Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Pink Floyd - A Momentary Lapse of Reason CD (album) cover


Pink Floyd


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.07 | 1729 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website


A Momentary Lapse of Reason was the first post-Waters album released by Floyd and the remaining members of the band (especially Gilmour) seemed to have something to prove. The rushed effort to get the album out after the ugly breakup shows. Lapse seems to be total contrast to the previous album "The Final Cut" by being more music-oriented than lyric-driven and that is perfectly fine because the Floyd fellows are fine musicians whose work should be showcased more than Waters allowed in 1983. However, Lapse is not that showcase. What is essentially a Gilmour solo album in all but name is not the collaboration of Floyd, but an ensemble of outsiders tweaking Gilmour's work to be a Floyd album; and it was the mid-to-late 80s, so there's that too! Lapse is terribly dated because of that 80s sound ? gated drums, over-produced, very commercial and blatant MTV-style pop. It is a good album, but it pales in comparison to "real" Floyd works. Of course it was a major success, but that doesn't rescue it from being as Waters succinctly put it "a clever forgery" of Pink Floyd. It should've been credited as "David Gilmour and Friends" instead.

Track by Track: SIGNS OF LIFE : This opening instrumental is actually quite brilliant and very Floydian. It is perhaps the most Floyd-like track on the entire album. A synthesizer and guitar piece that evokes a sort of nostalgia that builds into a grand awakening. The beginning of the song uses sound effects of someone rowing a boat and it fits the mood perfectly. Splendid way to start the album!

LEARNING TO FLY : This is the most popular track on the album which receives more air time on FM radio stations than any other song from this album (even though On The Turning Away and Sorrow get a lot of play too). It is considered a classic song by the band by most every one, but not for me. Although the lyrics are quite good actually and compared to most bands of the era, this is a masterpiece, but when compared to Floyd's previous work it fails to meet the mark. Very pop, very 80s and very boring.

DOGS OF WAR : This may be the worst song in the Floyd canon. The only time I can really cringe at David Gilmour's voice is during this song. A heavier-than-most Floyd tune, but the poor lyrics, awful saxophone and Gilmour's "one world whoa whoa whoa" ? ugh. Why Dave, why? This is just a mess.

ONE SLIP : This track sounds more like U2 than Pink Floyd thanks mostly to the addition of Phil Manzanera as co-collaborator. It is upbeat, driving and catchy. I actually quite enjoy it as one of my favorites from this "Floyd" album, but ultimately it is just another pop song to cater to the MTV generation and captures nothing of the former Floyd magic. Generic. Standard. Stock. Pick an adjective.

ON THE TURNING AWAY: There is a bit of old Floyd sound in this song at times, but the sappy sing-a-long "We Are The World" vibe makes my eyes roll into the back of my skull. The constant radio play of this song doesn't help. Gilmour's voice on this track is extremely smooth and heartwarming, but the basic 80s sound (again) and the pure schlockiness (is that a word?) of it all overpowers any positive things to be said.

YET ANOTHER MOVIE/ROUND AND ROUND: If Floyd just had to fall into the 80s standard sound, this song is the way it should've been done. This track actually brings to mind Pink Floyd a bit and the dark, moody atmosphere is perfect. The only real problem with this one is that it seems so painfully slow that it lumbers along for nearly 8 minutes without much of a change-up in the music at all. Still ? it is probably the best song on the album and should be considered the 80s Floyd classic in place of "Learning To Fly" or "On The Turning Away" because it actually is reminiscent of old Floyd, albeit with an 80s vibe.

A NEW MACHINE 1 & 2: Pure filler. Really nothing to be said. Terrible keyboards and David Gilmour singing through a vocoder, but not like he did on "Animals" ? no, more like his voice on "Dogs of War" (ugh). This is just junk.

TERMINAL FROST: This is David Gilmour's soap opera theme. After the promising start (even with those irritating 80s gated drums), this guitar lead instrumental piece disintegrates into a sax-driven General Hospital feel. I guess Kenny G would be proud, but this is not Pink Floyd ? not the Floyd we all know and love.

SORROW: Quite a decent song here! Heavy, dark, brooding and the lyrics (written solely by Gilmour) are some of his best. This song is another version of what 80s Floyd should've sounded like, even though it sounds very dated (as does the entire album) due to those god-awful drums! Shades of Floyd pour in through the cracks here and save this song. Enjoyable, although the drums and pacing do make it a bit draggy and generic-sounding.

Overall: The 80s Floyd was a mess. "The Final Cut" was essentially a Waters solo album and this clunker was a Gilmour solo album. Post-Waters Floyd sounded much better 7 years later on "The Division Bell" because it was actually Floyd and not Gilmour and session musicians doing it. A Momentary Lapse of Reason is a great album made by anyone else. I would give it a 3 or 4 out of 5 as album and compared to most 80s crap, I'd rank it as one of my favorite albums of the bubblegum decade, but as a Pink Floyd effort it can only be saved by 80s nostalgia. 2/5

TrannonG | 2/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this PINK FLOYD review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.