Although it’s been nearly a quarter-century since Waters made a “rock album,” the musician, with the help of producer Nigel Godrich, effortlessly recaptures the sound of Pink Floyd’s mid-Seventies albums. “Smell the Roses” is largely reminiscent of Wish You Were Here‘s “Have a Cigar,” with Animals-like flourishes – the barking dogs, the lurching bassline, the slide guitar solo – thrown into the mix.
“Wake up and smell the roses,” Waters sings on the sinister chorus. “There’s nothing but screams in the field of dreams. Nothing but hope at the end of the rope.”
The track also touches on popular Waters motifs such as war, corrupt governments, capitalism and conformity.
“This is the room where they make the explosions / Where they put your name on the bomb / Here’s where they bury ‘buts’ and ‘ifs,’ scratch out words like ‘right’ and ‘wrong,'” Waters snarls. “Wake up, wake up and smell the phosphorus.”
Is This The Life We Really Want?, Waters’ first LP of rock songs since 1992’s Amused to Death, is due out June 2nd.