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In comparision to every other album released under the name 'Pink Floyd', this has to be the most complex of them all. Though it is the most artistic and complex, that does not necaserily make it the best, musically; Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here are much more hard-hitting, and overall stronger albums. In terms of sound, though, what makes The Wall so distinctive must be it's longevity, and the range of different themes covered in it's words and music. Listening to this album puts me into it the way a movie would while I was watching; little things like the TV in the background of most of the first half of the second disc creates a perfect vibe for me to sink into. Again, though it isn't Floyd's strongest musically, it's definitely the most effective one because of it's longevity, and because of the story held in it's lyrics.
One thing that makes this album so intriguing is the way the lyrics connect, creating a full, complete story with no 'empty spaces' left unfilled. For those interested in an interpretation on every single bit and piece of The Wall,
The story told is perfect in the order that it's in, but it doesn't do the same justice with the music, unfortunately.
There are some weak points in the album, such as 'Bring the Boys Back Home' and 'Don't Leave Me Now' which I feel should've been more improved upon. Also, since this is a more a single work than a collection of songs, it does make it hard to listen to when you don't have an hour and a half to spare.
I know it would be more fitting to call this a 'Roger Waters' album, but without the influence of his bandmembers, it wouldn't have been what it is today. Also, when Waters was holed up in that cabin for the time when he wrote the core material, it wasn't very strong musically, but when he handed it to Bob Ezrin and David Gilmour, they were aware of this after listening and sought to fix it. Not only that, but David Gilmour had input on one of the most important tracks in both the story and the music in the history of Pink Floyd; 'Comfortably Numb' came from a song David Gilmour wrote that was originally supposed to be on one of his solo works, and is now a staple of classic rock with one of the best and most well-known guitar solos in rock's history. David Gilmour also had credits in Young Lust, and Bob Ezrin for The Trial. Though they aren't nearly as important as Comfortably Numb, it did lead them to become more distinctive tracks on the album.
Out of the whole album, my favorite scene has to be the hotel scene in the first half of the second disc. It's the strongest part musically, and a big part in the story. 'Hey You' is the perfect introduction to the second half, and 'Is There Anybody Out There?' creates the perfect setting and vibe for the rest of this portion.
When I listen to this album, everything around me seems to slow down, even if I happen to be doing something else while doing it. I'm in a computer class listening to The Wall as I type this, and though I'm focused on this review, my mind doesn't stray from the music. For this, The Wall definitely ranks among the top Floyd albums for me. I would suggest to buy this, but not before listening to their stronger works such as Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, or Meddle. I actually got this for Christmas of last year (after literally years of saying that I would buy it, but never getting around to it), and even after over three months, I haven't been able to stop listening to it.
This review was actually inspired by a discussion of 'Great Expectations' by Charles Dickens; it intrigued me how everything in the story seemed to be connected, and how every little thing contributes to the meaning and symbology, and this album actually came to mind. Though I don't have much more time,
if your interested in finding the meaning of parts of the album, or maybe even every little bit of it if you want.
Though not their strongest musically, definitely a worthwhile experience, and a definitive point in Pink Floyd's history.
After cutting the cord with cable for over a year this is just what the doctor ordered. So cool. Definitely a sign of the future.