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3.9 out of 5 stars
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3.9 out of 5 stars
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Showing 1-10 of 49 reviews(5 star). Show all reviews
on June 5, 2008
Right before Roger Waters left Pink Floyd, he released The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking. The album was originally supposed to be a Pink Floyd album, but it got shelved in favor of The Wall. 5 years later, Roger releases it under his own name.

How to describe the music and lyrics. It sounds much like The Final Cut but more "rocking" if you should say. Roger's lyrics are usually very deep and meaningful, but the lyrics to this album can be read like a book. I'll try to explain the plot of the album:

There's a man who is dreaming about driving around country with two hitch hikers in the back seat. As he keeps driving he keeps having sexual fantasies about the female passenger. He then awakens and his wife threatens to leave him. He then suggests that to save their marriage they move to his wife's native land, but she soon cheats on him and the man leaves her for good and he then goes out on his own again. He get's picked up by a trucker and tells his story about his marriage and the trucker feels sorry for them. They then stop at a truck stop and there is a waitress there who is kind to him and he then begins to feel better about himself. After that he wakes up to see that it was all a dream, and then he looks over at his wife and tells her that he loves her.

There's more to the story than that, but I tried my best at explaining it. It's a very bizarre album to say the least, but if you appreciate Roger Waters like I do you'll realise the masterpiece this album truly is. Eric Clapton plays guitar aswell to add to it! I usually give a run down of the songs but it's hard to explain them, you'll have to hear it for yourself.
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on June 20, 2004
Roger Waters released his second solo album The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking in April of 1984. The album was recorded between February and December of 1983 at Roger's home studio and featured assistance from the legendary Eric Clapton on guitar, the late Michael Kamen on piano and orchestrations, Roxy Music drummer Andy Newmark and jazz great David Sanborn on saxophones. Roger Waters takes the concept album to new heights on this masterpiece. Each of the 12 tracks marks the a scene of a surreal dream (nightmare?). Along the journey, Waters(whom wrote, sang, played bass and rhythm guitar and produced with Michael Kamen) deals with murderous Arabs in Germany(Arabs With Knives and West German Skies), a sexual encounter(Sexual Revolution), mundane family life(The Remains of Our Love and Go Fishing). He also encounters bikers, truckers, housewives, Shane and Yoko Ono(all mentioned in the title cut) and strangers(the album's best cut, Every Stranger's Eyes). The album is balanced with great doses of Slowhand's playing, the late Kamen's orchestrations and Waters' lyrics. To date, this is the only Waters solo album to go Gold in the US and peaked at #31 here in the US. However, notwithstanding sales figures, this album is a great solo disc. Highly recommended!
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on May 31, 2000
This album is a cohesive masterpiece of Roger Water's more disturbing memories, dreams, and reflections. Granted, this is NOT dinner and dancing music! It is potent stuff, some of which you will find disturbing if you're expecting the more melodic Floydian sound of The Wall or Dark Side. The album was reportedly written at the same time Waters wrote The Wall, which the band chose to do instead of this one. I believe that like The Wall, it is mainly autobiographical. My favorite cut of this album is "Every Stranger's Eyes," but the entire CD is moving and powerful from beginning to end, including the sounds connecting each song. Only Roger Waters can write music and lyrics that will take you on such an emotional journey into the shadows and depths, and make the listener feel it all so powerfully. Realize though, that this is more angst and haunting feelings than the kind of music enjoyed in "Money" or even "Comfortably Numb" - it lacks the harmonies and melodic touches often attributed to Gilmour's influence - but I heartily recommend it for any Floyd or Waters fan. From quiet, tender and vulnerable feelings to sudden, angst-ridden strains, the music delivers with huge emotional impact. Pop fans will hate it. First listen should be alone, undisturbed. Second listen will have you hooked.
