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Pink Floyd The Division Bell album cover
3.74 | 2272 ratings | 141 reviews | 22% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1994

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Cluster One (5:58)
2. What Do You Want from Me (4:21)
3. Poles Apart (7:04)
4. Marooned (5:28)
5. A Great Day for Freedom (4:18)
6. Wearing the Inside Out (6:48)
7. Take It Back (6:12)
8. Coming Back to Life (6:19)
9. Keep Talking (6:11)
10. Lost for Words (5:14)
11. High Hopes (8:31)

Total Time 66:24

Line-up / Musicians

- David Gilmour / electric & acoustic guitars, e-bow (7), keyboards, bass, lead vocals, talk box, programming, co-producer
- Richard Wright / keyboards, piano, vocals (6)
- Nick Mason / drums, percussion

- Tim Renwick / guitars
- Jon Carin / keyboards, programming, vocals
- Bob Ezrin / keyboards, percussion, co-producer
- Dick Parry / tenor saxophone (6)
- Guy Pratt / bass, vocals
- Gary Wallis / acoustic & electronic percussion
- Sam Brown / backing vocals
- Carol Kanyon / backing vocals
- Rebecca Leigh-White / backing vocals
- Durga McBroom / backing vocals
- Jackie Sheridan / backing vocals
- Stephen Hawkins / synthesized voice (9)
- Michael Kamen / orchestral arrangements
- Edward Shearmur / orchestrations

Releases information

Artwork: Storm Thorgerson

LP EMI United Kingdom - EMD 1055 (1994, Europe)

CD EMI United Kingdom - CD EMD 1055 (1994, Europe)
CD EMI - 50999 028961 2 0 (2011, Europe) Remastered by James Guthrie and Joel Plante

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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PINK FLOYD The Division Bell ratings distribution

(2272 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
Good, but non-essential (25%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

PINK FLOYD The Division Bell reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars United We Stand, Divided We Fall

After a six year silence, only interrupted by a sub-par live album but aptly called Delicate Sounds Of Thunder (their thunder was certainly not powerful on stage as shown in that double "thing") and some soundtrack in the Carrera Panamericana they'd participated in, it was Radio Silence from them. And then came the early 93 Britannia Row (their studio, built before Animals) sessions and this last effort (most likely this will be the last "real" Floyd album has Gilmour has shown little interest in reviving the group since their Live 8 reunion. Coming with another superb Thorgerson artwork, with those two head statues making only one face representing the album's theme (this too light to call it a concept) of a dialogue between the two parts of the face. All this sounds like the former greatness of Floyd will likely return, but alas, this is doesn't last a close analysis of the album. First, the fact that they needed a vast amount of guest beyond the understandable Pratt on bass and the return of Parry on sax: Carin & Ezrin on keys, Renwick on Guitar, Wallis on drums & percs?. Did they really need that??

Unfortunately TDB has not survived the test of time after the initial enthusiasm of fans, critics and casuals alike had shown. While somewhat better than AMLOR (which was little more than an uninspired Gilmour solo album ala About Face), TDB benefits from the superb would-be titled track High Hopes (which indeed does just that, raise our hopes ? a bit too much) and two good instrumentals, but for the rest of the album, the improvement is slightly more than a marginal one, despite the return of Rick Wright in the songwriting dept. He and Gilmour share the credits on five tracks and he signs one on his own, on which he sings lead vocals, but the partnership, while hitting the spot sporadically, didn't return to their former greatness. Gilmour (and Wright) has again delegated most of the lyrics to an outsider, this time his new wife, and was not well-advised. I'm sure a certain ex-member (no names, please) would've loved to do it and done a fantastic job.

TDB opens with a correct 6-mins instrumental intro Cluster One of the album, which is reminiscent of the AMLOR opener, which indeed waters (pun not intended at first) the mouth with Mason's tape effects and a Gilmourian guitar solo hinting at Shine On You's intro. This segues directly to a very average What Do You Want From Me, a track stylistically close to AMLOR's general soundscape and is little more than a standard chorus-verse formatted song, which will happen a few more times throughout this album, notably on the near-atrocious U2-esque Take It Back or the promising intro of Coming Back To Life, which sounds like it's coming from The Wall's side B but marred by a boring beat. However there are some more Floydian-sounding tracks like the 7-mins Poles Apart with an interesting middle section. Unfortunately, A Great Day For Freedom is a relatively wheezy and over sentimental track that could've used a kick in the arse to wake up, despite correct lyrics about Eastern Europe's then-newly found freedom. Rick Wright's Wearing The Inside Out is a welcome change from Gilmour writing paw, but I wouldn't call it an album highlight, displaying too much fragility, lacking energy and overstaying its welcome by a full two minutes. But its main merit is to bring back some more classic Floyd soundscapes, but that track is a good preview of Rick's upcoming solo album Broken China.

