Illinois Entertainer July 2017 - Page 32

the album. “Into The Floor” starts with piano, strings and Dulli’s wails and builds to wall-of-sound guitar and this final (iron- ic?) lyrical image: “And suddenly / A sum- mer breeze.” Appearing 9/22, 9/23 Metro, Chicago - Jason Scales 7 ROGER WATERS Is This The Life We Really Want? (Columbia) Is This the Life We Really Want? rockets to the upper reaches of Waters’ most pow- erful writing, band or solo – but there’s another hook designed to draw listeners. Despite absence of David Gilmour’s criti- cal guitar and vocal, this collaboration with Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich is even more connected to Waters’ legacy with Pink Floyd than solo debut The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking. It's the spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down, as it turns out. The record sounds distinctly modern and sonically rich, but nonethe- less contains touchstones to classics like “Welcome to the Machine,” “One of These Days,” “Mother,” "Wish You Were Here" and more. Don’t expect a bona fide Pink Floyd album, but there’s plenty for a Floyd fan to love. Plenty to love, that is, unless you’re a Floyd fan at odds with Waters’ politics. The artist pulls not a single punch. In fact, he swings harder than ever, pouring his derision upon everything done by the far right globally, and the current administra- tion domestically, to undo social progress in favor of corporate interests. Waters' first rock album since 1992, Is This the Life had been in progress since 2010. He retooled songs including “Picture That” to reflect his reservations with the Trump campaign and ensuing administration. “Picture a leader with no fucking brains,” sings Waters, bluntly. In case you think he might be describing someone else, the liner notes include a partially-redacted photo of the president with the lyric superimposed. Trump isn’t the only authority figure who receives a jab from Waters, though. “If I had been given the nod, I believe I could have done a better job,” sings Waters during the lushly orchestrated “Déjà Vu.” He’s referring to 32 july 2017 the Almighty Himself. Waters then pro- ceeds to imagine himself as a drone on a deadly mission, afraid of what he’ll find at his target site – perhaps a poor woman at a stove. Meanwhile, “the bankers get fat.” Waters reserves some spite for moderates, too. “You lean to the left, but you vote to the right,” he sings. The president’s own voice introduces the title track. The unspoken adjunct to the question in the title is the notion that while fear-monger- ing, refugee crises, terrorism and rampant greed probably do not represent the life that we really want, everyone is culpable. It doesn’t matter whether you’re one of the beautiful people, a veritable saint, or counted among the deplorables. “Every time the curtain falls on some forgotten life, it is because we stood by silent and indifferent,” Waters concludes. The box for environmental calamity also gets checked. So much for scoring the feel- good hit of the summer. Waters is on a mission to communicate hard truth, with a frayed thread of hope that it isn’t already too late. The grim funk of "Smell the Roses” recalls "Have a Cigar." "Come on honey, it's real money," sings Waters. Instead of the shallow dreams of record label wheeler-dealers, though, the antago- nists here profit from war. It's a bigger show with better pyrotechnics. Waters turns briefly to matters of the heart during "The Last Refugee" and "Wait for Her." The latter is a lesson in gentle patience based upon "Lesson from the Kama Sutra (Wait for Her)" by Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish. In "Part of Me Died," Waters lists the sins that populate the rest of the album, revealing that they were powerless to thrive within his own heart when confronted by true love. Thus, a life worth really wanting is revealed. Hallmarks of Waters’ most strident and provocative writing dominate the album, however. He still carries ri ѕ́)Ё͍ʹѡЁՕQ])ѥѼɥʹɕЁ)܁́Ѽձɔݡɔ)͕́ѼɔɅ镸ѡ)ٕȸ%Ё́ɕѕѡЁ͡Ё)͡ѼѡɥЁݽձ)ȁ́Ʌѥѥ́չ)ɽɽѕЁͥ ͥȁѡ́ѡ)ЁͥѡɄ)ɥܼ́Uѕ ѕȰ +M)()I=e0 1==)!܁%ЁЁMɬ(]ɹȁ ɽ̤)=ѡȁ͕ѥѱаI兰 )ɹѥ݅ٔͥ镐Ս̸)]ѕ́ɕ镐ѡЁͅ)݅́ɕѕ䁄U<ѽՕ)ѥٕ݅Qͽɔ)Ё!܁%ЁЁMɬٕȁɅ)ѽѕɥ䁙ȁɽ́ɕͽȁ)ѽȁɽյȁ Qэ)ѡչ́݅䁽́մаٽ) Քչ́ѡЁ͕)́ѽ=ѽѡЁɥ)ѕа5-ȁ́͡镐)́չ́ѡЁԴ)аЁɔͼхѥ͍䰁ѡ)ɕ͕ɅՍݕф)ѥ̸Qȁɔ́ѡЁݥѠѕ)յхѥѡѕɥЁ)Ʌ͔ѡɗéɽݡɔ)ѡɽٕ́ȁѡՍѼ9Ё)ɽq1́=ӊtѡѥѱɅ)ɝɽɅɕݥѠ䁍)͕́٥ɸݽѡ䁅и%а)ѡͅͅȁЁѡє)ɥɔ݉胊q$=1]$)1ٔe׊tɔѡፕ́́M90ͭ)ɕեɕսф=͔ӊé䁄д)ѕȁѥɔѡ́ͅ)ɽѡЃqÍt1Ёѡ)!܁]ЁMɬ́٥Ѽ)ѡɅ丁%ѡӊé)ͥ镐ɕɕѥ)ɥЁ1! 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