Friday, 13 March 2009
by MATT LARKIN
The Final Cut is the highly anticipated follow up to The Wall and what many regard as a low-grade b-side album, but this has to be the pinnacle of Pink Floyd’s catalogue. The opening track The Post War Dream lays the concept of the album out on the table, war, politics and grief.
Throughout the album bassist and songwriter Roger Waters' voice is the one that is heard while guitarist Dave Gilmour only delivers backing vocals on Not Now John> It was through this period when the two band leaders' strong personalities were clashing. Keyboardist and founding member Rick Wright was fired before the recording began and tension was high. Gilmour and drummer Nick Mason have said that they were in constant disagreement with Waters who was obsessed with being in control of everything.
And rightly so, as this may even be construed as a Waters solo album, which was performed by Pink Floyd. Many Floyd fans would rank this at the lowest in their list of greatest Floyd albums due to the creative control that Waters had over the album. But to others (including me) that’s exactly why this is their greatest work and why it does, in one disc, a much better job of what The Wall attempted to do in two.
The music itself is fairly simple if even basic, but it’s the simplicity that amplifies the effect of Gilmour’s solos and presence, or the feeling as the orchestra swells up and dissipates over us or when the saxophone rips out an emotional solo on a track like The Gunner's Dream.
The album is dripping with the theme of War, in particular the Falkland’s and WWII. The writing about Margaret Thatcher does little to hide Waters political and even moral stance on war as he writes about his late father who died in WWII and the others who died have died through war. Throughout the album Waters condemns war, and tyrants like some of the residents in The Fletcher Memorial Home.
The Final Cut is defiantly the most personal writing from Waters, the most tense and dramatic album they’ve ever put in a sleeve, and it’s this that reinforces the most effective and key element of its music, the lyrics. If you’re looking for something to truly listen to and absorb and appreciate then you will listen this, Waters' finest hour.