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on April 19, 2000
At first it pained me to read some of the scathing reviews found here. But then I realized that it isn't important what others (obtuse as they may be) think of this album. What really matters is its importance to me. And no other album has elicited more precious emotions from me -- not even close...and I can't imagine another one ever will. I suppose Roger could change that with his upcoming new solo album. Please do yourself a favor and find a quiet place free from distractions...dig out your headphones if you like...follow the lyrics from the album...and give it a listen. Don't expect to be knocked over the first time around, but with each subsequent listen, Roger will draw you in further and further until you "become" the character in this masterpiece. Not too different from a lucid dream, once inside...it becomes a marvelous place to be. Thanks, Roger.
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on May 14, 2004
Roger Waters released his second solo album The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking in April of 1984. The album was recorded between February and December of 1983 at Roger's home studio and featured assistance from the legendary Eric Clapton on guitar, the late Michael Kamen on piano and orchestrations, Roxy Music drummer Andy Newmark and jazz great David Sanborn on saxophones. Roger Waters takes the concept album to new heights on this masterpiece. Each of the 12 tracks marks the a scene of a surreal dream (nightmare?). Along the journey, Waters(whom wrote, sang, played bass and rhythm guitar and produced with Michael Kamen) deals with murderous Arabs in Germany(Arabs With Knives and West German Skies), a sexual encounter(Sexual Revolution), mundane family life(The Remains of Our Love and Go Fishing). He also encounters bikers, truckers, housewives, Shane and Yoko Ono(all mentioned in the title cut) and strangers(the album's best cut, Every Stranger's Eyes). The album is balanced with great doses of Slowhand's playing, the late Kamen's orchestrations and Waters' lyrics. To date, this is the only Waters solo album to go Gold in the US and peaked at #31 here in the US. However, notwithstanding sales figures, this album is a great solo disc. Highly recommended!
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on October 8, 2002
This cd is beyong belief. From the brooding intro "Apparently they were traveling abroad" to the rocker "Pros and Cons of Hitchiking", this takes the listener out for a trip he wont forget. This is Roger Waters finest solo-album, you will find so much of Pink Floyd here, much more than any of his others. The sound is strong, the melodies are directly haunting, and some parts glues it self to your brain for life, like the rolling of thunder in "Sexual Revolution". Eric Clapton guest stars here too, making the guitarsolo feel competent and professional. Roger Waters have a wonderful voice on this record, he knows how to tell a story just by changing the pitch of his voice. The songs, melodies, it is just beyond everything I have ever heard. This album has become a permanent listening experience for me every week, and it really deserves it.
Too little credit were given this cd, and it is a shame, for this is the best Post Pink Floyd Roger has written and done. In fact nothing else comes close, and this is the finest example of musical storytelling ever.
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on June 3, 2002
I've read a number of these reviews and enjoyed the sparring from various parties. Many people swear this is the best album ever, some see it as great but flawed, others ridicule the approach and output.
Before I start, I'll baseline my background. I worshipped Pink Floyd and identified early that Waters was the driving force. I love Gilmore's guitar work and have (and enjoy) all of his solo work but remain a Waters fan.
So where do I stand ?
I don't think this is the technically best album ever;
I think Dark Side, Wish You Were Here and Animals were all stronger albums;
I think Amused to Death was Waters highest quality work;
But this is my favourite.
Why ? Because, I value the little flaws. I enjoy the rawness of the production, the risks with the arrangements, the challenge of keeping track of the story. I don't look for singles and therefore savour the lack of accessibility of the individual songs.
Importantly, as much as I love Roger Waters, I enjoy the rare sentimentality of this album. Roger is a great story teller and lyricist but so often tells such a cynical story. Pros and Cons provides respite and relaxation within the Waters catalogue.
The magic of listening, uninterrupted, to the duration of the album and finishing with 'Every Strangers Eyes' and 'A Moment of Clarity' is a joy to behold. I challenge anyone to put down their headphones at albums end with less than a satisfied grin.
