The Final Cut is ok, I think?

General discussion about Pink Floyd.
KingQueenKnave
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The Final Cut is ok, I think?

Post by KingQueenKnave »

Just some stand-alone thoughts, and the hope it encourages discussion.

So, I have pretty much been consuming the band's entire discography once more for the past three weeks now. They have been a favourite of mine for a while. Something I anticipated, but also sort of dreaded, was going beyond the band's seventies peak. Yes, I am including The Wall in that peak, which seems to be a point of contention judging by a vocal minority of online detractors.

The Final Cut is generally seen as the moment the band fell off. I kind of have to agree. Whilst Roger Waters did indeed take the reins circa 1977, there was still enough contribution from Gilmour, Wright and Mason to transform his singular vision to life. Wright not so much, on second thought, but those albums still sound like Pink Floyd whilst sounding distinct in the discography. TFC on the other hand is effectively Waters' solo project, as the back credit makes clear. Not that I blame him for using the Pink Floyd name, as he had to do so to avoid legal issues.

Yet, it's...ok? I guess?

I mean it's not some overlooked gem with cuts that rival anything off the preceding four albums, yet I respect what it tries to do even if I think it fails sometimes. I do like the concept behind it, and as an anti-war person I guess the record does preach to the choir. I also really like the cinematic production.

My issue stems from a noticeable lack of David Gilmour, who by his own admission didn't really like the project and wanted little to do with it, the absence of Rick Wright, and the vocals. Man, I know Waters is not known exactly for sounding like an angel, but the mumbling then screeching routine nearly ruins a lot of the material. The title track would sound much better without the way he sings the Rolling Stone lyric.

I also find the overabundance of named political figures to be a hindrance. Much of the album feels dated thematically, which their prior work never suffered them.

I do respect it as an exercise in grief and anger. On a musical level, between the rather maudlin strings and at times mediocre songwriting, I cannot enjoy it that much. I only really love The Gunner's Dream. Still, I slightly prefer it to the albums made after.

What do the rest of you think of the album, on its own and in the context of the band's discography?

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Annoying Twit
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Re: The Final Cut is ok, I think?

Post by Annoying Twit »

I would agree both that The Final Cut is where the quality fell off, and that it's still a good album.

In my opinion, The Final Cut and A Momentary Lapse of Reason are similar in quality, though very different in style. The Division Bell is better than both.

Kerry King
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Re: The Final Cut is ok, I think?

Post by Kerry King »

KingQueenKnave wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 2:44 pm
it's not some overlooked gem with cuts that rival anything off the preceding four albums
I think Two Suns In The Sunset and the title track most certainly rival stuff like Vera, Bring the Boys Back Home, The Trial, Waiting For the Worms, Great Gig In The Sky, Breathe, On The Run, Brain Damage, Eclipse, Any Colour You Like, Young Lust, Empty Spaces, Welcome to the Machine and Pigs On The Wing.

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twcc
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Re: The Final Cut is ok, I think?

Post by twcc »

Annoying Twit wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 3:47 pm
I would agree both that The Final Cut is where the quality fell off, and that it's still a good album.
...
+1
Let's step back to The Wall; if I am driving alone, I can listen to The Wall on a long car journey and the 100-mins or thereabouts washes over me and you can sing along, hum along and join in the trial sequence with the car happily on cruise control. The Final Cut experience is not quite the same, there are a few very good tracks, a few sound effects and several not-so-good tracks. That said once The Final Cut is playing in the car you just let it sequence through the entire album and enjoy the ride.

As for the post-Waters Pink Floyd albums on car journeys, there's a frequent use of the 'next track' button.

To summarise, the quality started to fall off but overall a good album.

](*,)

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space triangle
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Re: The Final Cut is ok, I think?

Post by space triangle »

A few ok songs on it, This album would have passed a quite unnoticed if it didn't had Pink Floyd moniker attached to the album cover.

dj865
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Re: The Final Cut is ok, I think?

Post by dj865 »

I think it's ok, but I don't listen to it often as it just doesn't groove. It's very disjointed, lots of sections with no drum beats (I play drums) and just isn't enjoyable from start to finish. Agree there's some decent tracks on it though

ZiggyZipgun
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Re: The Final Cut is ok, I think?

Post by ZiggyZipgun »

twcc wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 7:27 pm
As for the post-Waters Pink Floyd albums on car journeys, there's a frequent use of the 'next track' button.
And for Roger's solo albums, I have power windows.

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Re: The Final Cut is ok, I think?

Post by ZiggyZipgun »

I think the strongest stuff on The Final Cut is the teacher song-cycle from The Wall - "Your Possible Pasts"/"One of the Few"/"The Hero's Return"/"The Gunner's Dream"; how the title track fits into that, unless it's told from the teacher's perspective, I don't know - the storyline is all over the place by that point. I've always felt that "Two Suns in the Sunset" is the weakest point in the Pink Floyd canon.

Fun fact: In my 6th grade music class, our textbook covered Pink Floyd, and even had us listen to one song: "The Gunner's Dream". I already owned Relics and Dark Side of the Moon, and possibly The Division Bell (in that order), but I'd never heard The Final Cut, so I was looking forward to it. My classmates were not impressed, and neither was I. I even felt the need to defend them..."Their other stuff is good, I swear!"

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Master_Chief
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Re: The Final Cut is ok, I think?

Post by Master_Chief »

The Final Cut is still one of my favourite Pink Floyd albums, purely because I feel it grabs the listener by the scruff of the neck and discusses political and social themes that are/were discomforting. The faded "post war dream", the continuation of the PTSD suffered by the teacher character on the first side of the record and the clever lyrics to Two Suns in the Sunset on the second side.

I remember listening to The Wall for the first time and simply loving it as a concept, and my parents suggesting I listen to The Final Cut. For some reason I wasn't keen on the idea (probably due to reviews and such that I had read) but I eventually got around the playing it. With headphones placed firmly on my head and a decent Technics stack powering the sound it quite literally blew me away. The ambient sounds, softly spoken lyrics harshly offset by Roger's screaming made me fall in love with the album, it's themes, everything.

The only downside from that album was the discord it created within the band, but quite frankly if The Final Cut hadn't caused them to split then another album/tour would've definitely done so.

From there my interests definitely jumped to Roger's solo work for many years, and now I am more than happy to listen to the entirety of the album, along with The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking with continued enjoyment.

But equally I understand that it's definitely not everyone's favourite album, and my Uncle (who saw Floyd in '88 and '94 and ultimately got me into them) detests The Final Cut and even some parts of The Wall.