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Pink Floyd - The Division Bell CD (album) cover

THE DIVISION BELL

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.72 | 1450 ratings

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stefro
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Desperate to prove that, in the aftermath of Roger Waters defection, they still had some relevance to the musical world, Pink Floyd - at this time consisting of just David Gilmour(guitar, keyboards, vocals) and Nick Mason(drums) - would pull out all the stops for their 1987 comeback release 'A Momentary Lapse Of Reason', augmenting their new album with all the latest technological trickery and an army of grade-A session players(including former keyboardist Richard Wright). Although, and rather predictably it has to be said, a commercial smash-hit, 'A Momentary Lapse Of Reason' is very much a product of it's era that suffers from it's now very dated sound, proving a tough listen in the here-and-now. By comparison, 1994's final Floyd album 'The Division Bell' has fared much better over the years, Gilmour, Mason and the newly-instated Richard Wright seemingly realising the errors of their ways and embracing the more traditional methods of which garnered them such huge success during the 1970s peak. However, that's not to say that 'The Division Bell' is classic Floyd; far from it. Shorn of Waters scathing lyrical attacks and complex conceits, this is very much a straight rock album with occasional progressive flourishes featuring a whimsical tone and none of the trademark epics the group used to do so well. Instead, what we have here is eleven carefully-crafted songs, taking in emotive ballads('Coming Back To Life') rasping rockers('What Do You Want From Me') and glistening prog-tinged soundscapes('Keep Talking'). Gilmour has stated that if the album has an underlying theme then it is one of communication, though it's a loose connection at best. What links most of the pieces, however, is Gilmour's still emphatic soloing, with his fluid guitars dominating the album and providing the denouement to the albums final, and best, track 'High Hopes', which comes closest to reliving past glories. Wright's contribution is also strong, his textured keyboards adding layers of atmosphere to the likes of 'Keep Talking'(which, incidentally, also features a cameo from professor Stephen Hawking), though Mason's drumming remains perfunctory, if typically solid, throughout. If anything, and much like it's predecessor, 'The Division Bell' is virtually a Gilmour solo record, and the soothing, albeit slightly melancholic tone is testament to that. A graceful set, this is a darn site better than the awful Roger Waters dominated 'The Final Cut', though in the grand scale of things this is hardly essential Floyd, although a handful of tracks show that the creative juices are still partly flowing. Floyd fans will surely enjoy 'The Division Bell's soothing charms, though this is a very different beast from the one that created the likes of 'Dark Side Of The Moon' and 'Animals'.

STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012

stefro | 3/5 |

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