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Pink Floyd - A Momentary Lapse of Reason CD (album) cover


Pink Floyd


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.06 | 1771 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars PINK FLOYD, at the time of this album's release, was still reeling from the departure of Roger WATERS--a battle that had begun during The Wall and continued even past his departure, almost (but not quite) into legal wrangling. David GILMOUR, in typical style, was not going to "go down easy". With him was Nick MASON. Halfway into the album they were joined by Richard WRIGHT, who was perhaps still a bit unsteady on his feet after his coerced departure during The Wall. His presence on Momentary Lapse was more of a future promise than anything--his nearly inaudible vocals on "Sorrow" ("One world, one soul...") require a sharp ear to detect, and his keyboard contributions are somewhat few, although I do think his distinctive Hammond organ appears on a few songs. But in spite of this limitation, I still believe this album is worthy of credit.

The album may indeed have an 80's sound, but this is certainly not the 80's of "Safety Dance". To me, Momentary Lapse represents the best of that decade's possibilities--yes, the sound is "harder" than you might find before or after, but I greatly prefer this slightly edgier sound to the pureed feel of current pop music. Although thematically not as unified as its predecessors, there is a definite flow in the mood of the album, from a guardedly optimistic beginning to a hopeless, bitter end. The sound clips are well placed to augment the running themes.

To me, all of the songs on this album have a place--even the much maligned "A New Machine" songs. Really, they were never meant to serve as full songs, but as interstitial pieces, they do fine at highlighting the atmosphere of desolation that sets in at the end of the album. The second half of the album (from "Yet Another Movie" forward) is where the strongest songs are. Not only are the songs here the best (think of the fantastic "Sorrow", "Yet Another Movie", and "Terminal Frost"), but the flow of the mood is most coherent here. The first half has good tracks as well, but is slightly choppier in flow. My particular favorites on the first half are "Signs of Life" and "One Slip" ("Learning to Fly" is good but I prefer it by far on PULSE). Even the songs I did not mention are still good tracks. GILMOUR's lyric-writing is actually very good even if he doesn't show the conceptual inclinations of Roger WATERS, and his guitar playing most certainly hasn't suffered.

It may seem surprising for an ardent Richard WRIGHT fan to rate this album so highly, given his limited involvement--but even after all this time, I can't help still having a huge soft spot for this album. Besides, GILMOUR isn't half bad as a keyboardist--just as on his first solo album, it's clear he has a rather underrated talent. Yes, it is in part because of the band's difficult circumstances that I give the high rating...but even now I can't help but be impressed at how well PINK FLOYD pulled through its darkest hour. It is a fine predecessor to The Division Bell.

FloydWright | 3/5 |


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