A good measure of whether an album is under-appreciated or not that I’ve always applied, involves comparing it with the rest of the band’s catalogue. Things can only get more obvious if the said band is enough well-known around the world that each and every album of theirs has a quality tag carved into it. Pink Floyd, undoubtedly, belongs in that category. To give a few examples, ‘Ummagumma’ is known as the too-indulgent, too-weird experiment; ‘Atom Heart Mother’ as the middle-of-the-road, confused mess; ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ as the almighty, universal masterpiece and ‘Wish You Were Here’ as the just-as-worthy successor of it.
And finally, there’s ‘The Final Cut’: that album were Waters supposedly went too far in trying to achieve his artistic vision, only to end up shamelessly alienating his band colleagues and completely ignoring the music itself in favor of the grand conceptual lyrics. Now, I’m not saying that the complaints don’t have their have their dose of truth, I just wish more people would give it a good, open-minded listen. True, it may not be up there with ‘Animals’ and ‘Dark Side of the Moon’, from a musical point of view (few melodies grab your ear on the first listen), but more than makes it up for it, in my opinion, by being one of the most intense, atmospheric, captivating, emotionally-powerful, knee-weakening and simply best things I’ve ever heard in my life.
So, to make a connection with the idea described in the first paragraph, I truly think ‘Final Cut’ to be as good as any Pink Floyd work ever, just in an altogether different way. When seeing it mentioned among the band’s worst studio albums, I can’t help but raise my eyebrows in confusion.
And I’m sure I’m not the only who feels this way about an album. What’s the record you can’t help but think that anybody should love more than they do? What do you consider to be underrated?