Elsewhere, Keep Talking has an interesting Wrightian touch (sonically close to Wearing The Inside Out), and his inspired choice of keyboards certainly hit the spot as do the Gilmour's guitar parts and Mason's finally inspired drumming. Even if The Wall was not Gilmour's oeuvre, tracks like Lost For Words or Coming Back To Life sound much like the few tracks he did contribute. So far, I haven't been very positive with this album, but let's face it, only one third stands out, another third is average, and the last third is sub-par; but I am saving the good stuff for last. Just like the opening instrumental, Marooned is another instant hit with nostalgic Floydheads, and indeed the alchemy between Wright's aerial keyboards and Gilmour's slide guitar dies hit the spot almost as if the classic 70's are just around the bend. And then we're left with the closing mini-epic High Hopes, which will unknowingly become Floyd's superb finale to Floyd's legacy. In many ways, this track recalls in many ways Comfortably Numb, with Gilmour's finally inspired singing, even if much of the magic comes from that delicious bell tolling sound, but Floyd does everything right here and have not been this close to perfection since The Wall.

Indeed, Floyd's overall oeuvre does find a near-semblance of legitimacy, because three of the four actors are present, but unfortunately their stronger quarter is direly and dearly missing them. But if it wasn't for this album's outstanding High Hopes finale and two instrumentals restoring the magic of their classic era, I'm not sure that this album will stand the test of time, as nearly a decade has gone by, and I view this album very differently from my original enthusiastic reception. Generally this album is over-rated, especially by those that a bit blindly are wishing Floyd's return to greatness.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars "The tolling of the iron bell calls the faithful to their knees"

This was the actual "Final cut" (so far anyway), and found the Floyd going out very much on a high.

Roger Waters accusations of "Momentary lapse of reason" being a "pretty fair forgery" bears little credibility here, the album sounding unique and inspired. There are of course many of the usual Pink Floyd trademarks, such as the soft, slow atmospheric opening, and David Gilmour's distinctive guitar.

Clearly a lot of time was spent both on the songwriting and the production, the quality of both being exceptional. There are no up tempo rock songs in the vein of "Money" for example, most of the tracks being of a similar, more relaxed pace. The closest they come to letting go is on the heavier "Coming back to life".

Highlights include "What do you want from me", where Gilmour's sudden vocal key change transforms the track beautifully. "Poles Apart" also has a great mood change midway, as the drums introduce an brief upping of the pace.

The final track, "High Hopes" builds seductively from an almost funereal start through uplifting choruses to a climax of one of Gilmour's best solos on any PF album. The track fades to the sound of a single bell, before an unnecessary coda involving a small child on a telephone.

There's not a weak track on the album, but as with any work worthy of longer term appreciation it does demand a number of listens, not to mention an open mind, to be fully appreciated. To my mind, "The division bell" bears comparison with "Dark side of the moon", both in terms of structure and sound, and of the overall quality.

The "David Gilmour in concert" solo DVD contains some wonderful, largely acoustic, re-workings of a selection of the tracks.

For those outwith the UK the "Division Bell" is rung in the Houses of Parliament to alert members to attend a vote.

Review by belz
4 stars There is nothing wrong enjoying this album. It is very good and one can feel all the work it took to produce this album. Songs like « High Hopes » and « Coming back to life » are awesome. I like the old Pink Floyd, but certainly appreciate this (even more!?)!
Review by The Prognaut
4 stars This is the year of this album's 10th anniversary and yet, nothing surprisingly new from the band as it was to be expected due the casualties surrounding the band. I think of this recording as the "Prime Opera" of the band ever since WATERS left, and it's quite impossible not to bring Roger up when to referring to the band, but for the reasons we all are familiar with, it's practically inevitable.

