Sound — 9
In my mind, this is Pink Floyd's climax. This is pretty much their best album, along with Dark Side of the Moon. The sound is probably the most guitar oriented of all the Roger Waters era Pink Floyd albums. David Gilmour really tears it up on on solos like Another Brick in the Wall (Part II), Mother, Young Lust, Hey You, and Comfortably Numb. This whole album revolves around one main character, whose supposed stage name is Pink Floyd. Pink is a washed-up rock star who starts to lose touch with reality, and ends up building an imaginary wall to cut himself off from the world. Pink slowly starts to go insane behind his "wall". He eventually realizes the consequences of creating this mental "wall", and puts himself o trial. The judge rules that the wall shall be torn down, and Pink should be exposed to the world once again. It's unclear as to how the wall is actually torn down, but some listeners think that Pink ends up killing himself to get rid of the wall (and himself) for good. However, this story is somewhat hard to follow, and leaves a lot to the listeners imagination, so this is just the way I interpreted it. Pink Floyd uses an interesting mix of very hard rock, such as In the Flesh, Another Brick in the Wall (Parts II & III), Young Lust, and Run Like Hell, and light, soft rock, such as Mother and Goodbye Blue Sky. They even employ a full orchestra on The Trial. This album showcases many different musical types, but for the most part it is a progressive hard rock opera.
Lyrics — 9
Roger Waters has great dynamic range, spanning from a little more on the quiet, melodic side (Mother, Goodbye Blue Sky, Nobody Home), to harsh, heavy rock delivery (In the Flesh, The Trial). The lyrics fit fairly well with the story, and they go almost flawlessly with the music. The Trial is really the only track where the vocals don't really match up with the music in certain spots. The lyrics are overall just great, but sometimes get a little ridiculous, such as in The Trial. But the lyrics have to get a little ridiculous at times, or else it wouldn't be a Roger Waters - led Pink Floyd album.
Overall Impression — 10
Like I said earlier, I think that this is the best PF album, along with Dark Side of the Moon. And I'm not normally one to play favorites, but this one is my favorite PF album. The story is brilliant, the musicianship is awesome, everything about it is great. The 6 songs that totally blow my mind are (in order): Comfortably Numb (of course), Hey You, Another Brick in the Wall (Part II), Run Like Hell, Mother, and In the Flesh. I don't hate anything about this album. Just one thing bugs me: more keyboard! There are only a couple of keyboard stand-out points, but for the most part, it's just a backing instrument on this album. If it were stolen, I would cry for a few hours, and then find and destroy whoever stole it. All in all, this album is not another brick in the wall. It's a total standout. 'Nuff said.