Roger Waters - Amused To Death

Discussions about Pink Floyd and Solo Official Album CDs and DVDs.

Rate this album

5 - Best
56
51%
4
26
24%
3
17
15%
2
5
5%
1 - Worst
6
5%
 
Total votes: 110

Kerry King
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Re: Roger Waters - Amused To Death

Post by Kerry King »

^I Appreciate that Zippy.

This species has amused itself to death.
ZiggyZipgun
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Re: Roger Waters - Amused To Death

Post by ZiggyZipgun »

I think I fixed it:

1. The Ballad of Bill Hubbard
2. Too Much Rope
3. Perfect Sense, Part 1
4. Late Home Tonight, Part 1
5. Perfect Sense, Part 2
6. Three Wishes
7. It's a Miracle
8. Amused to Death

Running time: 45:46

Both halves of "Perfect Sense" are almost shrill enough to reach for the skip button, but spreading them out reduces the ear fatigue.
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theaussiefloydian
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Re: Roger Waters - Amused To Death

Post by theaussiefloydian »

This album is pretty much the definition of a "mixed bag" for me, and it's also a pretty interesting case in how much my music taste has changed the past five years. When I first joined this forum I kind of loved Amused to Death, and would frequently listen to it while in transit or while trying to go to sleep or something. These days... not so much.
Thematically, I really like it. The constant theme of the effect the media has on people's everyday lives and outlooks is a good one, and even more relevant today than it was in 1992 (which I imagine was Waters' motivation behind the 2015 re-release). I especially like the concept behind the title track, where the aliens look over the remains of Earth trying to figure out what the hell happened. It's a pretty clever album.
But.
Much of what I don't enjoy about Waters' solo work (and The Final Cut for that matter) is that it often sounds like him giving a speech with some music behind him, telling the listener what his point is with all the subtlety of a hammer to the head (insert that one animation from "Waiting for the Worms" here). And while this feels like that to a lesser extent than, say, The Final Cut, there are still elements of that all over this album. However, for the most part it's reasonably good music so it's not so bad.
The other thing is its length. The album has almost no momentum (in my opinion anyway), and seems to grind to a halt towards the back end. I will say I do love the double act of "It's a Miracle" and "Amused to Death", but I feel like they would have been a much more effective ending if, say, one or two tracks had been trimmed off somewhere (I'd vote for "Watching TV" and "Three Wishes" myself - we already know the album is about TV, Roger. We don't need a song saying "ya get it yet? This is about TV!")
And the final point is really just a subjective thing, but I'm not as keen on Waters' voice on this album as I am on other records like his Pink Floyd songs and, say, Is This the Life We Really Want?. (I also feel like he's one of the weaker vocalists from Pink Floyd, but that's an extremely subjective point so that's not really a factor in my thoughts on this album.)
In an alternate universe, I feel like this would have made a pretty decent Pink Floyd album with a bit of musical input from Gilmour and Wright. But for what we have here... I'm not as big a fan of it as I used to be.
(Additional note: I'm listening to "It's a Miracle" as I'm writing this and Waters' "f*ck you" to Andrew Lloyd Webber never ceases to make me smile.)
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Re: Roger Waters - Amused To Death

Post by ZiggyZipgun »

ZiggyZipgun wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 1:09 pm 1. The Ballad of Bill Hubbard
2. Too Much Rope
3. Perfect Sense, Part 1
4. Late Home Tonight, Part 1
5. Perfect Sense, Part 2
6. Three Wishes
7. It's a Miracle
8. Amused to Death
I ended up listening to this on a loop today, and it was great!
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Re: Roger Waters - Amused To Death

Post by ZiggyZipgun »

theaussiefloydian wrote: Mon Apr 12, 2021 2:40 pm (I also feel like he's one of the weaker vocalists from Pink Floyd, but that's an extremely subjective point so that's not really a factor in my thoughts on this album.)
The guy is one of the weaker vocalists in the profession.

As Robert Wyatt told Charles Shaar Murray (ring a bell?) in 1974: "Everybody’s got an equally good voice. Just like everybody’s got two arms and two legs. It’s just a matter of using it. People who get praised for doing it are the people who actually bother."

Roger might think that pushing his voice until it's audibly strained makes it more emotionally effective, but it's a great way to destroy it, as he's found out. Coldplay's lead singer started taking singing lessons after their first album had already sold millions of copies, so we probably won't see him miming to pre-recorded tracks anytime soon, even though he's already four years older than Rog was when he started.

I love Rick's voice on the later performances of "Comfortably Numb", but I'd still like to hear Nick take a crack at it.
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Re: Roger Waters - Amused To Death

Post by ZiggyZipgun »

My real beef with Amused to Death is that whatever point he's trying to make is undermined by the album itself, which is dedicated to someone he heard about in a BBC documentary in 1991. War = entertainment = money. And how does he share this parable (some might say...allegory) with us? By working exclusively within the entertainment industry, when it's profitable. He originally tried to pressure the record company to drop Pink Floyd 1987 Ltd by refusing to release the album, but suddenly had a change of heart after being served with divorce papers. Also, for an atheist, the guy talks about God a lot, which isn't a great way to communicate with others who might not share his beliefs - or even other atheists! Gilmour is also an atheist, but at least he believes in subtlety, fer chrissake.
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Re: Roger Waters - Amused To Death

Post by Kerry King »

^ I like it when the Pittsburgh comes through. Nice post.