Although the slide according to this album in the site doesn't feature Rick WRIGHT on keyboards, believe me, he is. And so is gifted guitarist Tim RENWICK, Mr. Dick PARRY on the sax along his special appearances on "Dark Side of the Moon" and "Wish You Were Here" and many other exceptional musicians that joined the band during "The Division Bell" tour and in the "Pulse" live recording such as Gary WALLIS, Guy PRATT and Jon CARIN.

This almost perfect album reminds us of a simpler time and fulfills us with the sensation of union, commitment and geniality the band used to have all along their successful career. It surely is an experimental passage through what PF has done and achieved during the years from the "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn" until this piece plagued with beautiful strikes of innovation, assorted with mixtures so rare and unique like the moments of inspiration with Rick on keyboards or the inexplicable turns Nick gets on drums. GILMOUR's performance all along this album is incomparable to what he's done so far, and with "so far" I also mean his solo works that certainly are uncomfortable to prog rock; the guitar execution is as melodic and moody as the one he once played in "Wish You Were Here" or even "The Wall".

The edgy touch and the musical improvement the album's got is the crucial point to convince the fans they still now how to rock, and still, it'd be out of any belief to think of a new album but with the old line-up. Great album, great production by Bob EZRIN, like the ones he's done with the band in the past; great musicians. Essential for complete understanding of the PINK FLOYD context.

Review by frenchie
2 stars The Wall was the last masterpiece by Pink Floyd and they should have called it a day after that to avoid all the stinkers that followed (except Echoes of course but that's a compilation). Pink Floyd should never have reached 1982, let alone 1994. They barely have the same energy and the album is full of boring tracks that dont seem to go to any new places. Granted there are strong pieces on the album but they are so flat compared to the rest of Pink Floyds material.

Marrooned and Cluster One are ok instrumentals but are too inconsistant and end up dragging the album down. High Hopes is probably the best work here but even that can get old fast. Whether or not pink floyd need roger waters on the album, they aren't as good without him. Keep Talking is annoying with the choir and stephen hawkings voice interupting a call and response style chorus. The Division Bell is a nice idea but it strains to carry on the pink floyd legacy. If the band had ended with the wall they would have a flawless discography and would have been even truer legends. Sadly this is the only album i need to finish my collection and it should only be purchased for the collectors.

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Four and a half stars..for sure Division Bell was even better than Momentary Lapse of Reason. Maybe this was down to the fact that Rick Wright was back as co-pilot alongside Gilmour.' Cluster one' is so emotionally stirring and you could not start an album on a better note. Even the hard hitting stab at disatisfied fans on ' What do you want from me' has a great hook and guitar riff. ' Poles apart' is nostalgic, fragile and beautifully written. Why people knock the lyrics on Divsion Bell is anybody's guess but Gilmour's other half lends her pen to the lyrics and they are exceptional. Rick Wright steals the show on ' Wearing the inside out'. Gilmour has cleverly crafted a perfect formula on Division Bell. The format in which the tracks are laid down are wll structured.' Lost for words' has some neat accoustic riffs where Gilmour throws his arms up in despair in the bitterness between him and Waters and no matter how he offers the peace pipe Waters basically tells him to go screw himself ( to put it politely). The album ends with the equisite and tragic ' High Hopes' which tells us of the wonder of childhood and how on growing older we lose that magic and grow more cynical in the... 'myriad of small creatures'. Division Bell was a great way for Floyd to sign off. I still have high hopes for one more album from them perhaps before the arthritis sets but I think it would take a small miracle for that to happen.
Review by Guillermo
4 stars Like "The Dark Side of the Moon", this is one of those albums that I like to listen to fom start to finish. In my opinion, it was their best album since "The Dark Side of the Moon". Pink Floyd was a full real band in this album, as Rick Wright was an official member again, and as the trio played live together in the studio again, contributing each member to the total sound. Rick Wright again contributed good songs, good keyboards and good vocals, even if he wasn`t totally satisfied with the final product (as he said in interviews years later). The album has a lot of emotional changes and "colours", even if most of the time it is melancholic. But for me the impression it leaves is one of hope. This album proved that Roger Waters was important in the past, that they had to play in concert old songs of the quartet period, even some of Roger`s songs only written by him, but Roger`s "dark" vision of the world saturated his last albums with the band, and me and maybe other Pink Floyd`s listeners needed a change from Pink Floyd`s albums between 1977 and 1983. This album is a mixture of the best of the Pink Floyd of the early seventies with a new identity for the 90s.I also think that if this album is their last studio album, Pink Floyd said farewell in a high point.
Review by FloydWright
4 stars I think that The Division Bell is among PINK FLOYD's best works. Yes, it is different from their prior works, but that's to be expected. Seen for what it IS--the best work that DAVID GILMOUR, RICK WRIGHT, and NICK MASON have produced--it is truly an excellent album. Although not as lyrically unified as albums like The Wall, PINK FLOYD managed what so few bands have been able to do after losing an important member: preserved their sound intact and yet adapting to the times. Chicago couldn't do it, the MOODY BLUES couldn't do it--but thanks to its talented remaining members, PINK FLOYD succeeded.

