Top positive review
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So you thought you'd might like to go to the show....
on July 11, 2004
With songs like "In the flesh?", "Run Like Hell," and "Another Brick In The Wall pt.2," The Wall just might be Floyd's darkest, hardest album. The lyrics certainly reflect that, telling the story of a disturbed young man whose life becomes so chaotic that he creates a sort of mental barrier between himself and the world, only to have it torn down, "exposing him in front of his peers," as the second to last song suggests. Throughout his life, our flawed protagonest deals with the death of his father, vicious teachers, an overbearing mother, the pain of growing up in a harsh world full of war and pain. He has a chaotic marriage ("Day after day, love turns gray..."). He becomes a drug-addicted rock star, and loses all of his privacy to the media and to fans. In the end all of demons come back to confront him in the absolutely stunning climatic song "The Trial." The story is dark, engrossing, and symbolic of our lives, and the trouble we go to in order to seperate ourselves from others. Wall could have made an excellent novel, if you ask me.
But above and beyond the story is the music in which it is contained. While Dark Side Of The Moon featured longer, slower songs which unfolded slowly and bled into one another, the songs on Wall are shorter and louder, more hard rock than progressive. "Young Lust," for example, is a fast paced flat out rocker reminescent of Physical Grafitti era Led Zeppelin. It's driven by a tough as nails guitar riff, a pounding bass line, and an instantly memorable chorus ("oooooooooooh.... I need a dirty woman!")
The album's oppener, "In The Flesh?," is a darkly cynical number that is a bit slower than most of The Wall's songs. It makes up for this with some of David Gilmour's most intense guitar work, as well as some of Waters' snarliest, most bitter and sarcastic lyrics ("Tell me is something eluding you, Sunshine/ Is this not what you expected to see?/ If you want to find out what's behind these cold eyes/ You'll just have to crawl your way through this disguise").
The album does have its softer moments, though. "Mother" is a tuneful accoustic ballad whose lyrics go from refreshingly sweet to darkly disturbing ("Hush my baby, baby don't you cry/ Mamma's gonna make all your nightmares come true/ Mamma will put all her fears into you").
"Comfortably Numb" is a rich and textured song about drug addiction. It's extremely engrossing, and easy to get lost in. Its lush accoustic guitar chords make it sound like a DSOTM cut.
"Hey You" is a seemingly tender cry for help, which contains my favorite lyric on the album: "But it was only fantasy. The wall was too high, as you can see. No matter how he tried he could not break free.... And the worms ate into his brain."
"Run Like Hell" is the darkest, hardest, and most cynical track on the album. It's music sounds like something from a queen album (Which is a good thing), and the lyrics talk about a guy who just can't get any privacy.
And how could I leave out the Wall's most famous feature, the infamous "Happiest Days Of Our Lives/ Another Brick In The Wall pt. 2" medely? The ultamite song of adolescent rebellion, with the immortal line "Hey! Teachers! Leave them kids alone!" That's one of the harder songs on the album, and one of my early favorites. But, as any Floyd fan will tell you, its not the best thing the Wall has to offer.
More than any other Pink Floyd record, the Wall is epic. Its a perfect balance of thought provoking lyrics and great music. Its what makes Floyd great.