34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
A fire in need of more fuel,
This review is from: Flickering Flame - The Solo Years Volume 1 (Audio CD)
A Roger Waters greatest hits album was always going to ask more questions than it answered. For devoted fans and owners of all things Floyd, the question was 'why bother?' For newcomers, the question was 'what's all this about then?' Fortunately, this compilation is able to offer some answers, albeit not always satisfactorily.
For the uninitiated, the choice of songs is adequate and one can only think that the inclusion of mostly live versions from the 'Amused to death' album is an attempt to encourage the purchase of 'In The Flesh - Live' rather than find the original studio album (not that this is a bad thing, you understand). Still, the lack of content from 'The pros and cons of hitchhiking' is disappointing, although as a collection of individual songs it was always going to be a difficult choice, and one can't argue with '5.06am (every stranger's eyes)'. With regard to the choice from 'Radio waves', it is somewhat of a travesty that the titular track gets in and not 'Home'.
For the experienced devotee the only appeal here is a chance to sample some new material that is exciting, if not altogether inspiring. The album kicks off with a cover of 'Knocking on heaven's door', sung in his own inimitable style. 'Lost boys calling', a stripped down demo with music from Ennio Morricone, sees Waters struggling to reach the required notes. 'Towers of faith', a statement on the middle east, shows him in more familiar vein, with soaring guitars permeating his no-holds-barred lyrics and the ever-wonderful inclusion of Clare Torry of 'Great gig in the sky' fame. On 'Flickering Flame', another demo, we see Waters returning the favour for 'Knocking on heaven's door', by singing his own song in a Dylan style, affecting a poetic set of lyrics with raw orchestration and the odd over comment. I was hoping that 'Each small candle' would be a new studio version, but that too comes from the live DVD and CD.
One mustn't forget that Roger Waters remains one of the most underrated and incredible artists of the last thirty years, but in the end, this album will be a shelf-filler for fans and a lukewarm introduction for newcomers.