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Is This the Life We Really Want? Image
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72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics What's this?

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7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 71 Ratings

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  • Summary: The first solo rock release for the Pink Floyd co-founder in 25 years was produced by Nigel Godrich.
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Top Track

Déjà Vu
If I had been God I would have rearranged the veins in the face to make them more resistant to alcohol and less prone to ageing If I had been God I... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Jun 23, 2017
    100
    Is This The Life We Really Want? is a stunning accomplishment, as rich as anything Waters has ever managed.
  2. May 30, 2017
    80
    It’s also a big album: a long, sprawling epic that stretches out for it’s slightly-padded running time, but one so full of ideas and intricacies that it’s an easy album to get sucked into.
  3. Jun 6, 2017
    80
    Certainly, Is This the Life We Really Want? lacks the straightforward narrative or melodic thrust of The Wall, but it isn't as somnolent as The Final Cut, and if the songs don't call attention to themselves, they nevertheless form a long suite that works as a sustained mood piece.
  4. 70
    The songs are less varied, however, tending to chug along morosely, based around similar clusters of chords to David Bowie’s Five Years, which suits the apocalyptic foreboding but can make you long for a brightly coiffed alien androgyne to come along and break the monotone gloom. ... Still, for all its solemnity, Waters is clearly in his element, even if his Indian summer might coincide with our nuclear winter.
  5. 70
    Occasionally the music wells up into something noisier and more rhythmically intense; “Bird in a Gale,” with Waters’ image of a loon howling at the sea, openly echoes the trippy deep-space psychedelia of “The Dark Side of the Moon.”
  6. Aug 15, 2017
    60
    While the solo work of Gilmour and Waters improves with each release and suggests that each is getting more comfortable working on his own and figuring out how to work without the other, their solo albums are also a painful and tantalizing reminder of just how good the music they made together once was.
  7. Mojo
    May 23, 2017
    40
    Too often, though, a combination of slight songcraft and waters' awkward tendency to sound simultaneously angry and platitudinous starts to wear thin. [Jul 2017, p.89]

See all 16 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 23
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 23
  3. Negative: 5 out of 23
  1. Jun 2, 2017
    10
    This Album Is a Masterpiece. Roger is Still Angry and When He's Angry He Can Write Good Songs and Good Lyrics.in My Opinion The World NeededThis Album Is a Masterpiece. Roger is Still Angry and When He's Angry He Can Write Good Songs and Good Lyrics.in My Opinion The World Needed To This Album Because There Are Numerous Problems In The Whole of World. Expand
  2. Jun 6, 2017
    10
    Overall a great album. Deja Vu is a masterpiece, one of the best songs Waters has ever written - comparable, and reminiscent of, the bestOverall a great album. Deja Vu is a masterpiece, one of the best songs Waters has ever written - comparable, and reminiscent of, the best tracks on The Final Cut. Picture This is a tad shallow and angry but satisfying in this age of stupidity and Trump. The last few tracks on the album, particularly Part of Me Died, are just powerful and haunting particularly as a closing to the angry political work in the center. Expand
  3. May 1, 2018
    10
    May Roger Waters always be angry. Without him, too many of us would feel we're lone voices, crying out in the dark.
  4. Jun 4, 2017
    10
    This album contains some of the finest songs Roger Waters has ever written. It's possible to call this another "concept album", however, IThis album contains some of the finest songs Roger Waters has ever written. It's possible to call this another "concept album", however, I don't believe that it follows a steadfast linear path the way most of his previous concept albums have. There is definitely a theme to be found with most of the songs, some which I found to be refreshingly different from typical Waters subjects.

    The album opens with a familiar Waters/Floyd opening track technique. "Speak to Me" from Dark Side of the Moon wasn't so much of a song either, but an intro into the journey your about to take with Mr. Waters. He did a similar thing with "The Ballad of Bill Hubbard" on Amused to Death. The revolving, repeating lines that you hear from Waters is a smooth, safe way to begin the journey the listener is about to go on.

