I’ve found myself listening to a lot of grunge rock (Stone Temple Pilots and Soundgarden in particular) near this election day. Everything is about today’s election and rightfully so. Even ESPN chimes in with completely pointless halftime interviews; they’re about the last network to get an interview with those two. But today, I’m in a Roger Waters mood. Not Pink Floyd, just Roger Waters. While I don’t really agree with some of his views (he’s an atheist and a hard liberal), his music is always endlessly fascinating and Amused To Death is his solo pinnacle.
It’s the perfect record to put on and listen to straight through on this day. War, the media, religion, politics, greed, sex, and how many of people’s real opinion and daily thoughts are so far down the drain you can’t see them are all looked upon here. This election, many people are like the monkey watching the television. They look but don’t watch. They hear but don’t listen. Too many people base their opinions on what the man (or the woman) on the TV says. People should think for themselves. At least that’s my strategy for this time. I take most of what the media says with a grain of salt. I find CNN to be the fairest station for political coverage by a long shot, but that’s just me.
Anyway, to the actual album, this is not an easy or even fun listen sometimes. It’s very dense, dark, and brooding. It’s a work best experienced from start to finish while reading along with the lyrics. It has the unsettlingly odd ( Too Much Rope, It’s A Miracle) to the utterly chaotic (Perfect Sense Part 2, The Bravery Of Being Out Of Range) and even the deeply disturbing ( Three Wishes, the title track). On the music sense, the thing that makes this album better than Waters’ last two is this one is less wordy and has more of a commanding atmosphere. The background singer/s also work to a fantastic degree,; sometimes giving this odd album an almost twisted gospel sound. The “What God Wants” trilogy of songs is maybe the most puzzling factor of this record, if Roger is attacking the idea of God himself or how the media presents God is anyone’s guess (I like to think it’s the latter).
For those craving something challenging and different, I recommend this. And just remember to take it with a grain of salt.