on 31 January 2001
If you are able to skip, the somewhat dated juxtaposition of the main subject matter (The Falklands Conflict), coupled with the then, well publicised frictions within the band itself, this album is an excellent album by any standards, but the vast majority do feel (along with the facts of history),that "The Final Cut" was not the final Pink Floyd album with Roger Waters, but a complete solo effort by Roger Waters. To understand this album better, it is an advantage to understand the situation surrounding Pink Floyd at the time of recording. The conflict within the band itself, regarding this album, was near breaking point. The sacking of keyboard wizard and original member, Richard Wright (which was instigated by Roger Waters during the recording of "The Wall", by holding the master tapes to ransom!),was still very fresh in the memory, thus coupled with Dave Gilmour and Nick Mason protesting that this was not a Pink Floyd album, in the truest sense,but a blatant ego trip by Roger Waters, which was resulting in an album of songs, that were deemed too inferior for "The Wall". The input of Gilmour and Mason, was very limited, due to Waters insistance on using session musicians. This explains the lack of collaberation on the album, alas "Not Now John" was the only co written song. Roger Waters also demanded that David Gilmour was removed from the production credits, thus creating the straw that broke the camel's back, between Waters and Gilmour.
With all this in mind, it was a complete miracle, that anything of quality (or anything at all) was released after the world dominating "The Wall". From the angst ridden opening of "The Post War Dream", through to the silent scream finale of " 2 Suns In The Sunset", this is most definetely a very forgotten and vastly underrated classic. The pure meloncholy of " Southampton Dock" tugs at the soul whilst, " The Gunner's Dream" is as original as it is thought provoking. However, even though Waters, Gilmour and Mason are playing on the songs, you can't help feeling that Waters couldn't care less if they were there or not, as there is absolutely no trace of any Gilmour inspired brightness or trademark virtuoso on this album (with the possible exception of the co-written "Not Now John")
On this album, we are treated to the full, unedited version of " Not Now John", which, if the "political" situation within the band at the time was different, would of been reveered as a solid stage favourite and one of those tracks that Pink Floyd dare not leave out of the setlist. It is unfortunate that this masterpiece was seen as(and in fairness, probably was) a total ego trip by Roger Waters, to the total exclusion of everyone and everything around him. You can't help feeling that if Waters had gone one step further and had released "The Final Cut" as a Roger Waters solo record, as opposed to a final offering from a very divided unit, then "The Final Cut", would have recieved the worldwide adulation, that it was sadly never given.
As a Roger Waters solo effort I would give "The Final Cut" 5 stars, however, as a Pink Floyd offering without the real creative input of Richard Wright, Dave Gilmour and Nick Mason, "The Final Cut" (regretfully) rates 4 stars.