19 March, 2010

Still, Waters Runs Deep

I was browsing photos of pretty girls on flickr, and I came across one that was titled Empty Spaces, which, incidentally, gave me a craving to listen to the song of the same name (I haven't really listened to Pink Floyd a whole lot in a long time). Anyway, because the live version of Empty Spaces is more complete, and I love the What Shall We Do Now? part that doesn't show up on the studio version, I loaded in the live version of The Wall to listen to. And at the end of The Thin Ice, I thought of two things. The first is that, in perfect counterpoint to Gilmour's fluid leads, Roger Waters has a great talent at writing lyrics (and singing them in such a way) that makes them very singalongable. The other thing I thought, while listening to the final lines in the song:

Don't be surprised when a crack in the ice appears under your feet. You slip out of your depth and out of your mind, with your fear flowing out behind you as you claw the thin ice.

was that Roger Waters has an uncanny ability to describe quite horrific experiences in not only a poetic language, but he sings them in a way that almost belies their terror. Not to say that Waters' voice isn't capable of matching the horror of his lyrics (it certainly is, and frequently does), but then there are cases like this one, and when he sings about nuclear holocaust in Two Suns in the Sunset (the meaning of which would have completely escaped me, by the way, if it weren't for my brother's more lyric-oriented approach to listening to music) -

Like the moment when the brakes lock, and you slide towards the big truck (oh, no). You stretch the frozen moments with your fear. And you'll never hear their voices (daddy! daddy!), and you'll never see their faces. You have no recourse to the law anymore. And as the windshield melts, my tears evaporate, leaving only charcoal to defend.

which is sung in an astonishingly calm voice (once you realize what's really going on). And that's just part of Roger Waters' charm, itself only part of what makes Pink Floyd such a great band. And with that thought on my mind, I can't help thinking that I really need to learn a good David Gilmour solo once and for all.

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