2017 looks to be the year of comebacks for several revered artists. Roger Waters, co-founder of legendary band Pink Floyd, just announced that he is set to release his new solo album, Is This the Life We Really Want? This June 2nd.
Waters will contribute on everything from vocals, guitar, and bass, but will also be joined by a slew of other musicians including Nigel Godrich (arrangement, sound collages, keyboards, guitar), Gus Seyffert (bass, guitar, keyboards), Jonathan Wilson (guitar, keyboards), Joey Waronker (drums), Roger Mannning (keyboards), Lee Pardini (keyboards) and Lucius (vocals) with Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig.
The new album, his first since his 1992 LP Amused to Death, is reported to contain “unflinching commentary on the modern world and uncertain times,” a result of an “antipathy” Waters feels toward the current administration in Washington, as well as a dramatic radio play he had been writing before the current album, which revolves around a man and his granddaughter investigating why children were being killed in faraway lands (hint: Syria).
“Two or three of the songs from that idea are on this album,” Waters said. “Godrich persuaded me that for the purposes of a rock and roll record, which is what this is, he felt my theatrical idea—I’d written the whole thing as a radio play—was less than ideal.” Following that bit of persuasion, Waters and Godrich spent time in the studio reworking some of the original ideas. In addition to the current political climate providing inspiration to Waters, one track (“Wait for Her”) was inspired by an English translation of “Lesson From the Kama Sutra (Wait for Her)” by the late Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish.
Prior to the album’s release, Water’s will go on a run of North American shows on his “Us + Them North American” tour which will start in late May in Kansas City and end the run on October 28th in Vancouver.
If you cant wait for the album, the tour will provide you with a taste, as the entire concept will be built around the album title, according to Waters.
“I will be making the point that we’re living the life we don’t really want to live,” Waters said. Pink Floyd fans should also get the reference to the track of the same name. “I like to think that people would still like to live in a world where we might address the problems of climate change, where we might understand that if we empathize with others, it makes us feel happier. Maybe we should start looking at happiness indexes rather than if we win and lose. And if we do that, then we may start to understand that the idea of ‘us’ and ‘them’ is actually an illusion.”
Keep your wallets ready for the June 2nd release and check out the tracklist below.
Is This the Life We Really Want?:
1. “When We Were Young”2. “Déjà Vu”
3. “The Last Refugee”
4. “Picture That”
5. “Broken Bones”
6. “Is This the Life We Really Want?”
7. “Bird in a Gale”
8. “The Most Beautiful Girl”
9. “Smell the Roses”
10. “Wait for Her”
11. “Oceans Apart”
12. “Part of Me Died”
Photo Credit: Sharon Alagna