Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Art & Commerce


Roger Waters has a new album and it is good, good, and good. It reminds me of all I like about Pink Floyd and Waters’ best solo work. If you haven’t listened yet, the time has come. After you finish reading this, of course.
Despite the fact that Is This The Life We Really Want? is likely to be number one on the charts this week and will be a monster (even if we don’t all pull together as a team), Waters is an artist not a commercial guy. It’s clear in the music and especially in the lyrics. This guy makes music for himself. The rest of the world be damned.
Phil Collins, in his memoir, laments that Peter Gabriel is considered the artist and a hit maker while Collins is just a hit maker. Collins is polite about it but it’s clear that it burns his balls. Why not me? Collins seems to ask on every other page.
Listening to Is This The Life We Really Want? I hear the layered collage of voices and sounds that is a hallmark of Floyd and it’s clearer than ever which one’s Pink. David Gilmour is a great guitarist, but this new album makes clear again that Waters is the artist. He has vision. I imagine Gilmour’s balls are as toasted as the pair hanging from Phil Collins.
I’d rather be Waters than Gilmour, Gabriel than Collins, Simon than Garfunkel, Pat Metheny than Kenny G, and so on. The formers believe in their vision and go for it. They expect us to catch up or not. They aren’t in it for us. There is something more going on. I’m listening to Is This The Life We Really Want? wondering what kind of life I really want. I’m beginning to hear what that life might sound like.