Legendary progressive rock genius Roger Waters released his first rock record in 24 years titled “Is This The Life We Really Want?” Teaming up with producer Nigel Godrich, Waters delivers 12 tracks of lush and majestic prog rock albeit with a very dark and ominous feel.
The record starts out with a ticking clock and muted voices on “When We Were Young,” a spoken word track that has layers of Waters’ vocal tracks upon vocal tracks before delving into the reflective feel of “Deja Vu” during which Waters ponders the question “If I had been God…” A radio broadcasts begins as “The Last Refugee” takes off lamenting over the separation of a parent and child forced apart due to circumstances beyond their control. The record as a whole has a very meditative, deliberate feel as it serves as a political statement of just where we are as a society, notably in the title track which starts off with a clip from a Donald Trump speech. Waters still has his vocal chops and he sounds better than ever. Sonically, there are lots of musical Pink Floyd references as in the first single “Smell The Roses.” But where Waters really shines is the last few songs of the album where he takes a break from politics and gives his attention to love with a haunting piano melody in ‘Wait for Her” and a poignant look back during “Part of Me Died.” These last few tracks are a highlight as the songs ebb and flow into each other seamlessly making it difficult to tell where one begins and another ends.
“Is This The Life We Really Want” will leave the listener contemplating where they are in life and what is yet to come amidst the sonic grandeur of an opulent and verdant landscape of music as only Waters can provide.