ROGER WATERS – The Dark Side of the Moon ”Redux”  *HQ*
Next October 6th ROGER WATERS will release ”The Dark Side of the Moon Redux”, his own vision, re-recording of the classic The Dark Side of the Moon (1973) Pink Floyd album, released for the album’s 50th anniversary.
Remasters of classic albums are common, but most of the time, aside from the mixing, the music remains the same. But ”Dark Side of the Moon Redux” by Roger Waters is not that.
‘Redux’ is a reinterpretation of one of the greatest albums of all time. The original is actually the fourth-best-selling album in history. But it takes a big personality to remake a classic album. Roger Waters is a good candidate, but can the former member of Pink Floyd back it up?
The album is definitive proof that while Waters may have written the lyrics to the classic album, the musical composition lacks the grandiose effect it had during his Pink Floyd days. Still, for all its struggles sonically, there are still enough fresh ideas to make it worthwhile.
Let’s get one thing out of the way: This is definitely an art rock album. It begins much like the original, which is with a bass drum mimicking a heartbeat. And the songs flow into each other with smooth transitions. But it’s not something to which you can rock out. Waters approached it with the maturity of time.
That means the energy is more contemplative. The soulful wailings originally on “Great Gig in the Sky” have given way to a low, double-tracked hum by Waters.
It’s also definitely a “headphones” album. The production is much more stripped down, atmospheric than the original. This is especially apparent on tracks like “Time,” Waters’ reinterpretation of a hit he wrote 50 years ago. Blaring, acid-wailing guitars have given way to simple rock organs, acoustic guitars, string sections and Waters’ aged, gravelly voice.
He narrates a storyline throughout the album in a sort of free-verse poetry that lends itself well to his voice—like a raspy Ian Dury—but it fits with the project. It’s easy to have existential dread as a young man. It’s another thing to actually be up against the threat of death at 80. It’s the same song, with new insight injected via the new sonics.
Some elements of the album might be too new and foreign to be a part of the original vision from Dark Side of the Moon. This was a scary album, but scary in an oblique, existential way. “Brain Damage” was scary because it conveyed a portrait of a person eerily detached from reality that you hoped didn’t resemble you.
On Redux, the same song comes off as sinister. It begins with a discomforting laugh and Waters proclaiming, “He’s gone mad.” Approximately where the build of the song would let loose into a large-scale choir and overlapping instrumentation, there’s a violin flourish that’s dissonant and meant to inspire anxiety.
Yet certain points of Redux shine. “Money,” once a message akin to “money will corrupt you and ruin your life,” is re-contextualized as, “Even though you can’t take it with you, the narrator can’t see that and it has ruined his life.” “How much of it are you gonna give away? None,” Waters proclais, in character, at the end.
“Us and Them” feels like a standalone song. It stays decently authentic to the original while taking adventurous leaps with its mixing and instrumentation, adding a string section, acoustic guitar and interesting otherworldly reversed sounds that recall the mystic and psychedelic roots of the original. When it gets to the chorus, the lyrics and instrumentation are enough to give you chills.
Overall, ”Dark Side of the Moon Redux” works really well as a curiosity. It’s an interesting companion piece to the original. It doesn’t stand on its own and Roger Waters surely doesn’t create any definitive versions. But it’s hard to deny that Waters still created something interesting – or at least, different from the original.
It’s worth a listen — just re-listen to Dark Side of the Moon first.
01 – Speak To Me
02 – Breathe
03 – On The Run
04 – Time
05 – The Great Gig In The Sky
06 – Money
07 – Us And Them
08 – Any Colour You Like
09 – Brain Damage
10 – Eclipse
Roger Waters – vocals, bass on “Any Colour You Like”, VCS3
Gus Seyffert – bass, guitar, percussion, keys, synth, backing vocals
Joey Waronker – drums, percussion
Jonathan Wilson – guitars, synth, organ
Johnny Shepherd – organ, piano
Via Mardot – theremin
Azniv Korkejian – vocals
Gabe Noel – string arrangements, strings, sarangi
Jon Carin – keyboards, lap steel, synth, organ
Robert Walter – piano on “The Great Gig in the Sky