"Dark Side of the Moon Redux" (Cooking Vinyl; 2023)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

For the 50th anniversary of the classic Pink Floyd album, Roger Waters decided to honor it by stripping it down, re-recording it, and creating something new. He said it would never replace the original album but would stand alone as a tribute to that release and as an opportunity for a 79-year-old musician to look back at the work he helped create when he was only twenty-nine.

I believe Derek Sherinian said it best: "Why re-paint the Mona Lisa"?

I guess if you listen to "Dark Side of the Moon Redux" as a completely new release, you can see and hear some of its new voice. But who the hell can do that? Who can listen to iconic songs like "Money" and "Time" and not think back on the original song, the original sound?

Waters has taken one of the greatest progressive rock records of all time and stripped it down, slowed it down, added some dialogue and passages, until it's almost a spoken word version of the original. It's more like beatnik poetry than it is a rock'n'roll album. All this release wanted me to do is go back and listen to the original, to clear my head, to get the original tunes back in there, jammed between sulci where they won't ever be forgotten.

Sorry. I just don't get it. Maybe I'm not smart enough. Maybe I'm not sensitive enough. Maybe something else. Regardless, I won't listen to this again. But I'll listen to the original version forever.

Hey, the production is terrific. No doubt about that.

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"Is This the Life We Really Want?" (Sony Music; 2017)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

There are only two things that will decide whether you like Roger Waters' new album or not: 1) Are you a fan of Water's previous music and 2) Are you a supporter of Donald Trump.

If you are a fan of Waters' previous music, mostly his solo stuff but also some of his material from the Pink Floyd albums he performed in, you'll find plenty to love on "Is This the Life We Really Want?" As far as music is concerned, this CD is one of Waters' best, featuring the eerie, unique rhythms and Waters' one-of-a-kind vocal style. The lyrics are deep and brilliant and really mean something. Rogers asks some difficult questions and offers some blunt opinions and, on this outing more than any previous one, you can tell that his heart is really into it. "Is This the Life We Really Want" is serious and scared and thoughtful. It's probably the closest a recording has ever come to capturing the real, the raw, Roger Waters and that alone makes it special.

The second consideration here is if you're a supporter of Donald Trump. If you are, do not bother with this recording. Waters pulls no punches when it comes to what he thinks of this particular commander-in-chief. This is where the "blunt opinions" comes into full force.

So that's what it comes down to: Are you a fan of Roger Waters' style of rock'n'roll music and are you a Trump supporter?

Yeah, I give it a full four guitarsaws.

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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 2023 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.