Toasty Reviews: Pink Floyd's The Wall, Disc 1

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Pink Floyd: The Wall : Disc 1

Welcome to the brand spanking new review series from me, ToastiestZombie! This shall be a weekly series where I review all types of things, movies, games, music and sometimes I'll do something special! In this first review I shall be going over the legendary album by Pink Floyd, The Wall. Since this is an extremely long album I shall be reviewing it in two parts, this part shall cover the first disc and so on.

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What you see before listening

The Cover of this album is one of the most minimalistic yet striking ones I have ever seen. As you can see from the picture above it depicts well, a wall and that's it. Seeing as I don't own a physical copy of the album I don't know what is inside the album. Shame really, but ho hum.

Track 1: In The Flesh?

The opening piece starts off with an amazing guitar riff, this gets your blood pumping and sets the tone for the entire album. Then after after 1 and a half minutes of the riff the vocals start. The lyrics are perfect and convey the message that behind this person is a mysterious psyche. The guitar riff then comes back in and gets louder and louder until the riff falls apart and random loud noises such as cymbals smashing and sirens start stacking onto one eachother until the song finally slows down.

Track 2: The Thin Ice

This song is a massive contrast to the loud bombastic loudness of the last song. Using instruments such as a synthesiser and pianos to convey a slow, out of this world atmosphere. The lyrics of this song are about the early years of life, with the thin ice representing the fragile nature of growing up. After the lyrical portion the song then turns into a much louder, guitar heavy one for the remainder of the song. Once again the guitar solo/riff is amazing.

Track 3: Another Brick In The Wall: Part 1

This is the start of the three songs on this disc that all follow the same theme. Part 1 is about the loss of the main character's father. It is about the first few bricks in the so called "Wall" in the mind of the main character "Pink". As for the song, it's another amazing track that even if not in the album I would listen to on it's own. It includes a constant guitar riff in the background, this makes the song have a very ominous and dark feeling. Very relevant due to the meaning of this song, and the whole album. After the lyrical section ends it segways into a rather long section containing the main guitar riff with bits of guitar coming in and out. The track then adds the sounds of shouting/playing children into the mix.

Track 4: The Happiest Days of Our Lives

The track begins with the a helicopter drowning out the sounds of children playing carried over from the last track. All of that stops when you hear the sound of a shouting teacher. The track goes on with a rather good guitar riff/solo, it's not as good as the ones from the previous tracks but it certainly isn't bad. Then the lyrics come in. They basically tell the story of the strict teachers "Pink" had to deal with, and how the teachers themselves are abused as much at home by their wives/husbands. The last twenty seconds of the song include an amazing and fast use of drums and backing vocals. The segue into the next song is a high pitched scream which cuts out suddenly.

Track 5: Another Brick In The Wall: Part 2

Perhaps one of the most well known tracks of this album, Part 2 is in my eyes the best out of the three "Brick in the Wall" songs. It boasts a very, very strong bassline and some of the best drums of the album. The song tells the feelings that the main character Pink has for school, him seeing it as just another brick in his psychological "Wall". The first chorus is sung by one man, not very special. But the second chorus is sung by a massive choir of schoolchildren, which I see as much better and striking. After the lyrical portion the song goes into a pretty good guitar solo, not the best in my eyes but it definetly is one of the best.

Track 6: Mother

This start of this song is a stark contrast to the last track. It has acoustic guitar instead of electric and the vocals are soft and smoothing. Personally I think this is a really good song, it has a constant feel unlike some of the earlier tracks and doesn't get too loud. The lyrics of this song are basically a conversation between Pink and his mother, it tells us about the over protectiveness of his mother and the way she is helping build the Wall.

Track 7: Goodbye, blue sky

The song begins with a brief section with planes coming in from the distance, a little boy sees it and states "Look mummy, there's a plane up in the sky". The song then goes into a soft and smoothing acoustic guitar section which after 30 seconds turns into the dark main portion of the song. The lyrics start which basically tell the listener about the Blitz, with the clear blue sky of a new world being destroyed by bombs and war. The song then stays with the calm acoustic guitar in the background. It ends with the acoustic guitar fading out into the start of the next song.

