The Wall review by Roger Waters

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  • Released: Nov 20, 2015
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.6 (23 votes)
Roger Waters: The Wall

Sound — 8
Pink Floyd's "The Wall" remains one of the greatest rock concept albums of all time. The 1979 narrative record was a massive success when it first hit the shelves and has developed a cult following among multiple generations of listeners, which provided estranged Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters with the ideal opportunity to bring the album to audiences across four continents through a gigantic theatrical production and a backing lineup comprised of solid musicians. This is a task which Rogers previously embraced for the iconic 1990 all-star concert between West and East Germany, yet never on such a large scale as this trek would prove to be. Roger Waters' "The Wall" tour launched in 2010 and rapidly expanded due to high demand, ultimately extending the tour to a three year run that concluded in 2013 - such success wasn't entirely surprising but was certainly vindicating for such a veteran musician to be able to head out for three years on a sold out tour hitting arenas across the globe.

The audiences had spoken, which has led to the anticipated concert release from Roger Waters. The aptly titled "The Wall" captures performances from the course of "The Wall" tour, sharing the soundtrack which appeared on the 2014 concert film of the same name and has since been produced by Nigel Godrich, recognized for his previous work with names like Radiohead, Beck and Paul McCartney. Ironically, it's Godrich's production which is the main weakness sonically on Roger's "The Wall"; the mix ends up sounding incredibly muddy and drowns out even the crashing pyrotechnics which cue "In the Flesh?" as the opening number. When the main man steps up to the microphone with acoustic accompaniment for "Mother," the production actually comes together rather well, yet it's during the heavier moments ala "Young Lust" and "Run Like Hell" that we miss out on the full spectrum of the performance. Musically there's not a bounty of expanded instrumentation or elaboration to be found here, which the dedicated Pink Floyd fans would want and hope for in a front-to-back live rendition of such a staple record. However, don't consider this to be a poor feature of this live release; it's as authentic as Waters and company could get to the original recordings without patching things up with the surviving members of Floyd and taking this show back out on the road.

Lyrics — 8
The lyrics of Roger Waters on Pink Floyd's "The Wall" are well known and readily celebrated, especially considering their unfortunate relevance in today's society. As anyone who sits down and watches the film version of this live release could attest, the massive crowds who paid witness to this tour are often singing along word for word on songs other than "Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)" and "Hey You." Waters himself sounds in fine form throughout the course of this live compilation; his weathered approach to the main microphone actually compliments songs such as the aforementioned "Hey You" and "Waiting for the Worms," where he reaches towards some considerably high notes with passion. Robbie Wyckoff steps in for the songs and song portions that David Gilmour originally handled on "The Wall," such as the chorus in "Comfortably Numb" and "Young Lust," and does admirably well - not as well as David Gilmour would have, but that's beside the point. There's nothing to knock off vocally or otherwise here.

Overall Impression — 8
Roger Waters brought the full scale production of Pink Floyd's "The Wall" to hundreds of audiences over the course of his 2010-2013 tour and did so authentically, so it's only fitting that those moments be captured and released for the fans to enjoy for years to come. Roger Waters' "The Wall" isn't the perfect reproduction of the original that some may have been anticipating, nor are the studio edits up to par, however it is a fine two disc set that progressive rock advocates will be able to appreciate.

21 comments sorted by best / new / date

    He looks happier these days. Nice to be a rock star again, after 30 years of chillin.
    The music, the anti-war message, the memorialising of people who lost their lives for nothing, my personal sentimental attachment to Floyd and this album. I won't lie, just like every other time I've experienced this story, I cried.
    Agent 00Awesome
    Saw this show in 2010 in Denver and it was one of the best concerts I've ever been to. Can't decide if I liked this concert or seeing Iron Maiden more, but it's one of those two. AMAZING stage show, performance, and experience. I may pick this up just to have it and say I was able to experience it in person.
    i went to both the denver shows on the wall tours too and it was amazing, and i got tickets to see iron maiden for the first time next april at the pepsi center. I've heard maiden is comparable to the wall tour in extravagance. can't wait!
    Saw both Denver shows as well. Plus Wrigley Field. They were all good but the first Denver show was the best... Waters and Maiden are two different animals. You are not going to get much politics or tears from Maiden. However, to me they are still the best metal band touring. Saw them 3 times in the 80's, once in the 00's at Red Rocks wityh Queensryche and Halford, Always a great show and the band is always on, have never seen a bad show from them. I'm sending my son in April as I am on the road and will miss it... Passing them on to the next generation.
    «and "Waiting for the Worms," where he reaches towards some considerably high notes with passion.» dude, he wasnt singing waithing for the worm...
    Listening to it just makes me want to listen to the studio version of The Wall, even though I saw the live performance. It really was more about seeing than hearing, in a way.
    saddly he was Lip-synching a lot in this tour (and I know he did that a lot of times before) But please dude, I dont want a playback during In the flesh anyway, what a fucking great show. I saw him 2 times (toronto, quebec)
    I would demand a refund. If he can't deliver the goods, what are you paying for, the stage setup? That's SO not what Pink Floyd was about to me, and Pink Floyd is about SO much more than The Wall. Plus, the ticket prices were stupifyingly overpriced.
    Pink Floyd to you is about hearing an old man struggle with the high notes? Who the hell cares? It sounded amazing, he looked the part. I'd much rather he lip-synced than sounded bad because that show was a spectacle and deserved the best. This show was so good I went to two different countries just to see it again, and I'm a lazy bastard. I didn't even think about what was real singing and what wasn't.
    Yep and you can even see that on the movie. Thankfully lots of Water's lines are sung by the other guy who usually takes the Gilmour parts.
    The Wall has some amazing songs on it, but screw listening to the whole thing.
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