In my mind, The Division Bell actually bears an interesting similarity to WRIGHT's first solo album, Wet Dream, and if you like one, I think chances are fairly good that you will like the other. Both albums have that sort of laid-back, open, oceanic and dreamlike feel to them in many places. This is certainly not the angst-filled Animals, though there are points where the "cast members" reveal they're feeling low.

Like no other album after Wish You Were Here, WRIGHT's presence can REALLY be heard and felt. It almost defies words, but there is always a strong sense of PLACE in his music. "Cluster One", for me, might be a cool fall day (the crackling sounds could be, for instance, fallen leaves swirling about). I can almost feel the wind shift direction at the change of a chord, see the bright blue sky and perhaps a few gentle wisps of cirrus clouds.

"Marooned", of course, is VERY oceanic. The image in my mind has always been of a stark, rocky, New England coastline--dark, ominous clouds threaten a nor'easter that may or may not materialise...but a warning just the same. GILMOUR deserves credit here as well, for a guitar solo that to me sounds like the anguish of a soul in pain. Some parts even seem like racking sobs. Yet as the song goes on, it almost seems to gather strength...all hope is not gone. Out of this pain comes renewal.

That brings me to the album's most powerful track: "Wearing the Inside Out": one of the most moving, most personal things I have ever heard (WRIGHT's second solo album Broken China being THE most moving thing I've ever heard).

I would prefer not to discuss the actual circumstances, but the time at which I purchased this album was the darkest, most painful time in my life. I cannot explain what it was like to hear this song--almost like seeing a reflection of myself, for lack of better words. It is a compliment to WRIGHT that his music would draw me in like that. I know the lyrics are not his, but the sentiments certainly seem to belong to him.

The song offered something else, too. For all the darkness, there is a very distinct turning point, when that "trumpet" synthesiser kicks in: "I'm creeping back to life..." The darkness, as terrible and consuming as it was, need not be permanent. And even though at the end, this soul is still in some pain--there is hope. In the final chord is an uplifting message...this bleeding heart may not be beating much...but it is slow, strong, and clear at the end. There is still life. Whatever his circumstances were, it was very brave of Mr. Wright to capture his feelings in music that way, because it truly is a gift when you can take those things and touch someone else.

I think "Coming Back to Life" is notable for GILMOUR's second-most impressive singing job. Only "So Far Away" from his self-named solo album outdoes it. The beautiful, even, rapid note changes are absolutely impressive...the studio effects chosen here are very effective, in my opinion, to accentuate it.

The last song, "High Hopes", is beautifully haunting--the ringing of the Division Bell has a mournful, tolling sound to it that fits well with the reminisces upon things long gone. There is a beautiful solo and ascending chord sequence at the end. Though it seems all is lost to time, there are still "high hopes" at the end of The Division Bell, giving it an overall optimistic feel.

I think there is more to this album than meets the eye. I was, overall, pleased with The Division Bell, especially because of a jewel like "Wearing the Inside Out"--far and away the best song on the album. It is the sign of a true artist when you can see parts of your own circumstances in their work.

Review by Cluster One
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"...

Review by kunangkunangku
4 stars Great album, but badly disregarded. Why? Simple reason: many people are misled by Waters inappropriate statement that Pink Floyd without him only serves as a forgery. This album proves Waters was wrong. Admit it or not, Pink Floyd with him has already became part of rock history, and the subsequent band has its own life and credibility.

