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Various Artists

Animals Reimagined - A Tribute To Pink Floyd

Review by Gary Hill

Animals is, without question, my favorite Pink Floyd album. it's actually pretty high up on my list of best albums of all-time, too. So, I was looking forward to this release, particularly because it features a lot of musicians who i like. I'd say that overall this is pretty good. Not everything is completely successful, but much of it really works well.

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Track by Track Review
Pigs on the Wing, Pt. 1
The opening and closing bookends on the original album are not my favorite pieces. That said, I like the altered arrangement here. Instead of just acoustic guitar based, there are keyboard-like sounds at the heart of the mix. The guitar takes on a more classical approach. The end result is more prog based and moodier than the original. There is a cool little instrumental prog flourish at the end. The musicians on this are Nick Van Eede (vocals) and Martin Barre (guitar).
The moody textures of the original version are nicely captured on the opening here. The instrumental movement is fairly faithful, but there are some slightly different over-layers in place at times. I have to say that I'm not sold on the vocal arrangement. The lines don't seem to flow well. It seems forced. There are even some minor lyric changes. The singer on the tune is Graham Bonnet, and he is certainly talented. I just don't think this is the song for him. Still, overall the variation is interesting. I definitely prefer the original, though. In addition to Bonnet, Vinnie Moore provides guitars, and Kasim Sulton handles the bass duties, while Jordan Rudess plays the keyboards and Pat Mastelotto lays down the drumming.
Pigs (Three Different Ones)
The vocals (James LaBrie) on this are much more successful. This is a version of the tune that really does  a great job preserving the magic of the piece, but also creating a variant of it. I'd put this one up on the same level as the original. Al Di Meola is the guitarist here. Joe Bouchard plays the bass. The keyboard solo in the second movement was provided by Patrick Moraz, and Billy Cobham is the drummer on the song.
I dig the keyboard sounds (the keys on this tune are by Rick Wakeman) that start this. They bring a lighter edge to the cut than the original. The guitar (Jan Akkerman) that joins helps to complete a tapestry that is definitely a change from the original. The tune tunrs more toward what is expected after a time. While Arthur Brown's vocals are quite a change from the original, I really like them. The song is a bigger change than either "Dogs" or "Pigs" were, but it's quite successful. I think this stands up well to the Pink Floyd version. This hard-edged and dark rocker might be my favorite on this album. I really dig the spoken section and the trippy journey into space that comes in after it. it does get a bit busy later in the track, though. The rhythm section on this number is provided by David J. (bass) and Carmine Appice (drums).
Pigs on the Wing, Pt. 2
The lineup here is Jon Davison (vocals), Albert Lee (acoustic and electric guitar) and Billy Sherwood (acoustic guitar and effects). This is a real improvement from the original for me. It has more of a pure prog arrangement and just works so well.


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