    Deja Vu & The Last Refugee are two of the stronger tracks on this record. The first shows Roger lamenting on what he might do if he were God to make the world a better, safer world for us all. Next we find a beautiful piece about a refugees journey - a short video was made for this song which shows a gorgeous woman dancing in a beautiful hall, dressed immaculately and then cuts to the same woman dancing the same dance in a dirty, dingy loft wearing ragged clothes, hair unbrushed. Here we have a woman who once was used to a life of opulence reduced to the status of "refugee".

    The next track, "Picture That", is pure old school Roger. This is a song that could have easily fit on the Pink Floyd album "Animals". Venomous as anything Roger has ever written, the lyrics repeat throughout the song asking the listener to picture various scenarios - some seem innocent enough, others may fill you with rage. Musically, this is a very rockin' song...As I said, it could easily fit onto a Pink Floyd record - it is absolutely worthy.

    Rather than go through every song on the record, I'll skip to the final three songs that are married to each other. "Wait for Her" is absolutely beautiful. If Pigs on the Wing (from Animals) was supposed to be a love song Roger wrote for his wife, then Wait For Her is a gushing flood of romance lyrically. It moves into "Oceans Apart", almost in the vein of "The Bravery of Being Out of Range", however this is a one minute reflection of being separated from one's love by the width of an ocean instead of America's enemies as "The Bravery..." reported.

    When "A Part of Me Died" begins we are catapulted back to the piano tune tapped out during "Wait For Her" and we find Roger singing how love can overcome all. It's a man getting rid of a lot of baggage and finding true love, or does it?

    A brilliant record from start to finish. A couple of moments of the album could have used some work, but it's not enough of a distraction to bring this album down from being a 10.
    Expand
  5. Jun 5, 2017
    9
    Is This The Life We Really Want? It is the central question of Roger Waters' new album. A question he answers in his anger about the currentIs This The Life We Really Want? It is the central question of Roger Waters' new album. A question he answers in his anger about the current political games, the world wars and the many refugees victims. The album is full of musical references to classics from the time of Pink Floyd, but due to the influence of producer Nigel Godrich there are some necessary little musical innovations. The depth of the whole is strengthened especially in the use of electronic gadgets and orchestral sounds. Although the emotional tone covers most of the album, there is still a spark of hope on the horizon by the end. The musical package effortlessly connects to the engaging vocal lines and the many images being projected on the retina. Even though Roger Waters knows that this isn't the life he embraces, in love he finds a safe place to await his approaching end. 8.6/10

    Full review in Dutch: https://www.platendraaier.nl/albumrecensies/roger-waters-is-this-the-life-we-really-want/
    Expand
  6. Jun 5, 2017
    8
    Tiene sus momentos, aunque suena peligrosamente como a algo que obviamente ya hemos escuchado y que se alarga un poco más de lo que debería.Tiene sus momentos, aunque suena peligrosamente como a algo que obviamente ya hemos escuchado y que se alarga un poco más de lo que debería. Pese a todo, y en los tiempos que corren... ¡hey! para un músico con la trayectoria y de la talla de Waters es un triunfo presentarse con un disco así de elegante. Expand
  7. Jun 21, 2017
    0
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This is the finest album since The Wall and indeed with 3 or 4 Dave Gilmour guitar solos included, it would be right up there with Pink Floyd's finest. Passable Rick Wright keyboard impersonations are good, the lyrics are RW at his best and at the age of 73, at least humour is in there that probably wasn't some 35/40 years ago. The four lines from Picture That (Picture a courthouse etc.) are, for me, the 4 greatest lines ever written in rock music. I will never agree with RW's politics but this album is phenomenal.

    Unfortunately I don't think that until RW leaves us, the genius of his lyricism will ever be fully appreciated. In the current UK political world (2017) a phrase from 1972/73 has never been more relevant: "share it fairly, but don't take a slice of my pie...."
    Expand

See all 23 User Reviews

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