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Review: Roger Waters comes out angry, focused on 'Life'

Associated Press logo Associated Press 5/31/2017 By SCOTT BAUER, Associated Press
This cover image provided by Columbia Records shows, "Is This The Life We Really Want," a new release by Roger Waters. (Columbia Records via AP) © The Associated Press This cover image provided by Columbia Records shows, "Is This The Life We Really Want," a new release by Roger Waters. (Columbia Records via AP)

Roger Waters, "Is This the Life We Really Want?" (Columbia)

Two things are clear after listening to "Is This the Life We Really Want?" — the first rock album in 25 years from Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters.

The 73-year-old Waters has not mellowed with age and he's none-too-pleased with the current state of world affairs. In fact, he's downright angry. There's a reason why "Is This the Life We Really Want?" comes with an explicit lyrics warning.

The record is both a loud protest of current events and a continuation of the themes Waters last explored 25 years ago on "Amused to Death" and throughout his career, even dating back to "Animals" and "The Wall," Pink Floyd's seminal albums from the 1970s.

Anyone hoping for a bold new direction — or some level of subtlety from Waters — isn't going to find it here.

Waters rails against greed, injustice, lying politicians, brainless leaders and "nincompoop" presidents over 12 tracks. The specter of President Donald Trump, and at one point even his voice, permeates the record. Let's just say Waters isn't a fan.

While it's firmly rooted in the present, ticking clocks, ghostly (and sometimes angry) disembodied voices, barking dogs and a passing reference to the guitar riff of "Wish You Were Here" all serve as echoes of Pink Floyd's past without being a nostalgic trip down memory lane.

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