Roger Waters - Is This the Life We Really Want?

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Posted on Wed, 06/07/2017 - 4:58pm
by Ron Wallace

Member since: Sat, 01/24/2015

Release Type

Studio Album

Release Year


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Album Overview

Is This the Life We Really Want? (stylised as is this the life we really want?) is the fifth studio album by English rock musician and former Pink Floyd bassist and vocalist Roger Waters, released on 2 June 2017 by Columbia Records. It is his first studio album in nearly 25 years since Amused to Death (1992), as well as his first solo album in 12 years since Ça Ira (2005). On 20 April, the single "Smell the Roses" was released.


1When We Were Young1:38
2Déjà Vu4:27
3The Last Refugee4:12
4Picture That6:47
5Broken Bones4:57
6Is This The Life We Really Want?5:55
7Bird In A Gale5:31
8The Most Beautiful Girl6:09
9Smell The Roses5:15
10Wait For Her4:56

Written-By: Roger Waters
Written-By: محمود درويش

11Oceans Apart1:07
12Part Of Me Died3:12


The album was recorded at various times between 2010 and 2017. The song "Déjà Vu" was debuted live in 2014 under the title "Lay Down Jerusalem (If I Had Been God)". The song "Broken Bones" was debuted live in 2015 under the title "Safe and Sound".

Critical Reception

At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from critics, the album received an average score of 70, based on 10 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews". Rolling Stone said: "The music is quintessential post-Dark Side Of The Moon Floyd, but channeled by offspring: Producer Nigel Godrich brings prog-rock grandeur, multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Wilson microdose psychedelia, Lucius alt-R&B backing vocals. Drowned in Sound said the album is "a long, sprawling epic that stretches out for its slightly-padded running time, but one so full of ideas and intricacies that it's an easy album to get sucked into." Consequence of Sound said the album "is easily the most accessible of Waters' solo work—a distillation in many regards of the anti-fascist, anti-imperialist, anti-greed messages he's been broadcasting since Pink Floyd." Pitchfork said the album's "myriad sonic references to his work with Pink Floyd suggest that Waters is comfortable with his past. The more you accept how much his past reflects in his present, the more receptive you'll be to this album's charms."


  • Roger Waters – vocals, acoustic guitar, bass guitar

Additional Musicians

  • Nigel Godrich – keyboards, guitar, sound collages
  • Gus Seyffert – guitar, keyboards, bass guitar
  • Jonathan Wilson – guitar, keyboards
  • Roger Joseph Manning, Jr. – keyboards
  • Lee Pardini – keyboards
  • Joey Waronker – drums
  • Jessica Wolfe – vocals
  • Holly Laessig – vocals


Arranged By, Producer, Mixed By, Engineer: Nigel Godrich
Engineer: Darrell Thorp
Engineer: Sam Petts-Davies
Strings [Arrangements]: David Campbell
Written-By: Roger Waters
Voice [Recorded]: Celia Drummond
Voice [Recorded]: Emma Clarke
Voice [Recorded]: Ingrid Schram
Voice [Recorded]: Jane Barbe
Voice [Recorded]: Kathy Somers
Voice [Recorded]: Rachel Agnew


Though previously confirmed by Waters, the track "Crystal Clear Brooks" does not appear.