Track 8: Empty Spaces

This song definitely has a much darker feel to it than the last one. It begins with a long 40 second section of a slow but striking beat. The song then segues into the lyrical section with a bunch or random giberish, which is actually a hidden message if played backwards. The lyrical section is basically Pink asking himself how is he going to complete his wall. The song ends extremely abruptly with the end word "The Wall" not even finishing before the next song rolls in.

Track 9: Young Lust

This song definetly has the most "Rock" feel to it. The song is mainly focused on the vocals this time. The vocals are about Pink becoming a rockstar who travels round the world, due to not seeing his wife he has to hire groupies to make him "Feel like a real man". After the long lyrical section the song continues on with a very similar beat and rhythm to the backing of the vocal section. The backing track then turns much quieter and the sounds of a phone conversation are heard, the conversation is about Pink learning that his wife has had an affair on him. Overall this song is the best since Brick in the wall part 2 in the album, with the most constant and concrete feel.

Track 10: One Of My Turns

The song begins with a groupie Pink has invited in to his dressing room going around and talking about how good his room is, she then asks if Pink is OK and the song starts proper. There is a quiet lyrical portion which is basically Pink thinking that one of his "turns" is coming on, a turn being a violent and loud outburst. Then it segues into a much louder lyrical portion, which is basically depicting one of Pink's "Turns". It ends with the lyrics "Why are you running away", which shows the shame Pink feels after his "Turn".

Track 11: Don't Leave Me Now

This song is split up into two distinct sections. The first being very slow, moody and brooding with the second also being moody but much louder. Overall this song isn't one of my favourites since it just drags on too long. I reckon that if they had made the second section longer and the first section shorter the song would of been better. But this song is really more of another segment in the story of Pink. The lyrics start with a plea from Pink to his wife to not go, but then he states his reasons and they are basically because he want's to hurt his wife more. The song ends with numerous TV channels being turned on at once then a loud scream and the sound of something smashing, which immediately stops and the next song starts.

Track 12: Another Brick In The Wall: Part 3

This part is the loudest of the three Wall songs. It depicts Pink finally finishing his mental "Wall" by seeing that he doesn't need anything and dismissing his family and friends as "Just bricks in the wall". As for the song, well it follows pretty much the same formula as the other two parts, with quite a few changes. It's the shortest of the three, which I like since if the song was longer then I don't know if I would of liked it as much.

Track 13: Goodbye, Cruel World

So we come to the final song in Disc 1. Fittingly the song is basically about Pink's reaction to the completion of his "Wall" in the last piece. It's an incredibly short song only coming in at 20 seconds. I reckon that this is a fitting end to the roller-coaster that was the first disc, with the final "Goodbye" being spoken without music in the background is one of the more striking moments of this album.

Closing statements

So the first disc, what a roller-coaster it was. The three best songs in this are definitely "Brick in the Wall: Part 2", "Goodbye Blue Sky" and "Young Lust". Those three in my eyes are the best put together, least boring but not too loud pieces. My least favorite is probably "Don't Leave Me Now", the song was just too slow for my tastes. Don't get me wrong I love a good slow song now and then but I don't think there was much meat to the slow part of that song, which is a shame seeing as it's the main section of it. Overall this disc was amazing, included so many different styles, tempos and speeds. It tells the story of Pink amazingly and is one of the first albums that actually has a story which isn't incredibly hard to decipher.

Thank you so much for reading!

This was the first ever review I have done, so please say what improvements you would like to see. Was it a bit too long, was it not detailed enough? Please say below!

Good god, that took so long.

A good review mate, I like how you musically explained the songs. I can't really offer a critique since I'm not a good reviewer, I'm sure someone else can though.

Looking forward to Disc 2.

Woo Pink Floyd! Pretty good review, not much else to say. Keep it up.

Nouw:
A good review mate, I like how you musically explained the songs. I can't really offer a critique since I'm not a good reviewer, I'm sure someone else can though.

Looking forward to Disc 2.

