T Redfern | Fort Collins,Co | 06/22/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I had seen this show in 1987. I had purchased this CD years ago, but, wore it out. So I had to get the CD again. I had given it to my neighbor (who had never heard it before) Now he wants one too. Great songs, Roger will always BE Pink Floyd. Any one who out there who has never heard this yet, Grab a CD and enjoy!!"
No, it's not PINK FLOYD, but it IS a great album
zlh67 | Austin, TX | 06/25/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is the first album Roger Waters put out after he left Pink Floyd (he had not announced his departured from Pink Floyd when "The Pros and Cons of Hithhiking" was released in 1984), and it came out at roughly the same time David Gilmour put out his first "Pink Floyd" album without Roger Waters (A Momentary Lapse of Reason).
Between the timing of each and the well publicized legal battles between Waters and Gilmour, comparisons of the two albums were unavoidable. Which one's "Pink"? The answer as it would turn out, was neither, but in absence of a Waters-Gilmour partnership within Pink Floyd, "Radio KAOS" is a solid effort from the brains of that unit.
The theme of Radio KAOS is similar to that of The Wall in that it's intended as a semi-linear story, although there are clearly gaps. While The Wall was semi-autobiographical, Radio KAOS centers on fictional characters, primarily "Billy", a handicapped kid who is a techno-wiz and manages to hack into government systems to communicate (among other things), and "Jim" a DJ at a Los Angeles radio station, who Billy makes contact with.
While the concept and characters are of some importance since they are referenced in parts of many of the songs, the songs also address more universal themes such as the economic realities of captitalism, politics as entertainment and the importance of something to call HOME. Standout tracks include "Radio Waves," "The Powers That Be," "Home" and "The Tide Is Turning".
Criticism of this album has often centered on the 80's-oriented production, which is a far cry from the smooth and organic sounds of most classic Pink Floyd. Waters himself has criticized the sound of this album, suggesting that producer Ian Ritchie talked him into a more modern sound which he now regrets. All in all, I agree that the production is a bit dated and vastly different from anything else Waters did with or without Pink Floyd. That said, the material still manages to rise above it and the overall result is still a much more listenable album than Waters' solo debut three years earlier, "The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking". Not even sequenced drum machines and keyboards can drown out the incredible songwriting voice of Roger Waters, so this is far from a wasted effort. The now-dated production cost this album one star, but apart from that, this is a solid and vastly underrated effort from Roger Waters in my book.