Amused to Death (Remix) Roger Waters Columbia Legacy
The nihilistic view of humanity and the media in Roger Waters’s Amused to Death is as sadly relevant today as it was when the album was first issued in 1992.
More than two decades have passed and the world has yet to emerge from the quagmire that prompted Waters to observe: “And the Germans killed the Jews / And the Jews killed the Arabs / And the Arabs killed the hostages / And that is the news.’’
Written after the first Gulf War and Tiananmen Square, Waters’s stark view of a world numbed to the outrages of armed conflict by ubiquitous media packaging predated the rise of web-enabled smartphones, but his view of a species amusing itself to death seems even more unsettling.
Tracks such as What God Wants, Parts 1 and 2, sound surprisingly fresh and Waters underscores his trademark lyrical punch with some intricate and often powerful music.
Best of all, the solo concept album Waters saw as a continuation of his work in The Wall and The Final Cut has been remastered, remixed and reissued across several formats. Originally mixed in QSound, a format designed to give a 3-D effect and also used on Pink Floyd’s Pulse, the new remaster by James Guthrie envelopes you in a warm, rich and complex aural cocoon. Adding to the sonic tapestry are collaborators such as guitarists Jeff Beck (who plays on seven tracks) and Andy Fairweather Low, the Eagles’ Don Henley, singer Rita Coolidge, keyboardist Patrick Leonard and Toto’s Steve Lukather.
This excellent remaster is guaranteed to give any sound system or headphones a solid workout, but it is just as much the subject matter that makes it worth a revisit.