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on January 31, 2002
Roger Waters first "true" solo album (other than the easily forgettable "Music from the Body") proves who the creative genius behind Pink Floyd really was. "The Pros and Cons" is a brilliant concept album in which Waters uses a series of strange dreams as a storyline to vent on a number of personal issues, most importantly love and fidelity. As is true with pretty much all Pink Floyd and Roger Waters albums, this album needs to be heard from start to finish to truly understand, but it is more than worth it as Roger's incredible ability to convey his emotions is so good it is overwhelming. Roger is truly a master of using dynamic shifts within the music to give his lyrics that much more meaning. If you were emotionally effected by the lyrical themes covered in "The Wall", then I STRONGLY suggest picking up both this album and "The Final Cut", as these are both albums that dig deeper into the personal turmoil that were the reasons that "Pink" (and that means Roger himself as well as the character in the movie) built the emotional "Wall".
Enough about the lyrical theme though, this is also a strong album musically. Clapton is at his best, as is Sax player David Sanborn, while Michael Kamen's string arrangements are incredibly powerful. If you have the patience to REALLY LISTEN to an album, start to finish, then "The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking" is definitely for you.
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on July 27, 1999
I've noticed the other reviews on this page are either 5 stars, by people who have taken the time to get inside this album and appreciate it; or 1 or 2 stars, such as the person who asked "Maybe i just don't get the deep meaning buried within the pointless tunes, but then why should we have to work hard?" The answer is that Roger's music contains and expresses so much that it simply CAN'T be chopped up and served as a bunch of 3-minute catchy tunes. If that's what you want you can just turn the radio to any random station and listen to the mainstream drivel dominating the airwaves. Roger Waters is one of the few remaining artists who dare to put some real thought and feeling into music, and the music dares to make the listener think as well. The playing on this record is first-rate (how could it not be with Eric Clapton in the lead?) and the sounds are woven together masterfully to wrap you up in the story. It's interesting to see how some pieces of "The Wall" show up as well: the end of "Dunroamin, Duncarin, Dunlivin" is taken from "In the Flesh," and the melody from "Mother" shows up at the beginning and end of the album. Sure the album has some faults; at one point during "Go Fishing" I thought "Ok Roger you can stop screaming." His voice has never been his strongest point, but most of the time he still makes it work. If you still have an open mind about music then "Pros&Cons" is worth checking out. It's not something for every occasion, but perfect when you're in just the right mood.
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on May 7, 1999
Ha! As I read the varied reviews on this site, I laugh at some of them. Roger Waters can only be appreciated at his best when one goes deep into the art that he creates, and not the poppy, meaningless, money-grossing-oriented songs of the Roger-less Floyd. I'm sure that the people who only gave this album one star are the same people who rate "Learning to Fly" as one of their favorite songs.
Personally, this is one of my most favorite albums of all-time. Roger once said that, from the perspective of art, a work is only as good as how well it moves you (a statement with which I agree). Well, if this emotional rollercoaster doesn't move you, nothing will. Certainly not the drivel thoughtlessly penned out by today's most popular "artists." Also, in my opinion, the one song on here I'd leave off is the title track, and I also see that the people who don't really like the album as a whole do lean towards that song as one of the best on the album.
Here, Eric Clapton, who is the undisputed master of the electric blues, combines his striking and poignant solos with the shearing vocals of Roger, at once soft and at peace, and at another sharp and ripping. If there is an album out there with more electricity, more emotion, and more meaning, then I have yet to find it. "The Final Cut" is another one of my favorites, for the very same reasons.
Also, in response to the claim that this is somehow an attack on women. I suggest one reads the lyrics and listens a little more and thinks a LOT more about what this album actually is. Roger dedicated this album to Carolyne, his wife. It's about a man who dreams of marrital infidelity with a woman purely for her physical attractiveness, and how he realizes that true happiness is lying right beside him. He also puts himself in her shoes by seeing how HE would feel if he were cheated on - in "Go Fishing" and "Dunroamin, Duncarin, Dunlivin." This is an amazing album for its lyrical depth, its personal responsibility, its musical electricity, and for the fact that it moves you more than any other album out there. A must-have for true believers of art in music.
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