You'll have to wait two weeks though. Reviewing music, especially track by track is harder than I thought. So I'm gonna do a review of Amnesia next week, then disc 2.

[EDIT]Also what does anyone think about the custom made banner?

This is a good album, though I prefer Dark Side of the Moon. I prefer the second disc of this album, and I think Comfortably Numb is one of the best songs ever written. Good review, too.

I like in principle. However:

1) Reviewing it in two parts is the wrong way to go. It's like reviewing a film, getting 45 minutes in and then going 'well that's great, I'll review the second part in two weeks!' It doesn't make much sense. The Wall is a concept album and is meant to be taken in as a whole.

2) As it's a concept album, it (unlike some albums which are merely collections of songs) is not supposed to be listened to one track at a time. Some tracks aren't even 'songs'. As an example; The Happiest Days of Our Lives is less of an actual song and is more of an intro for Brick in the Wallpt2, and suffers when you consider it in isolation. So I think your 'one track at a time' approach would be better replaced by something more holistic.

3) Describing what happens, track by track, is not a review. More analysis, less description please. For example:

The song begins with a brief section with planes coming in from the distance, a little boy sees it and states "Look mummy, there's a plane up in the sky". The song then goes into a soft and smoothing acoustic guitar section which after 30 seconds turns into the dark main portion of the song. The lyrics start which basically tell the listener about the Blitz, with the clear blue sky of a new world being destroyed by bombs and war. The song then stays with the calm acoustic guitar in the background. It ends with the acoustic guitar fading out into the start of the next song.

is a whole lot of words conveying information the reader can get just from listening to the song. It's fluff; you need more background info and opinion. You don't even say whether you like it at all, and yet you list it as one of your favourite tracks at the end.

And the quote is a little wrong...

... well you did ask for feedback :p

EvilPicnic:
Snip

Thanks for the feedback. You can only go so far if everyone keeps saying "Awesome review". I agree that I did go into the more describing side of thing, and I also agree that an album like this isn't suited to the song by song format. But I don't agree that it's bad to do a seperate review for both discs. Since first, the review would of been MASSIVE if I had done all 26 tracks and also, the review would of suffered in quality because I would just not be thinking of good things to say later in the album.

Waaaay too much description. You tell me what's happening in each track, but make hardly any assessments of whether it works or not. When Moviebob reviews a film, there's usually a pretty brief summary of the plot and then the rest of the episode is him discussing how efective the writing was, how good the shots and acting were, how well the film achieves whatever it was trying to achieve etc.

For an album review, you should probably open with a brief description of the concept and the genre the album comes under. Then talk about things like how powerful or emotional or strong the vocal performance is, how creative or technical the music itself is, whether experimental techniques or unusual instruments were used and to what effect, whether individual songs are overly repetitive or more interesting structurally, whether the music is 4/4 or 3/4 or in complex or compound time, whether the mix was good (could you pick out the bass at all?) and whether the overall sound quality was good.
Also try to split things up in a more logical way. Group tracks together based on sound. 'X, Y and Z tracks comprise the softer parts of the album. X is a bla bla bla...'

ToastiestZombie:

Track 8: Empty Spaces

This song definitely has a much darker feel to it than the last one. It begins with a long 40 second section of a slow but striking beat. The song then segues into the lyrical section with a bunch or random giberish, which is actually a hidden message if played backwards. The lyrical section is basically Pink asking himself how is he going to complete his wall. The song ends extremely abruptly with the end word "The Wall" not even finishing before the next song rolls in.

This song seemed to suit me the most, one way or another. It's not due to the dark feeling or anything like that- but rather, I am still trying to build and complete myself. You can say my personality isn't 100% yet since I am still developing maturely so I like this for that very reason.

Anyhow I am glad you went into so much depth with each song. It's good to know music like this exists, and even noticed a few people (Nouw for example) getting into "The Wall" with his Avatar set up to have the same album's cover. Might even have to look into your next review. My only criticism on this review is that everything seems clustered. Maybe space it out, using two (color=white).(/color) commands. See how it looks when I set it up using those commands:

 

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