By 1977, the Floyd had begun to go stale. The sense of fun and experimental spirit had left, as Roger Waters’ Brobdingnagian ego slowly pushed its way to the top, leaving the rest of the group stranded. While in the past, Waters supplied the concepts and social awareness that made their earlier work with Gilmour so entertaining and memorable, there’s no doubt that Gilmour, and to a certain extent, Richard Wright, were the driving musical force. The point I’m making is, though a solid bassist and decent songwriter, leaving Waters in charge of Pink Floyd is like Pete Sinfield replacing Roger Fripp in King Crimson! Part of this is what makes Animals such a slog (the word used by Wright himself, to describe the making of the album), the fact that his bitterness and child-like whining overwhelms all else, whining about the very culture that made him filthy-rich enough to produce more overblown ‘rock operas’. Does the man want a grammy for having read Animal Farm in sixth form?!
The album is comprised mainly of 3 long tracks, bookended by the two short acoustic tracks. Arguably, it’s this format that makes the LP such a struggle to listen to, just 10-17-minute monotonous chunks of chugging prog(ish) rock, with Waters’ and Gilmour’s distorted ‘man-in-a-box’ vocals trying to break through the mix. The second track, Dogs, does however contain some entertaining Guitar work from Gilmour, and Sheep is somewhat redeemed by some fine, jazzy electric piano work by Wright. However, this can’t save an ultimately depressing Pink Floyd album.
Best track: One of These Days. Oh….Wait…
Best lyric: “Hey, you, Whitehouse, ha ha, charade you are!”
4 Onstage gobs out of 10