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Pink Floyd - The Division Bell CD (album) cover

THE DIVISION BELL

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.74 | 2273 ratings

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octopus-4
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5 stars Rick Wright is back in the lineup for the last act of Pink Floyd's history (if we forget Pulse and other trivia). "Cluster One" is the first thing written by him for Pink Floyd, even if 50% with Gilmour after about 25 years. What appears clearly is that this is not a David Gilmour solo album released under a Pink Floyd label as Momentary Leapse was. Waters is far away and of course is a great miss, but the remeining Floyds were trying to resurrect the original cooperative spirit lost after Wish You Were Here. Cluster One is unfortunately too short. The few minutes it lasts give us an idea of what could have been.

Something new, then. Gilmour is increasing his skills as lyricist. For his own admission he had never given too many attention to the lyrics, but on this album, encouraged by his new wife he has found new expressive ways. "What Do You Want From Me" is a typical Gilmour's song in the melody and the arrangements, with a bluesy intro reminding to the 70s, but the lyrics seem to be referring partially to his former wife Ginger, partially to Roger Waters.

"Poles Apart" is a real highlight. Acoustic guitar with an open tuning, fretless bass and Wright's keyboards remind to the period between Meddle, Obscured by Clouds and The Dark Side of The Moon. The spirit of Syd Barrett is still here. He's the person Gilmour is speaking to. Dave speaks about how they underevaluated Syd's mental issues and just sent him off of the band. He didn't realize that "That light in your eyes" was about to disappear forever. This is underlined by the dark childish interlude in the middle of the song. A good guitar solo closes the track.

"Marooned" seems to be more Wright's effort, at least in terms of arrangements. It's musically close to the kind of music that Wright will release later on Broken China. I have to say that Wright declared in an interview that he was wishing to do a concept album and was quite disappointed of Division Bell as it's just a collection of songs.

"A Great Day For Freedom" is similar to Poles Apart from a musical point of view. The lyrics are about the fall of the Berlin Wall. Somebody sees a relation to Roger Water and his performance after the wall's fall, but I don't think so.

"Wearing the Inside Out" which gives the title to Nick Mason's self-biography, is another great Wright's effort. The electronic drums give it a 80s flavour but the sax reminds to Wet Dream. Also it's the first time after years that Wright is the lead singer on a Floyd's song. It would be great if, instead of the choir, the second voice was sung bu Gilmour like on Echoes. However this is one of the best songs produced by the Pink Floyd since Animals.

"Take It Back" is the album's single, the one which video went on the major networks. The most underrated song because it's the most commercial. The initial guitar riff reminds in some way to "Blue Light". The problem with this song is when you listen to it alone. Try to listen to Wearing The Inside Out, Take It Back and Coming Back To Life. It will make more sense. The song is about Earth and Ecology "She will take it back, one day". It was also the sense of the very nice video.

On the last notes of Take It Back a keyboard backgrounds allows Gilmour to play a great acoustic guitar solo. There are reminds of "On The Turning Away". A nice average song. As the previous one, it acquires more sense when listened with the other two in a "single block".

"Keep Talking" could have been an excellent closer, but the real closer is a masterpiece. The song is about communication/incommunication. The choir and the lirycal theme makes it the most "Watersian" song of the album. The guitar backgrounds are typical of Gilmour, Wright makes a great work with the keyboards but it's like they are paying a little tribute to Waters.

"Lost For Words" is a slow country-blues. A kind of acoustic ballad to which Gilmour has made us sued since Fat Old Sun.

Now the masterpiece. I have already spent a lot of words when reviewing the Gdansk concert or Syd Barrett's solos. High Hopes is for me absolutely the best song released in all the 90s decade and one of the best Pink Floyd's songs ever. It's enough to payback the whole album. On two books: "Inside Out" and also on "Pigs Might Fly" is written that Gilmour's wife encouraged him to dig into himself and write about his feelings. The result is a sad song full of regret, another tribute to Syd Barrett. The reverb on the last words of the song: "forever and ever..." which enhance the sense of distance and loneliness followed by one of the best Gilmour's guitar solos, comparable to Comfortably Numb and even more dramatic complete the album.

I would have given 5 stars to the album only because it has High Hopes inside. It deserves all the 5 stars because even if just a collection of songs it's full of good music plus the efforts of Rick Wright as Pink Floyd composer and singer. Not only concept albums can be masterpieces.

octopus-4 | 5/5 |

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