Pink Floyd
Animals


4.5
superb

Review

by BirdsOfFires USER (5 Reviews)
January 14th, 2005 | 210 replies | 20,140 views


Release Date: 1977 | Tracklist


16 of 17 thought this review was well written

Pink Floyd's 1977 Animals saw the height of tensions on the band, and the height of the band itself. Between the textural genius displayed on 1975's Wish You Were Here and the lyrical genius of 1979's The Wall, Animals is a much overlooked album, that contains the best of both worlds. Animals has none of the mysticism or strange psychedelia displayed on Wish You Were Here, but rather Animals is a very Orwellian look at then modern day society in Britain. Animals sees the heights of lyric writer Roger Waters' cynicism, and also the sheer talent he has for metaphor. Dividing society into three categories; Dogs, who are the predators of society, Pigs, the money grubbers and capitalists, and Sheep, who blindly follow, Pink Floyd wrote an album that's possibly their masterpiece. It flows singly as well as 1973's Dark Side Of The Moon, contains lyrical moments nothing short of genius, and the songs are much better than anything you're likely to find on any other Pink Floyd record, Wish You Were Here aside. Waters' social commentary is completely accurate, depressing at times, but the couplet "Pigs On The Wing (Part 1)" and Pigs On The Wing (Part 2)" give the listener hope, and a message of caring and almost, unity. It's not as dreary as The Wall or as melancholy and longing as Wish You Were Here. It's a much more "real" album, and it really holds together teriffically. So here is Animals, an album that in my opinion, although certainly not the most accessible of Floyd's work, and with the possible exception of Wish You Were Here, Animals is their finest moment.

Because of the fact that this album is more intended to be an album than anything, I'm not going to give individual songs ratings.

Track Analysis:
Pigs On The Wing (Part 1)
An often overlooked song, this is really just the intro to the album. However, it contains some pretty meaningful lyrics, that are completed in the second half of this song. "Pigs On The Wing" is just acoustic guitar and voice, but there's some really nice chord voicings, courtesy of Gilmour. The lyrics are almost a question, projecting about what would happen if "If you didn't care, what happened to me" and "I didn't care for you", that they would be "watching the pigs on the wing".

Dogs
Dogs, a commentary on the predators of society, starts off with simple strummed clean tone chords, leading into the first verse:

Quote:
You gotta be crazy, you gotta have a real need
You gotta sleep on your toes and when you're on the street
You gotta be able to pick out the easy meat with your eyes closed
And then moving in silently, down wind and out of sight
You gotta strike when the moment is right without thinking
The song continues to categorize, almost frighteningly accurately, these "Dogs". Gilmour comes in soon enough with characteristic guitar playing, but, when compared to "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" (his most recognizable guitar work) it's much more rough and exhibits more chops. This whole album feels much more real than any other Pink Floyd before or after, and it's much more raw, with the exception of Piper At The Gates Of Dawn. Back to "Dogs": "Dogs" is an epic, with absolutely stunning guitar solos, featuring harmonizing complete with over-dubbing long held out bends; enough to make any aspiring guitarist cry. The lyrics are nothing short of genius, elloquently stating that when the "Dogs" lose control, they'll "reap the harvest (they) have sown". At the start of the third verse, the end of the guitar solo, Richard Wright comes in with a well-stated keyboard line, and the vocals once again come in. Like the rest of animals, there's no clear song pattern, no "verse-chorus-verse"; it's true progressive rock, and although it doesn't sound anything like prog greats King Crimson and Yes, it certainly is reminiscent of the long drawn out songs of Discipline and Close To The Edge. Dogs ends just like it began, with acoustic guitar leading into a heavy outro of predictions for society. Dogs is by far the most generous song on Animals and explores every aspect of itself fully.