With Wright re-join the group as a full-time member, what was lost in the previous album ("A Momentary Laps of Reason") has now been recovered. Not only Wright gives his best keyboards contribution since "Animals", he also co-writes five of the 11 songs, and even serves as lead vocalist on "Wearing the Inside Out".

Another difference from "A Momentary...", accordingly, is this album is more of a group effort. Gone are the heavy involvements of outsider composers. Knowing his lack of writing lyrics, however, Gilmour invited Polly Samson and Nick Laird-Clowes to help him writing songs (it seems to me) mostly about communications.

Apart from its rather weak lyrics, this album showcasing the band effort of moving back to the pre-"Dark Side of the Moon". There are a lot of lazily, slow tempos and sustained keyboard chords. And also a lot of guitar playing, with Gilmour again delivered his masterfully guitar solos on several songs, including in "Coming Back to Life" and "High Hopes" (the best track, in my opinion).

Serious Pink Floyd admirers should not ignore this album, which its title came from science fiction writer and long-time friend of Gilmour, Douglas Adams.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars When this album came out I did only purchase the cassette version as I was not "that" satisfied with post Roger Waters era of Pink Floyd through previous album "A Momentary Lapse of Reason". But when I heard "Marooned" with stunning guitar work by David Gilmour, I decided to upgrade the collection into CD. I did not regret at all even though the CD price was five times than cassette. And I think, reviewing an album should be on the basis of enjoying it from CD or LP. Why? It's because my cassette experience with this album did not create any excitement with an atmospheric track that set the overall tone of the album "Cluster One" (5:58). This very slow tempo and ambient music explores some effects resulting from keyboard sound, followed with soft piano touch and soft guitar work of Gilmour can only best enjoyed with the CD format. Unexpectedly the band brings the music into a blues-rock style with "What Do You Want From Me" (4:21). It's not only the beats and the melody that I like from this song, but also the Floydian guitar. Awesome. "Poles Apart" (7:04) for me is an exploration of acoustic guitar fills and nice vocal quality.

My favorite track "Marooned" (5:28) was my chief reason to buy the CD and it explores David Gilmour guitar virtuosity, excellent composition and sustained time signatures that can only be filled-up with a patient guitar player like Gilmour. It is augmented by great piano touch. Unfortunately, I have never heard this track played live. "A Great Day for Freedom" (4:18) is a nice song but I tend to get bored listening this a bit poppy track. With Dick Parry's sax at the opening combined with soft howling guitar, "Wearing the Inside Out" (6:48) brings our musical experience in a cool way; relax . I like the guitar fills at the background. "Take It Back "(6:12) is a straight forward and free flow smooth music with some nice guitar solo in the middle.

"Coming Back to Life" (6:19) was initially not the kind of track that I favor until I watched Gilmour's DVD (In Concert) and I could then appreciate better. Fortunately, I like the guitar solo part which is played "rough" (unusual for Gilmour, actually). "Keep Talking" (6:11) is a good upbeat tempo and ambient song with great sound mixing and unique vocals. "Lost for Words" (5:14) is for just "so and so" as it does not truly create any emotion for me. It goes just like that - it's like an oxygen flowing into my ears. Nothing happen at all man!

"High Hopes" ??? Yeah . it's the pinnacle, I think. I did appreciate this track better after I watched my laser disc on P-U-L-S-E. I really love the melody and the nuance - especially when I watched the video where big balloon moves slowly in a dark setting. What a great shot, really. The song start with a nuanced bell songs augmented with a very simple piano touch followed with great low register notes Gilmour voice .

Beyond the horizon of the place we lived when we were young In a world of magnets and miracles Our thoughts strayed constantly and without boundary The ringing of the division bell had begun

Along the Long Road and on down the Causeway Do they still meet there by the Cut

There was a ragged band that followed in our footsteps Running before time took our dreams away Leaving the myriad small creatures trying to tie us to the ground To a life consumed by slow decay

The grass was greener The light was brighter With friends surrounded The night of wonder

Overall, it's an excellent addition to any prog music collection. Keep on proggin' ..!

Progressively yours, GW

Review by Eclipse
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.

