Sound — 10
After recording "Wish You Were Here" it was almost clear that some tensions between the band members started to surface, and bassist Roger Waters assumed almost control of the band. Released in 1977, the year "punk broke" (just like that Sonic Youth/Nirvana video) and when major prog rock bands started to fall or to change their image/music in order to survive, Pink Floyd showed that they were still one of the greatest bands in the world, releasing this amazing conceptual masterpiece, and easily their best project as of 2007. The main responsible for this is Waters, who almost guided the band through the project, and is almost the songwriter of the whole thing, except for a joint credit with guitarist David Gilmour in the second track, "Dogs". "Animals" starts with the beautiful "Pigs on the Wing", another great example of his folk-rock songs, a trend that almost started in "Music from the Film More", and has continued in nearly every album since then. Then we explore the amazing 17-minute journey of "Dogs", with the most amazing solos that Gilmour has ever created! Yes, even better than the one of "Comfortably Numb" (either live or studio)! And great synthesizer solos of keyboardist Rick Wright. "Pigs" is also amazing, darker and slower, but still powerful, with a great organ line from Wright. "Sheep" is also a hightlight, the most upbeat and catchy song in the album, and even if he wasn't credited for songwriting, Wright shines here too, with an amazing organ intro. Finally, we have a return to the quiet territory of "Pigs on the Wing" to close this amazing musical cycle. Overall, musically, this is the most powerful album the band has, the songs are great and, if you thnik you're tired by the army of special effects that DSOTM has, you'll find this one great.
Lyrics — 10
This is almost the peak of Waters lyrical habilities. Period. The concept is Orwellian (based on Animal Farm, mostly), but instead of criticizing the excesses of communism as Orwell did, this is an attack to the capitalist system ones. Basically, the album consist in dividing people in three classes, the pigs (the upper class, the ones with power), the dogs (the ones who defend the system), and the sheep (the lower class, the discriminated ones but finally they determine to make a rebellion). However, the album is also a criticism of real life figures, such as Margaret Thatcher, and a British woman that proclaimed herself "defensor of morality in the UK" called Mary Whitehouse (and not the White House as some think). The lyrics' anger almost lead to this album to be called the "Punk Floyd" era album, but that's not true completely. After all, "Pigs on the Wing" is a bittersweet declaration of love from Waters to his wife. Anyway, Waters manages to make a great story and comcept, even better than the one present in "The Wall" (which is certainly part rip-off from The Who's "Tommy", but that's another story.
Overall Impression — 10
Definitely, even if the band started to disintegrate up to this point, there's no other Floyd project (even if "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn" and "Wish You Were Here" come very close) that could equal the grandiosity of this one. I'll say it again, if you have just DSOTM and you're bored by it, run and buy it today, don't wait until tomorrow, is an amazing album, and you'll never get disappointed by it. It's not just for cultists, the casual listener could easily enjoy any of the tunes here, and it's not unaccesible as some say (the last time Floyd released an unaccesible album was in 1970). Oh, and one last thing. If you enjoyed the album, please read "Animal Farm", is a great story, and just like the album, it never gets old.