Pigs (Three Different Ones)
The darkest song on Animals, this is a cynical look at the rich of society, the "Pigs". The lyrical technique used on this song is much more sarcastic than on "Dogs" or "Sheep", and it's effective for the song. "Pigs" begins with an eerie keyboard line, launching into a guitar and bass riff that brings to mind "Have A Cigar". "Pigs's" main progression is classic Pink Floyd, with the drop at the end that when one hears one can't not think of Floyd. After the first verse, complete with sing along "Ha Ha! Charade you are!"(s), there's a long interlude with a guitar or possibly keyboard solo using some sort of revolutionary synth that sounds like a pig squealing. This song is perhaps the most well layered and orchestrated song on the album; the guitar, bass, keyboard and drums, along with vocals are all distinctly different but mesh together into what sounds at first listen like a simple song. Once again this is another epic, a song that has inherent energy and an almost raw-beauty feel. It's an extremely emotionally open song, and can really effect the way you feel.

Sheep
The most upbeat and catchy song on Animals, this begins with a bluesy keyboard line. After a minute and a half it launches into a rockin' blues influenced jam song that feels so mainstream it's hard to believe it's Floyd. However, this is perfect for the occasion. What to better represent the following masses than a catchy rock song? It's extremely reminiscent of "Young Lust" on The Wall. Sheep has an extremely dark "chorus" (the musical parts repeat themselves, but the lyrics change) with nice riffage courtesy of Gilmour. This song, once again, triumphs lyrically. It's a perfect description, just like Pigs and Dogs, of the category of people that is depicted herein. It tells a bit of a story of fear and living in the shadow of Pigs and Dogs. After a brief lull it launches into another verse around the 7 minute mark, and around the 8 minute, and extremely bluesy riff that sounds so much like "Run Like Hell" it's unreal comes in. This fades out the rest of this song, another epic.

Pigs On The Wing (Part 2)
The second part of "Pigs On The Wing" sounds just like the first, but with these lyrics lyrics:

Quote:
You know that I care what happens to you,
And I know that you care for me.
So I don't feel alone,
Or the weight of the stone,
Now that I've found somewhere safe
To bury my bone.
And any fool knows a dog needs a home,
A shelter from pigs on the wing.
Animals leaves us not with a haunting commentary of life in the 1970s, but a commentary that's still relevant today. Entering Animals is like entering another world, it's completely unreal yet real all in the same.

Animals is a triumph on so many levels, and although it's not Floyd's most accessible work, it's certainly their finest.

I give Animals a 4.5/5 because non-genre fans won't like, but it's still one of my all time favorite albums.

~BoF

:thumb:


user ratings (3310)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
jimmypumpkin
December 13th 2003



7 Comments


My favorite album of all time. This is deffinately Floyd in their prime in my opinion. I also believe it is their best concept. I reviewed this album in the AltIndie forum in the "Suggest an album" thread, but this is a much better, detailed review. Good one.





Zappa
December 13th 2003



355 Comments


To me, "Animals" is the only Pink Floyd album that presents excellent music that is neither overly dated nor played to death. While other Floyd albums are good for occasional listens, this is the only one that really does much for me anymore.

BirdsOfFires
December 13th 2003



92 Comments


^ Zappa - exactly the same for me. Well, actually, Meddle still does something for me, but only Meddle and Animals.

Kaden
December 13th 2003



222 Comments


A brilliant album. Pink Floyd is one of my favorite bands, this album and Ummagumma are tied as my favorite Floyd album. Brilliant stuff, my favorite song is Sheep.
5/5

manuscriptreplica
December 14th 2003



431 Comments


excellent review.
i actually found this album in my dads record pile (great!) and yeah. i love 'dogs' its much better than 'shine on you crazy diamond' - the two are often compared because of their long-ness (i think that's why they are compared!) I still prefer the Wall and Piper at the gates of dawn though - but yeah great review.

i give it 4.5/5

p.s. You didn't comment on the cover of 'animals' which i think is an important aspect of the CD. i think it symbolises the dreary world that 'animals' portrays. I could go on, but its too hot

Maveryck
December 14th 2003



12 Comments


Man I love this album!

Especially Dogs and Pigs (Three Different Ones). The lyrical intensity and poignancy, the conceptual homage to Animal Farm, the musicianship and the songwriting...

All of Pink Floyd's talents come together so well here. Easily my favourite Floyd album. 5/5 in my opinion.

Great review BoF.

