Art is one of the strongest ways to transmit a message. It's a powerful medium for all emotion and dreams. That doesn't stop some from sounding downright crazy. That's exactly the case with former Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters, who sounds horribly out of touch on Is This The Life We Really Want?, his first album in over two decades.
Lots of people are angry about the state of the world right now, and they have every right to be - by no means do we live in a world anywhere close to perfect. Waters really lets his position be known on this record, though, and sometimes it just sounds like he's rambling on aimlessly, grabbing on to meaning wherever he thinks he can find it. Take a listen to 'Picture That' for a prime example: saying "picture this" with unfavorable situations for almost seven minutes really just doesn't have a profound affect. The fact that the first verse ends on the bewildering lines "Picture a leader with no fucking brains / No fucking brains, no fucking brains" AND that this is coming from a 70-year-old veteran of politically charged songs, it's all just a bit pathetic.
We get that Roger Waters doesn't like Trump. Few artists do. It's becoming had to expect a strong statement from anyone regarding their feelings, though. Hell, the title track 'Is This The Life What We Really Want?' rolls by for six minutes and the best he can do is call Trump a "nincompoop." Six minutes of music for that. 'Smell The Roses' has the same problem that 'Picture That' did - repeating things over and over again only works so well for so long. How many things do you want us to smell before you get to what you want to say?
There are moments on Is This The Life We Really Want? that showed promise. 'Bird In A Gale' sounds legitimately angry and actually has energy to it, bringing the message up. The message of 'Broken Bones' is also good, but the delivery is pretty awful (asking "Who gives a shit anyway?" as a rhetorical question really isn't a good tactic). This album just sounds horribly out of place, and the fact that for more than half of it Rogers is just rambling on about some political tirade without any concept of melody just makes it sound weak and pathetic.
Roger Waters sounds horribly out of touch on Is This The Life We Really Want?, and though his intentions seem to be in the right place... everything else isn't. This is an hour of listening to an old man ramble on about how he's not happy with the state of the world and politics. A fair feeling, but the delivery just doesn't do him any justice. Just because you were in Pink Floyd doesn't mean whatever you say has merit to it.
Favorite Track: Bird In A Gale
Least Favorite Tracks: Is This The Life We Really Want?, Smell The Roses
Rating: 52 / 100
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