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Pink Floyd - The Division Bell CD (album) cover

THE DIVISION BELL

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.72 | 1426 ratings

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Eclipse
Prog Reviewer
4 stars This album is often unfairly bashed due to Waters' absence, and some people claim that this is more like a "David Gilmour" solo album than a full band one. Well, this album has a Rick Wright's composition, like the ones he used to make before the Dark Side of the Moon era, and the own band members admited that this time they were finally working as a full band again. Just read the two quotes below by Rick and Nick: Rick's comments: "I've written on it. I'm singing on it. I think it's a much better album than the last one. it's got more of the old Floydian feel. I think we could have gone further, but we are now operating as a band. Only Nick has played the drums, and my Hammond organ is back on most tracks." Nick's comments: "There's more of the feel of Meddle here than anything else. This started as a group album, with the three of us spending a fortnight together just jamming. We put down over 40 sketches in two weeks, then things moved on. Some of those initial ideas might actually end up on a satellite album." And, to make the point more than clear, Dave's comment: "On this album both Nick and Rick are playing all the stuff that they should be playing. Which is why it sounds much more like a genuine Pink Floyd record to me than anything since Wish You Were Here." Yes, the band was in full synthony again! Besides "Wearing the Inside Out", Rick is credited with four other tracks, and even though we have again external musicians here (not that huge crowd found on AMLOR, though), like Guy Pratt (i think they needed a bass player, right?) and those two extra keyboard players, Ezrin and Jon Carin, this still IS a FLOYD work, with just some more musicians to make the sound richer. Dick Parry is again here, playing some wonderful sax on Rick's "Wearing the Inside Out", he made a great work on Dark Side and WYWH.

About the musical content now. This is an overall very relaxing album, with mostly slower and more reflective tracks than the much heavier and more inferior last album, AMLOR. The theme is about the lack of communication, and while not as brilliant in terms of words compared to Water's era, one has to admit that this is much better musically than "The Wall" or "The Final Cut". Gilmour's guitar playing and Rick's atmospheric keyboard textures are simply brilliant here, and they have made enough instrumental material to release an album full with songs not used here. I think such release would be amazing, since "Cluster One" (more piano based) and "Marooned" (more guitar based) are both very outstanding instrumental moments, both filled with beauty being the latter the song that touches me more emotionally together with "High Hopes", which delivers my favorite David Gilmour solo of an studio album at the ending, closing the album beautifully after the line "forever and ever". "Poles Apart" shows again how amazing Rick's atmospheric playing is at the middle of the song, and it's the album's best song before "High Hopes". "A Great Day for Freedom" is the classic FLOYD album underrated song. This, in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful tracks composed by the band, and i feel like i am in heaven when i listen to it. "Wearing the Inside Out" has Rick after many years on lead vocals again. It is quite brilliant as his old contributions to the band, too bad he was awfully blocked from showing his potential on the "Animals to The Wall" era, but here he is shining again, showing that he IS capable of writing (too bad he still felt insecure on writing the lyrics for Broken China two years later, though, having another person writing them). "Lost for Words" is an amazing ballad and one of my first contacts with the Floyd, and "Keep Talking" has its weird arrangement but i really like this song, and do think it is extremely underrated even moreso than "A Great Day for Freedom". "What Do You Want from Me" is a nice pop song, but i really dislike that final line repeating the song's title at the ending. It sounds awful for a PINK FLOYD song. "Take It Back" looks horribly out of place and would be better on a U2 or COLDPLAY album. "Coming Back to Life" is not so special in my opinion and i personally don't care too much for this song, and i weirdly find Dave's vocals really annoying here.

Overall this is a great PINK FLOYD work. They proved that their creativity hasn't drown through the years, making this excellent addition to the music of the 90's. Almost as great as anything from the 70's, The Division Bell is still a gem forgotten and severely negleted by many FLOYD fans, especially the Waters' crazy ones. In my opinion this is a perfect way to end the career, with the lines "forever and ever" followed by Dave's most passionate solo, and just proves that from the stars till the bells the FLOYD never ceases to amaze and please our ears and souls.

Eclipse | 4/5 |

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