BirdsOfFires
December 14th 2003



92 Comments


[QUOTE=manuscriptreplica]excellent review.
i actually found this album in my dads record pile (great!) and yeah. i love 'dogs' its much better than 'shine on you crazy diamond' - the two are often compared because of their long-ness (i think that's why they are compared!) I still prefer the Wall and Piper at the gates of dawn though - but yeah great review.

i give it 4.5/5

p.s. You didn't comment on the cover of 'animals' which i think is an important aspect of the CD. i think it symbolises the dreary world that 'animals' portrays. I could go on, but its too hot[/QUOTE]

I generally don't comment on the art of CDs. It's just like the great Robert Fripp said; the art doesn't matter, only the music does.

Also, Shine On is compared to Dogs for a number of reasons, but mostly because they sound very similar.

Jigglypuff
December 14th 2003



31 Comments


[QUOTE=BirdsOfFires]I generally don't comment on the art of CDs. It's just like the great Robert Fripp said; the art doesn't matter, only the music does.

Also, Shine On is compared to Dogs for a number of reasons, but mostly because they sound very similar.[/QUOTE]

A brief comment:

Discipline doesn't have long, drawn-out songs. It's one of KC's most concise albums.

Anyway:

This is one of my favourite Floyd albums; in my opinion DSOTM, WYWH, and Animals are all equally good, 5-star albums. I find that it's rather trendy to favour Animals because it's lesser-known. Not that it makes it any less of an album.

BirdsOfFires
December 15th 2003



92 Comments


I didn't say ANYTHING about Discipline having long songs, so Im wondering where the hell you got that... ?


All I said what that I don't bother commenting on the cover art.

Hehe, speaking of Discipline, I'm listening to "Indiscipline" right now.

Led_Zep_Bonham
December 15th 2003



16 Comments


[QUOTE=BirdsOfFires]
Like the rest of animals, there's no clear song pattern, no "verse-chorus-verse"; it's true progressive rock, and although it doesn't sound anything like prog greats King Crimson and Yes, it certainly is reminiscent of the long drawn out songs of Discipline and Close To The Edge.
[/QUOTE]

I didn't say ANYTHING about Discipline having long songs, so Im wondering where the hell you got that... ?


You take it from here, big boy.

Kaden
December 15th 2003



222 Comments


Excellent pwnage, Jigglypuff and Led Zep Bonham. Teamwork pwnage:thumb:

Jigglypuff
December 15th 2003



31 Comments


[QUOTE=Kaden]Excellent pwnage, Jigglypuff and Led Zep Bonham. Teamwork pwnage:thumb:[/QUOTE]

Well, thanks for the save, Chris, although we should stick together. Are we all not Miles fans?

Back on topic, I notice a lot of people who consider this album to be the Floyd's best work. While it's up there, I'd prefer DSOTM or WYWH, because they are more of group efforts. Waters' domination really constricts the playing of the band, especially Wright and Mason.

I also don't see how "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" can be compared to "Dogs". They aren't that similar to me.

BirdsOfFires
December 15th 2003



92 Comments


Ouch, Pwned by Chris Fertal. Still a good review, I hope? I really wasn't thinking about that at all...

... :upset: x1239132

manuscriptreplica
December 16th 2003



431 Comments


what the hell is Pwned/What does it mean?

manuscriptreplica
December 16th 2003



431 Comments


oh

the first time i saw it i thought he typoed 'owned' so its all good

cheers.

Kaden
December 16th 2003



222 Comments


Just for the record: In my opinion Shine On pwns Dogs.

EADG
December 16th 2003



20 Comments


Well, I can honestly say you don't have a clue what you're talking about.

Kaden
December 16th 2003



222 Comments


[QUOTE=EADG]Well, I can honestly say you don't have a clue what you're talking about.[/QUOTE]
Were you talking to me?

PinkFloyd
December 16th 2003



24 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

^I like Dogs better than Shine On. Anyways great review of Animals. I'm happy you gave Dogs the credit it deserves. 5/5 (Just like for all the Floyd albums)

BirdsOfFires
December 16th 2003



92 Comments


You'd give The Division Bell a 5/5? OUCH!



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