As a devout Floyd/Waters fan I'm fed up with so called music critics constant dismissal of this album as nothing but a failed attempt at recreating `The Dark Side Of The Moon' or `The Wall'. They have so missed the point, Roger does not need to recreate passed successes as he's a very rich man who lets face it does not need to work again, he continues to do so because he is a creative genius with a gift of story telling through his music. This album needs to be listened to over and over again, I'm still discovering something new 23 years later!
Pros shares lyrical and musical themes to The Wall its true as Waters wrote and demoed the piece for the Floyd as far back as 1979, Gilmour has since commented that it "was more of the same" as 'The Final Cut' with critics claiming there were a "lack of tunes" which I find amazing.
There is a running theme throughout the peice, the same melody recurs on five of the twelve tracks. Waters vocals have always come under fire, so what, he hasn't got the best voice but it is perfect for the music he writes, the shrieking and manic wails have always enhanced his more torturous songs, The Final Cut's `The Gunners Dream', The Wall's `Nobody Home' and Pro's 'Arabs With Knives'.
With the 'Pros And Cons Of Hitchhiking' Roger Waters takes the concept album to new heights on this 1984 masterpiece, his first album after leaving Pink Floyd. The songs represent scenes of a bizarre dream or nightmare, whichever way you want to visualise it. Waters brilliantly captures the strange and surreal experience of drifting in and out of a dream, with periods of tranquillity and lucidity, accompanied by hysterical and warped passages of confusion with moments of satire and humour.
The dream has Waters confronting deadly Arabs in Germany, a steamy sexual romp in a field with a gorgeous backpacker depicted on the album cover, a crumbling and boring family life, hell`s angels, truckers, hamburger joints, housewives, and strangers. Waters main gift of story telling is that he draws you into his vision by blurring the scenes between real life and the sub-conscious. His use of recurring themes gives the peice consistency.
As the mood swings, Clapton's guitar perfectly describes Roger's vision, whether with bursts of awe inspiring guitar solo's or delicate acoustic playing of the finest order. His playing sets the mouth watering especially on `Sexual Revolution' `For The First Time Today' and `The Pros And Cons Of Hitchhiking'
Other musicians involved are virtually the same as 'The Final Cut', Katie Kissoon, Madelaine Bell and Doreen Chanter provide the female vocal harmonies that have graced all of his solo works. This album contains to me one of Roger's best songs, 'Every Strangers Eyes' has some of his best lyrics which have a typical cascade of images that depict the characters Roger is trying to portray.
An album of astonishing vision and ability and should not be dismissed by any discerning music critic.