Roger Waters’ ‘Amused to Death’ still resonates 23 years later

Roger Waters‘Amused to Death’
Roger Waters (Columbia Legacy)
3.5 stars out of 5

The more things change, the more they stay the same. At least when it comes to legendary rocker Roger Waters and “Amused to Death.” Originally released in 1992, the concept album from the former Pink Floyd member paints the picture of a society tethered to television as it becomes increasingly untethered to reality. Almost a quarter century later, those themes still resonate for Waters.

roger-waters“I’m remembering the record from (more than) 20 years ago,” Waters notes. “Most of what I had to say then sadly still pertains today and is maybe even more relevant to our predicament as people in 2015 even than it was in 1992.”

The unblinking look at an entertainment-obsessed society — the internet has joined (and in some cases replaced) the reliance on television — features contributions from the likes of Jeff Beck, Don Henley and Rita Coolidge over the course of 73 thought-provoking minutes. The original 14-track platter has been remixed and the new “Amused to Death” features updated cover and gatefold art.

All these years later, the message still resonates — as does Waters’ career-long penchant for self-indulgence. “Amused to Death” is too long by about a third, but Waters shines bright on “What God Wants, Part I,” “Too Much Rope,” “It’s a Miracle” and “Amused to Death.” I wonder if these themes will be this on point when another quarter has passed. (Jeffrey Sisk)

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