It’s been nearly 25 years since Roger Waters of Pink Floyd has produced a studio album and the fans were beginning to grow, dare I say, Comfortably Numb? All cheesy jokes and brutal references aside, Mr. Waters has been a busy man. Over the past year, Waters has paired up with Radiohead’s producer, Nigel Godrich, and together they have been formulating Roger Waters’ great return. Unlike his previous solo albums, this one will not be a concept album like Waters originally had in mind. It started out with a central idea: “why are they killing all the children?” Waters claims that this was a fundamentally important question from one of the main characters in the album; a child who has a nightmare. After planning the full concept record, Godrich came in and picked the piece apart, selecting the snippets he liked from the album and discarding the rest. In the end, the album was decided to be a future solo project for Waters. From there, the two rock icons have been collaborating to bring Pink Floyd fans the album they’ve been waiting for.
Roger Waters has remained busy in the music community, recently bringing The Wall back to stage and to the big screen. Now, Waters is planning his follow up tour, Us + Them, where he plans to play old fan favorites as well as a few new songs from the upcoming album. He also recently played at Desert Trip, a music festival for the ages with rock icons: The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Neil Young, and The Who. At the end of his set, Waters did something powerful. In a Rolling Stone interview, he explains the event: “I make a speech that will upset a few people [about Palestine]. But it may encourage other people – you can't sit on a fucking fence. Well, I can't. Then I sing ‘Vera’ and ‘Bring the Boys Back Home’ [from The Wall] before we go into the big finale [‘Comfortably Numb’]. It is me – one man standing there with one acoustic guitar, singing things that mean something to me.” The image is surreal, one which perfectly describes Roger Waters’ character and the reason so many people love his work. The passion and meaning he puts behind his music and performances is unmatched and should be expected to accompany his upcoming projects.
All in all, 2017 will be an exciting year for Pink Floyd and rock lovers alike. The collaboration between Waters and Godrich will surely be something to look forward to, as well as the Us + Them Tour on the way. It’s been twenty-five years since original content has come from Waters, and two since the stage has seen him (unless you were one of the lucky few who attended Desert Trip). Expectations are undoubtedly high, but almost always exceeded when it comes to the musical genius that is Roger Waters. Just ask one of the millions of fans who listen to him.