For this album Pink Floyd were:
David Gilmour: Vocals, Guitars
Nick Mason: Drums
Roger Waters: Vocals, Bass Guitar
The Final Cut appears to be the real runt of the Pink Floyd litter. Its not as easily dismissed as the post-Waters efforts but still seems to be low on fans lists. I chose to review this because a) the others are all taken and b) this album deserves a fair go. The way I figure it the album says Pink Floyd therefore it should be listened to and considered, plus it has Not Now John on it which to my mind is criminally underrated!
Personally I've discovered Pink Floyd relatively recently (6 months) after I found out my friend had all the albums. I borrowed them all and am now obsessed. This album I left till last to listen to (except AMLoR which I didnt have), probably because I had read many bad things about it. Thus when it came time to give it a listen I was going into it with a bad feeling it was going to be bad and skew my love of the Floyd. It didnt grab me right away but after a few listens I rank it just below the 4 classics (DSOTM, WYWH, Animals and The Wall) and equal with Meddle.
This is a single flow album like their others and should be listened to as the original vinyl would have it, which i assume is tracks 1-6 then 7-12 or just straight through which also means the songs dont really warrant individual marks.
The Post War Dream:
Quite an intensely political way to start an album but it states the point right from the get-go. This song demonstrates that though he usually didnt have the better voice in the group (which goes to Gilmour I think) when he wants to, Roger Waters can sing with a lot of emotion and purpose. Given this is considered a Waters solo album I guess this is understandable.
Your Possible Pasts:
Similar to before, gets right to the point and has Waters again wrenching his heartstrings. We get a rare (for this album) Gilmour solo which is welcome. There appears to be a Hammond organ in this (i think) which works well but its a pity its not Rick Wright playing it.
One of the Few:
A bare bones statement, remeniscent of Nobody Home on The Wall. Not much going on in the music department but the quiet mood sets up perfectly for the opening to...
The Hero's Return:
I love the opening to this song with delayed guitar and great drum effects. Waters again giving it everything (he sings on all but one song). The lyrics of this song set off a three song section following soldiers through their respective roles in wartime.
The Gunners Dream:
Sung from the point of view of a shot-down WW2 gunner. The lyrics work well given the subject matter (its Waters of course they do!) and it has a great middle section with a sax-solo and the orchestration thats over the whole album. Listening to it as I write this review I notice so much more in the lyrics. Again the keyboard is good but Rick Wright is missed.
Starts off quiet like One of the Few but more upbeat. The music seems to be a bit Division Bellish strange as it seems, i could just be really tired.
Get Your Filthy Hands Off My Desert:
Turn up your speakers at the start to hear the apparent invasionee yelling the title to his enemies then sending us a nice missile too. The missile is apparently supposed to be a good test of the Holophonic system this was recorded in. It takes the dimensions of the human skull into account and with headphones is supposed to simulate surround sound (i think). I can't really notice it but try some headphones and see if you can. Apparently the missile starts in front of you and goes behind you. The meat of the song is a classical melody with Waters quoting some 80's related political actions. Really just a lead into....
The Fletcher Memorial Home:
This got onto the Best Of collection Echoes. And of all the 'message songs' on here this is the best. As Waters introduces the right-wing leaders of the 80's I am most of the thought that this album should be covered now and the politics be bought up-to-date "Did they expect us to treat them with any respect!?" being a line that equally applies now. Gilmour reappears with yet another welcome solo.
A short interlude between the big guns of the album. Details the soldiers going to war and those they leave behind. And starts off the personal theme that continues in....
The Final Cut:
The title track and the epic of the album. It seems to me to be the most personal to Waters with a lot of I's and me's in the lyrics (but thats just how I see it). It has an interesting section near the start where he describes someone (the listener) making their way through all of his security to be told (according to the lyrics sheet) whats behind the wall but for us listeners we accidentally set off "the shotguns in the hall". Just listen to it and you'll understand. Gilmours finest work on the album is present here, until we get too....
Not Now John:
An absolute bloody classic despite peculilarly vindictive lyrics. This whole album begun as offcuts of The Wall (hence the working title Spare Bricks) and this song is the clearest indicator of that. I could have seen this (with revised lyrics) being somewhere after Comfortably Numb and before Run Like Hell. This seems to have the biggest input from David Gilmour (which is probably why I like it so much) and is the only track he sings on (pity). It was released as a single but probably didnt do as well because it was altered from its original form. Listen to it for 5 seconds and you'll see in its original form it isnt quite radio-friendly.
Two Suns in the Sunset:
Musically a nice easy letdown to quite a cynical and harsh album, lyrically a closer if ever there was one as the world appears to have succombed to nuclear holocaust. The lyrics to this song (as generally with the rest of the album and all of Waters lyrics) are exceptional.
Well there it is and we're near the end now. This is a great album of music. The only problems are the fact that the classic lineup is not present with Rick Wright being fired before this album started and it is NOT typical of Pink Floyd and should not be heard as their first album (do the 4 classics first). As I already said it deserves to be rediscovered and related to the world we're in now. 4.5/5
Review by Myster X
P.S. The 20th anniversay reissue added a song "When the Tigers Broke Free" which was on the Wall movie. It's song about Roger Waters father and his death in WW2. It's not on the one im listening to so i left it out.