[A review of something by Madonna]
Conspicuous by his absence from all of Madonna's latest moves is her former songwriter-in-chief and musical MD, Pat Leonard. In a remarkable musical U-turn, Leonard has transferred his allegiance to Roger Waters, the man who authored some of the weightiest concept albums of the 1790s when he playd bass, wrote and sang with Pink Floyd. The 1980s wern't a good time for Waters: the protracted lawsuit over who owned the Floyd's name was bad enough, and his two solo albums, The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking and Radio KAOS were, in the opinion of many, worse.
His new one, Amused to Death (Columbia, all formats, out September 7), which Leonard co-produced, is a marked improvement. It comes heavily stamped with Water's usual apocalyptic preoccupations and his puzzling distrust of mass entertainment. This time he is fretting mostly about the ways in which televisionleaches war of its horror and significance. Fortunately for the rest of us, Amused to Death recaptures the way the old Pink Floyd used to sound - interleaving taped voices, evocative sound effects, floaty textures and dramatic shifts in musical direction - rather more effectvely than it pulls off its grand conceptual design. "Cinema for the ears" is pushing it. Not a bad reminder this, though, of that far off time when rock felt it had a duty to try to make people think.