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Pink Floyd - The Division Bell CD (album) cover

THE DIVISION BELL

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.75 | 1989 ratings

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Glubluk
5 stars I remember buying this album 20 years ago as my second Pink Floyd tape (after "The Wall") and absolutely loving it. Isn't it a sign of a great album, then, when you still feel exactly the same way about it all those years later, without even trying? Because I do.

I might be wrong, but I remember "The Division Bell" being received very well when it came out. I also remember "The Final Cut" being totally abhorred in mid-90's. This is why it surprises me nowadays when I read all those anti-Gilmour's Floyd comments all over the net, many of which try to prove that Floyd fans have always hated both "The Division Bell" and "A Momentary Lapse of Reason", not to mention the live albums from that period. Well, my memory might be playing tricks on me, but I remember Gilmour's Floyd being hailed as a welcome 'back-to-music' move after Waters' spoken word poems. So, I actually feel quite odd now finding myself in a position of one that has defend an album that I have always loved.

Anyway, on to the music. ?Cluster One" is a masterfully atmospheric instrumental whose simple keyboard and guitar motifs on top of the atmospheric ambient backdrop (one of those minor details that always sends shivers down my spine) set a tone that is pensive, beautiful, and unmistakably Floyd. As the songs (yes, songs, in the best possible sense of the word) flow, it becomes obvious that the strength of the album lies as much in the well-written and memorable compositions as in the laid-back, bittersweet ? and very consistent ? feel of the whole. Songs such as "Poles Apart", "Wearing the Inside Out", "Lost for Words", and "High Hopes" still stand as perfect examples of truly exceptional songwriting and I enjoy the songs ? a lot ? each time I listen to them. Instrumentally, both Gilmour and Wright shine on their respective instruments, while Dave's voice is in perfect shape. (He is one of the few lucky ones whose both voice and singing actually get BETTER with age!)

There are some things I don't like on the album too. First, "Keep Talking". I guess the backing female vocals and Prof. Hawking's sample, in addition to the repetitiveness, are the things that spoil the song for me. Second, "A Great Day for Freedom". Not a bad song in itself, but the pathos does not flow well with the rest of the music. Otherwise, pure bliss.

Bottom line: I like "The Division Bell" more than both "Dark Side of the Moon" and "The Wall" even if 'intellectually' I know it should be the other way around. But it isn't, and as time passes, repeated listens of these three only reinforce this feeling.

Glubluk | 5/5 |

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