Sound — 9
Animals is a concept album, and is Pink Floyd's eighth studio album. The album is made up of the two bookend tracks ("Pigs on the Wing") and three others, each the name of a different animal ("Dogs", "Pigs (Three Different Ones)", and "Sheep". Despite the album being considered lesser than some of Pink Floyd's more famous albums ("Wish You Were Here", "The Dark Side of the Moon", "The Wall") it is on no accounts not a good album. It's a shame that this album didn't get as much attention, because really it's another one of Pink Floyd's greats. The sound on it is amazing, and it's hard not to get caught up in the feeling of the songs. Each of the tracks (not including the bookends) clocks in at over 10 minutes each, "Dogs" being the longest at just over 17. For casual Pink Floyd listeners, or people who are used to shorter, more condensed songs, this might seem a bit excessive. Although this may be the case for some people, for most fans it will be a welcome thing. The length of the songs doesn't mean you will lose interest in them after a while because they are constantly changing, forcing you to listen and get into the songs. The albums sound flows perfectly and moves along, always building towards something and becoming more immersive, as a good concept album should. Because it's a concept album, the mood of the album is generally the same throughout the entire thing. In this case, the music is generally very dark, bitter, and depressing, and it is obvious that Roger Water's has a very cynical outlook on the world. Although it would be nice to have a mood change here and there to switch things up, the general darkness of the album really suits the point of it. Due to the progressive nature of the band, it is common to hear instruments which are seemingly "out of place" in a rock band, but somehow come out sounding great and fitting the songs perfectly. Although there are not as many or as unfitting instruments on this album (most of them being synth and other keyboard varients, but also include things like a talk box) it's nice to have something unusually in the music. For the sound of the actually instrumentation, we primarily have David Gilmour on electric guitar, Roger Water's on bass, Nick Mason on drums, and Richard Wright on the many types of keyboards, organs, and pianos. Gilmour's bluesy style of playing fits, and the actually tone of the guitar suits perfectly with the albums mood. His solos have a great feeling, and the playing is powerful even when just something in the background. Roger Water's bass playing is, as usual, a great and essential part of the band. Really backing up the rest of the instruments while adding to the music itself and occasionally being the focus, it's really amazing. On drums, Nick Mason does a fantastic job when he's playing. He is able to flawlessly change his drumming as the song changes, and able to be complicated while not drawing attention from the rest of the band. Finally, Richard Wright's playing is superb. It adds that extra dimension to the music that is lacking from a lot of bands, and gives the sound the fullness that helps make it as great as it is. So overall, the sound is pretty amazing. Although at times it feels like the band members didn't put everything they had into it, or dragged parts on for too long and other for not long enough, it is generally great. Every persons playing fits in perfectly with the others, creating a really tight and together sound that is one of the reasons why this album is so good.
Lyrics — 9
The lyrics on this album are great, and are somewhat based off George Orwell's animal farm, but foucuses on the negativity of capitalism. Each animal is a metaphor of a type of person in the world. The dogs are the business men, the people with the egos who believe they are better then others, the people who look after themselves and need noones support to get by. The pigs are at the top of the ladder with the money and the power. They exploit others and use their power to get what they want, not caring about the others. Finally, the sheep represent the common folk, the people whos opinions are easily swayed and the people who are easily taken advantage of. Although the concept is generally quite simple, the lyrics are amazing and the point gets across quite clearly to those who understand. This album definitely has some of Roger Water's best lyrics, as dark and bitter as they may be. For actual vocals, for the majority of songs (except "Dogs") we have Roger Waters. Like usual his voice is great, and really expresses the emotion he has towards the songs. As soon as he starts singing you directly get into the mood of the album. On the song "Dogs" David Gilmour has lead vocals. Likewise, he is also great and does a good job conveying the emotion through his voice.
Overall Impression — 9
This album is overall amazing. Like most Pink Floyd albums, the more you listen to and focus on it, the more you get from it. Each time through you hear something different that gets your attention, making this album easily a good one to listen to multiple times. Although the mood staying the same for the album is generally a good thing, sometimes you just feel like you want a break from it. My favourite songs on this album are the three main tracks, and in this order: "Dogs", "Sheep", and "Pigs (Three Different Ones)". Each track is great individually, and they are also great all together, making it easier for casual listeners as well. This is up there with some of Pink Floyd's other great albums, so if you liked those and haven't had a chance to hear this one, do so now! If you aren't a fan of the classic Pink Floyd era, you should probably stay away from this. Otherwise, it's a great choice.