Review by Zitro
3 stars This is an improvement of the last pink Floyd Album. This album has the sound of Pink Floyd, and has plenty of guitar solos and keyboard work. Another thing to note is that the album is a tribute to Roger Waters.

1. Cluster one : This sounds like Shine on You Crazy Diamond. Very Atmospheric sound with mellow lead guitar and lots of piano. A perfect way to start the album.

2. What do you want from me: A good pop song with female vocalists. Nothing too special, but it is solid.

3. Poles apart : A very good song starting as a normal soft rocker with good melodies, but impressing the listener with a highly atmospheric instrumental break that is a highlight of the album.

4. Marooned: This is a great instrumental that gave Pink Floyd a Grammy. It is as always atmospheric with lead guitars, with nice piano embellishments.

5. A great day for freedom: This is Dave at his most melodic. The piano melodies are also outstanding. The instrumental break is highly symphonic and contains a good and long guitar solo.

6. Wearing the inside out : A not too memorable Spacey song that really sounds generic for Pink Floyd. Not bad though, but it is overlong, and lacks strong melodies.

7. Take it back : A song that sounds really like U2, but it still is played in the Floyd way. This is the most poppy song of the album.

8. Coming back to life: A good and simple rock/pop song wiht the 'wish you were here' feel.

9. Keep talking: this is a memorable song, and it has an interesting arrangement. It is a rocker with plenty of solo and a Stephen Hawkin-like electronic voice giving the theme of the song 'it doesn't have to be like this, We have to make sure we keep talking'. Some guitar sounds in the solos can make you feel like you heard them before though (especially one in which Dave uses the pig sounding guitar pedal)

10. Lost for words: A 'Wish You Were Here' Clone! It starts with a guitar riff, then is later accompained by a short acoustic solo, and then the verses/choruses begin which reminds me of that old classic.

11. High hopes: This is a classic Pink Floyd song. It has that classic piano riff, the amazing lyrics and singing .. the melodies! ... the military march drumming + acoustic solo, and of course the great guitar solo at the end (which is played even better in PULSE). This is a song that can represent excellently 'symphonic rock'.

I recommend this album to any Pink Floyd fan or anyone who likes the 70s pre-wall Pink Floyd sound. It is very solid.

My Grade : C+

Review by erik neuteboom
3 stars I grew up with the early Pink Floyd (73-79), if I compare this album to that era I miss emotion, songs that carry me away and surprising musical ideas. When I witnessed the "Division Bell tour" it was a mindblowing visual and often musical experience but not a single song from the new album impressed me or sounded memorable. To me Pink Floyd had turned into a very professional progrock machine, absolutely not bad or boring but their music simply doesn't evoke any spark. Pink Floyd did a decent job with this album but I miss Roger Waters, the splendid Live8 concert prooved this to me: Roger is the missing link!
Review by Prognut
4 stars With three of the guys back together, much better than the previous one!! I always felt, since 1994..that PF wanted to vanish in oblivion with class and personality! IMHO they achieved that, since this album proves something...We still can do progressive rock..and Floyd gems without Rogers, and at the end.... A final point..for one of the most espectacular band ever created!! As Sean mention, I also was very happy and deligthed to see Richard back in full swing with the band!; since his influence is undenying on PF career. Recommended!!!
Review by Chicapah
4 stars You have to have this one for Gilmour's guitar tones and his impeccable proficiency on the instrument. He is one of a kind and puts his individual stamp on every song on this album. Marooned, Take it back, Coming back to life and High Hopes are worth repeated listenings. But a few of the songs aren't and that's a shame because they keep this recording from really being one of their all-time bests. Still, Pink Floyd on a bad day beats the daylights out of 99% of 21st century artists on their greatest day ever!
Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Well, this is the 137th entrie or review of this album, so i have to place my point of views, maybe some reviews are similar too what im thinking of, and some of them i am totally disagree so lets start.

Maybe when you hear thet Roger Waters left Pink Floyd, maybe you thought that it was the end of the band, but no way, as we know David Gilmour decided to follow doing albums, the first was A Momentary Lapse of reason in 1987, and im not going to talk about it, and 7 years later Gilmour , Wright and Mason make this album " The Division bell". When Gilmour take the leadership o the band, he changed the style of Pink Floyd, is Gilmour´s style still progressive rock? of course yes, is a different sound for example, for me the best Pink Floyd era is from 1971 to 1977,when masterpieces like Meddle, DarkSide and Animals were released, and the sound of Division Bell is not the same as that era, and of course it is totally different to Waters´ leadership era (The Wall and Fnal Cut), more guitar oriented and all the songs sung by Gimour except the beautiful "Wearing the Inside Out", sung by Richard Wright.

