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3.9 out of 5 stars
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3.9 out of 5 stars
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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 July 19, 2000
Pink Floyd's music always worked best because of the contributions of both Roger Waters and Dave Gilmour. Waters had the genius for writing lyrics and Gilmour could make brilliant music to bring them to life. Individually they still make good albums, but not quite as great as they could together. I'd have to say Roger has done a better job as a solo artist; he's known where to draw the line and bring in other musicians to help. In this case he picked some of the best: Eric Clapton, David Sanborn and Michael Kamen among others.
So then, what is Pros & Cons? A dream set to music, although only Roger would ever make it into an album like this.. we go from picking up hitchhikers on the road to living in the woods in Wyoming to standing by a cliff with Yoko Ono yelling 'jump.' There are moments of fear and moments of sweetness. Roger screams a little too much, but this is a small complaint. And this time we go out on a positive note with "Every Stranger's Eyes" / "Moment of Clarity," one of Roger's most beautiful passages. Listen with an open mind.. realize it's not Pink Floyd, but something different. And be willing to give it a couple listens at first before it sinks in.. you'll be glad you did.
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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 March 20, 2000
Since buying this album, I've listened through it probably a half dozen times. And at this point, I still can't decide how much I like the album. Part of that feeling, contrary to my feelings of other Waters' solo albums, is that nothing sticks out in the album. As Radio KAOS and Amused to Death have specific tracks that I have fallen in love with, nothing specific on Pros and Cons does that for me.
That being said, I think the flow of this album is extraordinary. And I believe that's why I can't point out specific tracks. This sticks true for Floyd's stuff, IMO. I don't have specific songs that stick out on The Wall, Animals, The Final Cut, and Dark Side. Those albums, as a whole, are just plain excellent. Okay, maybe I am shorting "Comfortably Numb", but still.
Floyd is far and above my favorite band. And I don't even use drugs! However, if I was to come up with a list of my 50 favorite songs, I don't know if any Floyd track would make the list. That's what I'm getting at, and that's why I can't specifically point things out.
As a concept album, as a whole, it is a great album. First off, I like the concept, which differs from my feelings about Radio KAOS. The listener is put through the thought process of a hitchhiker. The feelings really cover a full spectrum from joy to sorrow. Waters' excels at this.
Contrary to Amused to Death, Waters' sings on this album. And does it very well. Musically, the album is stronger, as a whole, than Radio KAOS, and probably even better than Amused to Death.
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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 4, 1998
In the late 1970s, Roger Waters sat the other members of Pink Floyd down and played them two demo tapes. One, he said, he would make into an album/movie with the band, the other he would do as a solo project. One was "The Wall," the other was "The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking."
While I think the band made the right choice, Waters's first solo album does have some catchy riffs (how could it not, with Eric Clapton on guitar?), especially in the title song which I think is the album's strongest track. The album covers a man's early-morning dream sequence, which -- as you can guess from the song titles -- ventures into nightmare more often than not. The recurring theme is fear of loneliness, which dissipates as soon as the narrator wakes up next his beloved. Both musically and conceptually, I think this is the best of Waters's solo albums.
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on June 12, 2000
Roger's first solo album since leaving Pink Floyd didn't quite grab me at first few listens, and I originally dismissed it as pessimistic Waters sludge. There were simply too many lyrics to digest and not a lot of memorable stand ouot moments. Upon further investigation, though, I realize this is actually quite a fine album- a classic Waters concept album following in the musical direction of the Wall and the Final Cut. I consider Pros & Cons part of a Waters concept Trilogy which started with the Wall and Final Cut, though Pros & Cons wasn't as interesting or sucessful musically or conceptually as the previous two concepts. It still is a decent listen though. There is enough Waters emotion and personal angst in here to sastisfy anyone really into the Wall and Cut, though a little harder to digest at first listen. Try listening to this alone.
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on May 26, 2004
No one can tell a story in music like Roger Waters. To him the lyrics are everything, and the music is there to support those lyrics. This can be heard throughout the "The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking" as Waters' voice take precedence over everything else. This album was originally brought before Pink Floyd with another project to vote upon which to do. They picked "The Wall" instead, which was probably a smart choice. Although not quite Floyd quality, the album is actually surprising good, although it was outranked by David Gilmour's "About Face", which probably added to the strain on their relationship.
I won't even pretend to understand the story Waters' is trying to tell on this album, but I assume it follows some Hunter S. Thompson vision of wacked-out reality through dreams. What I do understand is that Waters' pulled out the stops to make this album successful by hiring Eric Clapton to handle the guitar work, and David Sanborn for sax. It is without doubt that Clapton carried this album further into mainstream acceptance than merit alone. Likewise, when Waters' allows Clapton free rein, the songs are good. "Running Shoes" rocks heavily, and "For the First Time Today, Part 2" (the first one) Clapton plays with a bluesy feel, which carries into "Sexual Revolution". The title track is the highlight of the album.
Although this album pales compared to Waters' "Radio K.A.O.S." it is still better than his other studio albums. Clapton has some great licks throughout the album, and Waters' has some great lyrics in here as well. Waters' ability to compose music around his story is amazing, and none can match his talent. I may not understand the story, and the music alone may not be overly noteworthy, but when combined it is a formula that works. A must have for Floyd fans.
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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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