Amused to Death: Roger Waters at the Brink of Sadness and Truth

I’ve sometimes wondered why Roger Water’s album Amused to Death isn’t heralded as a classic on par with his other Big Statement The Wall. It’s shorter, arguably better produced and a lot of the music is not only poignant, but very catchy.

The album was release in 1992 which was bad timing for anything Pink Floyd related. I don’t know if you remember 1992, but it was a year filled with Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers and an explosion of raw music that harkened back to the DIY aesthetic of Punk. Amused to Death, is the work of an aging rock star obsessed with long songs, complicated, conceptual song cycles and meticulous production values. Everything that music in 1992 was rebelling against.

That the record never got the attention it deserved is a real tragedy. Because this is waters at his best. the social commentary from Animals is sharper, and more nihilistic. The psychological turmoil and disgust with the of military-educational-industrial machine found on the Wall is more finely honed.

And while Waters strips the tragedy of our civilization bare, he manages to do it with some amazing production and blazing musicianship.There aren’t a whole lot of genuinely forgotten masterpieces out there. But this is without a doubt, one of them.

 

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