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Pink Floyd - The Division Bell CD (album) cover


Pink Floyd


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.74 | 1908 ratings

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Cluster One
Prog Reviewer
5 stars "The Division Bell" a masterpiece of progressive music? No. Musically it is not overly progressive at all. But it is no less essential, no less a 'masterpiece' and if I, as its biggest fan, don't give it the 5-star rating that it deserves, then nobody will. WARNING: This is a long album review, but I implore the reader to continue, you just might appreciate the fact you did.

After "Animals", this is the FLOYD I most often turn to. If "Animals" is night, then "The Division Bell" is day. Can PINK FLOYD actually be inspiring? touching? uplifting? You bet. Musically "The Division Bell" is sheer beauty. It elicits reactions of reflection, elation and even melancholy. And that's just the music! All too often I find myself slipping away to other places in the 'walking-into-the-sunset' guitar outros of Mr. Gilmour in 'Poles Apart', 'A Great Day For Freedom' and 'Lost For Words'.

"I never thought that you'd lose that light in your eyes..."

Lyrically this record has taken its lumps because many of the songs were co-written by amongst others, Polly Samson, Gilmour's wife. But that does not in and of itself make the lyrics any less moving.These songs are often directly about the FLOYD and its troubled history and personages. The imagery created in 'Lost For Words' is a blatantly worded slap in the face directed towards Waters..."Can you see your days blighted by darkness? Is it true you beat your fists on the floor? Stuck in a world of isolation, While the ivy grows over the door." As well, 'Poles Apart' too is directly written about Syd and Roger, each getting his own verse.

Most astonishingly this is also an extemely intelligent record. Conceptually this album is progressive to the extreme. The concept is subtle yet profoundly deep for those wishing to pursue its true meaning. It is primarily centred around 'feedback' (i.e. communication if you will), or the lack thereof. The concept is heavily influenced by the book "The Human Use of Human Beings: Cybernetics and Society", by Norbert Wiener. For those who want even more philosophical insight and conceptual mystery look up the phenomenon known as "THE PUBLIUS ENIGMA"... FLOYD's own homegrown version of a 'whodunnit?' caper. In typical FLOYD fashion, even the album cover and liner notes are suspicious. Everything in them has some sort of meaning, whether obvious or not to the casual viewer.

Rick Wright is back to full form on this record as well, singing and writing his unique brand of FLOYDIAN music for the first time since "Dark Side"! 'Cluster One' and 'Marooned' are wonderfully ambient instrumentals that showcase the ability of Wright/Gilmour to create luscious soundscapes, textures and panoramic moods. The latter song, 'Marooned' ironically won the 1994 Grammy for Best Instrumental. In the ultimate use of sound sampling, the FLOYD on 'Cluster One' utilize the crackling sound of the tectonic plates moving under the earth's crust to begin the record. Very Deep indeed!

Like it or not, this is PINK FLOYD's Swan Song. They probably will never write another studio album again. And why should they? I feel they have already outdone themselves. Ten years later, we are still delving into and trying to decipher the riches that they have given us in "The Division Bell"...

Cluster One | 5/5 |


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