Friday, June 2, 2017

Roger Waters Is This the Life We Really Want? released

Is This the Life We Really Want?

Roger Waters

Released: June 2, 2017

Peak: 11 US, 3 UK, 4 CN, 7 AU

Sales (in millions): --

Genre: classic rock veteran


Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release)

  1. When We Were Young [1:39]
  2. Déjà Vu [4:27] (5/8/17, --)
  3. The Last Refugee [4:12] (5/19/17, --)
  4. Picture That [6:47]
  5. Broken Bones [4:57]
  6. Is This the Life We Really Want? [5:55]
  7. Bird in a Gale [5:31]
  8. The Most Beautiful Girl [6:09]
  9. Smell the Roses [5:15] (4/20/17, --)
  10. Wait for Her (Waters, Mahmoud Darwish) [4:56] (7/19/17, --)
  11. Oceans Apart [1:07]
  12. Part of Me Died [3:14]

All songs written by Roger Waters unless noted otherwise.

Total Running Time: 54:06

The Players:

  • Roger Waters (vocals, guitar, bass)
  • Nigel Godrich (producer, keyboards, guitar, etc.)
  • Gus Seyffert (guitar, keyboards, bass)
  • Jonathan Wilson (guitar, keyboards)
  • Roger Joseph Manning Jr., Lee Pardini (keyboards)
  • Joey Waronker (drums)
  • Jessica Wolfe, Holly Laessig (vocals)
  • David Campbell (string arrangements)


3.881 out of 5.00 (average of 20 ratings)

Quotable: “Easily the most accessible of Waters’ solo work” – Consequence of Sound

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

Roger Waters was with Pink Floyd nearly two decades before he launched a solo career in 1984 with The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking. He released two more studio efforts, 1987’s Radio K.A.O.S. and 1992’s Amused to Death, and then embarked on two major tours: In the Flesh (1999-2004) and The Wall Live (2010-2013). The latter, a complete performance of Pink Floyd’s The Wall, became the highest-grossing tour by a solo artist to date.

During that time, he recorded assorted songs here and there and an opera, Ça Ira, in 2005, but otherwise was silent for a quarter century when it came to recording another rock album in the studio. That finally changed with Is This the Life We Really Want?, Waters’ first rock studio since 1992’s Amused to Death.

Nigel Godrich, who had been a producer for Radiohead, produced the album. He told Waters some of his solo work was “unlistenable,” WK but was convinced that Waters “still had it” after hearing a demo of Déjà Vu. WK As with many of his previous works, Waters intended to make a concept album. The story was “about a man and his granddaughter investigating why children are being killed in other parts of the world.” WK Godrich persuaded Waters “to make a more concise, less theatrical album.” WK

He still kept some of the original message, but also created a work which functions “as barbed protest music for the age of Brexit and Trump. Waters doesn’t disguise his bile – there’s a lament for The Last Refugee and he spits out ‘picture a leader with no fucking brains,’ a clear broadside against Trump – but the album doesn’t seethe with rage. With its deliberate tempos, wide soundscapes, operatic guitar solos, and swelling crescendos, it is recognizably a Waters album or, perhaps more accurately, a Floydian one.” AMG

Rolling Stone said Godrich brought “prog-rock grandeur” to the project WK while All Music Guide’s Stephen Thomas Erlewinei said he gives the album “a sonic richness evoking late-period Pink Floyd.” AMG Consequence of Sound said the album is “easily the most accessible of Waters’ solo work – a distillation in many regards of the anti-fascist, anti-imperalist, anti-greed messages he’s been broadcasting since Pink Floyd.” WK

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First posted 8/21/2021; last updated 2/5/2022.

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