Pink Floyd Builds “The Wall”


On March 20th, 2020, the revered English rock band Pink Floyd came out with a brand new album, titled The Wall. This addition to the band’s repertoire of rock hits is a mind-blowing double-length concept album with 26 songs and 4 album contributors. Following their latest tour “In the Flesh”, comprised of their last album Animals, this is the concept of isolation, suffering, and rebellion, much idealized through Roger Waters’ loss of his father in infancy during World War II. As the double length album comprises enough songs to completely double the band’s previous body of work, Pink Floyd brought in Bob Ezrin and David Gilmour, both with long lists of credibility in their fields, to help refine the work.

The three song medley; “Another Brick In the Wall, Part 1” / “The Happiest Days of Our Lives” / “Another Brick In the Wall, Part 2”, hold steady as one of the bigger statements of the album: with Gilmour’s rhythmic arpeggio on guitar, followed by the eerie vocals of children singing, along with the dubbed sound effects of a helicopter. The triptych fades out with the edgier, more aggressive riffs of “Another Brick In the Wall, Part 2” and the building intensity of the songs. “Another Brick In the Wall, Part 2” is quickly climbing the charts in these days since the recent release of the album, and critics and fans alike are eager to see if it will become their first #1 hit.

“Mother” is distinctive in the way it combines gentle folk with the inimitable beat of rock and the groove that encourages dance. In a beautiful harmony, Waters and Gilmour share lead vocal duties and do a back and forth of dialogue as the mother and son. “Goodbye Blue Sky” is a delicate folk song at first, but quickly morphs into a rather morbid and threatening song relying on Halloween-esque lyrics, foreboding synths, and the ever plucking acoustic guitar. “Goodbye Cruel World”, on the other hand, is a pleasant tune utilizing Waters’ relentless bass riff and a hint of synth, with stiff and haunting vocals closing out the first 2 sides of The Wall.

Starting on the second act of The Wall, “Hey You” is an exception to the unbalanced anger of the rest of the album- utilizing Gilmour’s vocals and acoustic guitar to build a trancelike crescendo of guitar and the last frantic verse by Waters. “Is There Anybody Out There” inspires the feeling of a horror movie, starting with an obscure dialogue that quickly makes way into a sweeter melody, with a bit of a classical style thanks to the talents of Joe DiBlasi. “Comfortably Numb” was quickly singled out by listeners of the new album, because the theatrics of the lyrical dialogue combined with the psychedelic synth helped to construct a very fulfilling track with both an orchestral arrangement and a solid guitar solo.

“Run Like Hell” evokes violence spilled out onto the streets, while Gilmour plays ostinato with rhythmic echoes and sound effects added in to help build the tension and horror of the song. “The Trial” distinctly uses multiple different voices to play different characters presented throughout the album. The New York Symphony Orchestra is led by a stomping piano to a grandiose moment where the verdict is delivered and the climactic chorus is repeated. The album’s end leaves listeners stunned, once again, by the creative and motivated brilliance of Pink Floyd.


By Brynn Sailing

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