"Cluster One" is the first track on here , with a sound of nature with the softly sound of Gilmour´s guitar and the ambiental keys, good atmospheric and melodic passages. "What do you Want for me" is the first "main" track of the album, i dont remember if it was a single, it is also the first song with vocals, for me lyrics are great, and musically nice bass lines and great guitar work, maybe compared with their 70´s stuff this is less complex and a bit more poppish, great song for me. "Poles Apart" is the third song, it is a nice song, but of course notthe best, maybe this is one of the weakest tracks of the album, good arrangments and nice drums, but lack of creativity despite its 7 minute lenght. "Marooned" is a beautiful song, starts with a nice atmospheric sound, in the fund we can listen to keyboards, while Gilmour is doing his great guitar job, it has great guitar tones and beautiful sounds, it is an instrumental song, i think it is really beautiful. "A Great day for freedom", to be honest, it is the track i less enjoy, in fact when i listen to P.U.L.S.E., and this song is coming i prefer to advancing one song, it starts with david´s vocals, it reminds me that horrible "A New Machine " song. "Wearing the Inside Out" is a great song, sung by the mysterious and always great Richard Wright, it is a special part of the album, i like his voice, is not superb but its quite pleasant, i think this is one of the most beautiful lyrics here, and also we can listen to Dick Parry´s sax, nice sound too. "Take it Back", who doesnt know this song? , in fact, this song has a nice video, it is no my favorite track but it is one of the most popular here. "Coming back to Life",and here you are ladies and gentleman, this is my favorite song, i love it, beautiful lyrics, and it has a great beggining with Gilmour´s riff between keys soundscape, and then he stars to sing, where were you.... great, of course this is really poppish when we are thinking of a progressive song. "Keep Talking", it stars with some strange vocals saying "for millions of years...." it is nice, something different, another good point of this song are back vocals, female vocals while Gilmour says one part, they are in another, good song. "Lost for Words", this song has a special sound, acoustic guitar and gream drums rythm, but it is another lack and simple song. "High Hopes" is probably the most well - known song here, and probably the proggiest of them all, besides of being the largest, it has some great rythm changes and a very powerful sound compared to the other songs.

Well, so i find this album very pleasant, is not the best workof Pink Floyd, of course it is the best without Waters (IMO), but if you are looking for some truly progressive rock, this is the wrong album, thats why i think it cant be a 5 star album , despite i love and i really enjoy it, im going to give it 4 stars, and if you thought that it is a bad album, believe me, NO WAY... this is a great album!

Review by Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars 1994 saw the release of the last Pink Floyd album, The Division Bell. Some would suggest this to be one of the stronger albums in the Pink Floyd catalogue (like me), and some cast it off in belief that only Pink Floyd with Roger Waters is worthy of a listen. If you're part of the latter half, then you need to stop thinking that and get this album. Not only are all the songs on here strong, most of the old Floydian feel has returned, with the help of Rick Wright being more involved this time around. David Gilmour this time brings in less collaborators as the last album, but he still has some old favorites (Bob Ezrin) around to help him craft the songs that are on the album. And with that 7 year break came a great improvement over the mediocre Momentary Lapse of Reason, and with that 7 year break came The Division Bell.

Cluster One is an opening instrumental, similar to that of Signs of Life off of A Momentary Lapse of Reason. It's a lot spacier, though, and Wright and Gilmour are great on this track. What do You Want From Me follows. A strong riff that is remnicient of Have a Cigar (off of Wish You Were Here), and some great vocals from Gilmour, this gives a great vocal introduction to the album. Poles Apart follows, and some great vocals and guitar work from Gilmour are highlights of this track. Wright really comes into his own on this track as well. Marooned landed Pink Floyd a Grammy Nomination for Best Rock Instrumental (which I believe they beat Rush out for). Gilmour still shines on this track, with more incredible soloing.

