"Animals Reimagined: A Tribute to Pink Floyd" (Insterscope Records; 2021)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Here's another collection of cover tunes, this time Pink Floyd's "Animals," in its entirety. And here I am again scratching my head and wondering "Why?"

Well, actually, I know why: The last Tribute to Pink Floyd by this amazing band of musicians was apparently a big hit. So the "why" is just because obviously there's more money in it. But I know that's not the only reason "Animals Reimagined" was recorded and released. I know that the musicians who appear hereon are huge fans of Pink Floyd, and it's probably a huge joy to play, record and play with the music that inspired you, that may have, in fact, made you want to become a musician yourself.

And "Animals Reimagined" isn't a bad tribute album. Again, the list of musicians hereon is impressive as hell (see list below) and the original album, the Pink Floyd version, is one of the greatest albums in rock'n'roll history.

But here's the thing: When the original "Animals" was recorded, magic happened. There's something so pure and perfect about those early Pink Floyd albums, especially "Wish You Were Here," "Animals" and "The Wall" (yes, "The Wall," despite its egregious overplay on rock radio, even today) that it simply cannot be captured again. And that's apparent as you listen to "Animals Re-Imagined." It's an interesting listen throughout, and it's fun to see where this group of musicians did a little something different than Pink Floyd originally did, but there's no magic. "Animals Reimagined" feels like exactly what it is. A tribute. A collection of cover tunes. Performed by legendary musicians, sure, but still just a tribute album.

And I guess that's all right. I guess if you're a Pink Floyd fan and you want to hear other musicians you admire play their version this classic album, then this might be right up your alley. Me? All "Animals Reimagined" made me want to do is go pull out my Pink Floyd vinyl. And you know what? Maybe that's the point, too.

Performing on "Animals Reimagined" are: Nick van Eede; Martin Barre; Graham Bonnet; Vinnie Moore; Kasim Sulton; Jordan Rudess; Pat Mastelotto; James LaBrie; Al Di Meola; Joe Bouchard; Patrick Moraz; Billy Cobham; Arthur Brown; Rick Wakeman; Jan Akkerman; Carmine Appice; Jon Davison; Billy Sherwood.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

  Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2022 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.