won’t give old Roger his due. Oh, he’s such a self-indulgent wanker, Gilmour is so humble and plays that guitar real good.
Undoubtedly, Gentleman Gilmour plays a great George Harrison to Morbid Water’s John Lennon. Clearly it would be a different band without him. (Piper at the Gates of Dawn). The Velvet Smog’s voice is more relaxing than a full-body massage, and those guitar melodies bump my goose skin every time. But without Waters, the Floyd is not much more than space-rock, man…
Mean old Roger may be a tyrant too enamoured of his pain, but c’mon. His insane narratives are what make the band interesting beyond just ambitious production, lacerating guitar hooks and beautiful melodies. Well-mannered lassies may make us doe-eyed, but it’s the crazy-eyed bad girls that really get their hooks in you..
Revisit 1983‘s unfairly judged The Final Cut. For all practical purposes, it’s a Waters solo record. Most of the band is present only as studio cats taking tyranical direction from Mr. Big Nose. No!, I want it sadder! No, sadder, more sad! The record is in fact a Debbie Downer of a story that imposes WWII’s psychic scars on the Cold War years, complete with felled fighter jet pilots, broken heros, Thatcher-era nuclear paranoia and the staticky rants of a madman lurking in the mix. It makes for easy listening on a lazy Sunday morning, sipping tea and milk. No, wait, sorry, that’s Nick Drake. We’ll get to him later.
Yes, the record’s a little dated. Yes, it’s depressing as hell, but so was Lou Reed’s Berlin. You don’t hear any music critics bitching about that record. Final Cut is borne of a different DNA than Lou’s Big Apple brand of literate gloom tunes; but Rogers manages to mutate that most British of genetic traits: nearly robotic emotional reserve. Swallow it down, keep it all in, don’t let them see you blink.
Two Suns In The Sunset
“The rusty wire
that holds the cork
that keeps the anger in
gives way and suddenly
it’s day again…”
Cheerio, chaps. So what if that daylight is really just the second sun of a nuclear detonation. Codger Roger finally gets things off his chest as he layers Jennifer Warnes-style backing vocals on top of jazzed-up, apocalyptic torch songs and suh-weet studio production. And it’s all in the key of C, so you can play your mouth harp all the way through to The End. Would that help lighten things up enough for ya?
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