The Dark Side Of The Moon is a masterpiece of progressive rock that has influenced generations of musicians and listeners. Released in 1973 by Pink Floyd, the album explores themes such as madness, greed, war, time, and death, with lyrics written by Roger Waters, the band’s bassist and main songwriter.
Now, 50 years later, Waters has re-recorded the album as a solo project, titled The Dark Side Of The Moon Redux. The album was released on October 6, 2023, and features a new arrangement of the songs, with different musicians and vocalists, and no guitar solos. Waters has described the album as a “re-imagining” of the original, and a way to readdress the political statements from the record.
But how does The Dark Side Of The Moon Redux compare to the original? And how has it been received by critics and fans? Here are some of the reactions and reviews that have emerged so far.
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Rolling Stone gave the album 4 out of 5 stars, praising Waters’ “bold and ambitious” reinterpretation of the classic album. The review noted that Waters’ voice has aged well, and that he brings a “new depth and nuance” to the lyrics. The review also highlighted the contributions of the guest vocalists, such as Bedouine on “Breathe” and Via Mardot on “The Great Gig In The Sky”. However, the review also pointed out that some fans might miss the “musical brilliance” of David Gilmour’s guitar work, and that some of the spoken-word sections might sound “dated or preachy”.
AllMusic gave the album 3.5 out of 5 stars, calling it a “fascinating and flawed” experiment. The review praised Waters’ “courage and creativity” in revisiting his magnum opus, and noted that some of the songs sound “more powerful and relevant” in the current context. The review also complimented the production quality and the musicianship of Waters’ collaborators. However, the review also criticized some of the choices made by Waters, such as removing the guitar solos, adding his own lyrics to “Speak To Me”, and changing the order of some of the songs. The review concluded that The Dark Side Of The Moon Redux is “not a replacement for the original, but a tribute and a challenge”.
Louder gave the album 3 out of 5 stars, calling it a “curious and controversial” project. The review acknowledged that Waters’ intention was to make a “personal and political statement”, and that he succeeded in making a “distinctive and daring” version of the album. The review also praised some of the new arrangements, such as “Time”, which features a slower tempo and a piano intro, and “Money”, which features a funkier groove and a saxophone solo. However, the review also argued that some of the changes were “unnecessary or detrimental”, such as removing the guitar solos, which were “integral to the original’s appeal”. The review also suggested that some of the spoken-word sections were “self-indulgent or patronizing”, and that some of the guest vocalists were “out of place or overshadowed”. The review concluded that The Dark Side Of The Moon Redux is “a mixed bag that will divide opinions”.
On YouTube, where Waters uploaded several lyric videos from the album, the reactions were mostly positive, with many fans expressing their admiration and appreciation for Waters’ work. Some of the comments included:
– “This is absolutely brilliant. Roger Waters is a genius and a legend.”
– “I love this version. It’s more emotional and personal. Thank you Roger for this gift.”
– “This is amazing. It sounds fresh and modern. Roger Waters is still relevant and powerful.”
– “This is beautiful. It’s like hearing it for the first time again.”
However, some fans were also critical or disappointed by some aspects of the album. Some of the comments included:
– “This is terrible. Roger Waters ruined a perfect album. He should have left it alone.”
– “I don’t like this version. It’s boring and bland. Where are the guitar solos?”
– “This is disappointing. Roger Waters is arrogant and bitter. He should have collaborated with his former bandmates.”
– “This is unnecessary. It’s like painting over a masterpiece.”
The Dark Side Of The Moon Redux is a bold and ambitious project by Roger Waters, who has re-recorded one of his most celebrated albums as a solo artist. The album features a new arrangement of the songs, with different musicians and vocalists, and no guitar solos. The album has received mixed reviews from critics and fans, who have praised or criticized Waters’ choices and changes. The album is not a replacement for the original, but a tribute and a challenge, that invites listeners to revisit and rethink the themes and messages of The Dark Side Of The Moon.