Rock

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - Steve Creedy

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.

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