Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Wall revisited

Pink Floyd seem to be everywhere at the moment and with the release of remastered versions of their definitive work, I decided to go back down memory lane. Pink Floyd were a big band for me in my teens but apart from listening to Wish You Were Here every now and then, they kind of dropped off my radar when I started listening seriously to punk and alternative music. Despite this, I spent many, many hours of my deep, dark teen days in my bedroom listening to Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here and The Wall.

As such, this was the first time I have listened to The Wall in its entirety in at least twenty years and while it sounds good, my lord is it a dour and miserable listen - no wonder I was so fucked up as a teen if this was what I was feeding my soul. The narrative thrust of mental degradation through abuse and despair pours misery upon misery as it builds to the pulling down the metaphoric wall. That being said, the songs are strong and there are very few duds here (if any), probably a reflection of Roger Waters' perfectionism and the personal nature of the narrative. Still, the songs that stood out strongest to me in my teens Mother, Goodbye Blue Sky, Hey You and Is there anybody out there? still sound good today. Comfortably Numb is still far and away the best song here, a deserving classic with a guitar solo which is both lyrical and soaring.

But here's the crux of the matter, the record sounds great, the musicianship is flawless and it is no doubt a strong record but I don't think I could listen to it too often. Seriously, this album is imprinted in my mind but I have changed and whatever compelled me to listen to it endlessly as a fifteen year old does not compel me in my late thirties. If you were ever a fan, this remaster sparkles sonically but I think I will leave Pink to sort out his identity crisis by himself. I think I'll still get the Wish You Were Here remaster though.


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