Review Summary: The global crisis propelled by wild capitalism brought down the world economy. There is nothing to do but to wipe the dust from this record, put it on and, if you have to go down, do it with a smile on your face.
When I talk to people about Pink Floyd their reactions usually range from "oh, "Another Brick In The Wall" is such a cool song" to "do you know that Syd walked in the studio during the recording of Wish You Were Here"!"" depending whether they are informed of Pink Floyd via evergreen-playing radio, whether they are fans. But there is an annoying constant in my Pink Floyd related conversations- I have rarely (maybe once or twice) encountered a person who minded to mention Animals. The general public fed by MTV singles are obviously not used to an album such as Animals, leaving it reserved only for Pink Floyd fans, and rising their eyebrows and blinking wildly on the mention of it, not having a clue what I'm talking about. And I'm talking about the very top of Floyd discography, excelled only by (if you ask me) Dark Side of The Moon, and even that's a really close one. The ignorance showed by the public surely has to be because of Animals not having a single radio friendly song, given that they are all either roughly 1 and a half minutes long either over 10 minutes long, but as we will see later, there is a point in that.
I don't know where to start because Animals is a killer in every aspect. Maybe it would be best to start from the very name and concept of the album. Like some other Pink Floyd works, this one is a concept album and it's loosely based on the novel written by George Orwell, "Animal Farm" , a brilliant critique of the revolutionary Soviet pre-Stalin era metaphorically turned into a farm of animals which by the means of a revolution take over the farm and start running it by themselves. In the novel the pigs are hypocritical leaders, the dogs their faithful servants, and sheep the easily manipulated, stupid mass. But there is a catch- Roger Waters, the writer of the majority of lyrics ( the only song on which someone else contributed was "Dogs" by David Gilmour) turned his critique from the socialist system onto the capitalist world surrounding. The same world which promoted wild consumerism, businessmen, bank owners, capital over man, the world which made the rich even richer and the poor even poorer. And in the end, the world which wanted meaningless 3 and a half minute radio songs as a catchy sountrack to their lives filled with the pursuit for more money. And that is the reason the album is made in such a radio-non friendly fashion. Animals is in the same time a brilliant showcase of the rotten world surrounding us ( pigs staying hypocritical bastards and sheep staying the mindless public, but dogs turned from the position of servants to the mid-class backstabbing people ready to do anything just to gain money and power) and a cry against that same system refusin to become a part of it. RoCHEr Waters, indeed XD XD
Speaking of the music itself, the band decided to keep it simple (in Pink Floyd standards) this time, not experimenting as they used to on some other albums. But that doesn't mean it's boring, exactly the opposite, the music and especially the way the album is mixed are interesting and innovative enough to guide you through the record not making you want to press the fast forward button at any time and still leaving you wanting for even more. Richard Wright especially shines on this album whether with his background ambiental fillings, whether on some more prominent parts such as the melody at the beginning of "Pigs (Three Different Ones)" and the jazzy intro of "Sheep". And the keyboard generated animal sounds are a cool addition to the overall mood of the album. Roger Waters and Nick Mason are standardly operatic as a rythm section, Waters even having a small solo at the beginning of "Pigs (Three Different Ones)". And David Gilmour once again shows us why he is considered to be one of the best guitarist of all time, never aiming at pure technicality but on the feeling. He not only blends all the aspects of music but provides the backbone for the sound of the band working especially well with Wright in their subtle interplays which are destined to pull a smile on the listeners face. His solo at the end of Pigs (Three Different Ones) proves that the man can do more with a few notes than most guitarists can do with all the scales of the world.
Animals is, without doubt, a Pink Floyd masterpiece which will not only give you a great progressive rock experience but what is more important today than ever, holds a crucial socio-political message for the world which is so thorough in ignoring it. Maybe it' time for anti-capitalists to change the soundtrack for their rallys and meetings, RATM became a cliché, Animals is next great thing.