A Great Day For Freedom makes references to the old Floyd Warhorse The Wall with lyrics, "On the day the wall came down". The harmony vocals from Gilmour and Wright are spot on and a strong riff from the group keeps the track together, and then another classic Gilmour solo is played. Wearing the Inside Out is the only Wright lead vocal on the album. The song has a similar feel to Wright's solo albums, and his voice has a great feel when put against the earthy music. Take it Back is another strong track. with (you guessed it) even more great soloing from David Gilmour, and some precise drumming from Mason on this one. Coming Back to Life has a great guitar intro from Gilmour, still showing his musical prowess and craft. The vocals and drumming on this album are also highlights.

Keep Talking has instrumental bits augmented with phrases from Stephen Hawking. Some great backing vocal and nice lyrics from Gilmour really give this song an older Floyd feel. Lost For Words keeps up the same tradition as the rest of the album and provides more great guitar spots for Gilmour. High Hopes concludes the album, and it is definitely the best song on the album. A consistent bell in the background is further augmented by great classical guitar, and some earthy synth tones. An acoustic interlude in the middle of the song gives it a Welcome to the Machine feel, but the orchestrated background really gives it an emotional boost and heightens the atmosphere. Towards the end of the song, Gilmour gives a great slide solo that shows he's a master at that instrument, providing emotional lines that fit well with the backing beat.

Overall, this is definitely in my top 5 Floyd albums. It has all the great elements, great vocals, great keyboards, great drumming, great guitar... and there in lies my only gripe with the album, there are almost too many guitar solos, as if every track features 2 minutes of soloing from Gilmour. Now there's nothing wrong with that, it's just a little excessive, and it would have been nice to get a couple of Wright solos in there. But in the end, The Division Bell is a great effort that I think everyone should listen to. 4.5/5.

Review by Neu!mann
3 stars Pink Floyd's unlikely reformation in the mid-1980s, without the monomaniacal guidance of Roger Waters, could easily be written off as a cold-blooded act of corporate expediency, a point all but underlined by the global success of their mediocre 1987 album "A Momentary Lapse of Reason". This was music only the most charitable fan could defend (and millions did), but seven years later their next studio effort, the last one likely ever to be released under the Pink Floyd banner, would at least allow the remains of a once-great band to recede into semi-retirement with their dignity intact.

I expected to preface this review with a sarcastic remark about the late Syd Barrett spinning in his grave, but the album took me pleasantly by surprise. Okay, so it still resembles something that should have been sold as a Dave Gilmour solo project (compare it to his recent, excellent "On An Island" CD). But the sound is more relaxed and natural than on the "Lapse of Reason" album, and the writing is less pretentiously self-conscious than anything heard from Pink Floyd since before "Dark Side of the Moon".

From the glowing, ethereal soundscapes of the album opener "Cluster One" (welcome back, Rick Wright) to the opulent grandeur of "High Hopes" (yet another leftover brick from "The Wall", in this case sounding not unlike a wayward cousin to "Comfortably Numb"), and from the lush twelve-string guitar splendor of "Poles Apart" to the slowburn funk of "What Do You Want From Me" (shades of the classic "Have a Cigar"), this is an easy album to enjoy.

Maybe too easy, for a band with a long-standing reputation for ambitious thematic song cycles. It's refreshing not to be burdened by any sort of concept, but in the end, like too much later Pink Floyd, there's a dispiriting, all-too familiar homogeny to the music that sinks the album in retrospect (listen to and cringe at the trite, FM-friendly transparency of the song "Coming Back to Life").

All it really needed was a small, controlled dose of that patented, misanthropic Roger Waters bile to balance the more complacent energies of Gilmour and company. With a little more of an edge, it could have been another masterpiece. But even half a classic Pink Floyd album is better than none at all, and after a decade of silence from the band we should be grateful to hear it in any form at all.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars 3.5 stars. This would be PINK FLOYD's final studio album unfortunately. And while it comes across better then any of David Gilmour solo records it pales when compared to "The Wall" and just about all of FLOYD's albums before that. I honestly can understand the 4 star ratings and the 2 or 3 star ratings. It's an album that is well done with about 4 really good songs, but something is missing, and that "something" is Roger Waters. Love him or hate him I can't imagine him being on an album like this. I'll leave it at that.

"Cluster One" is actually a pretty cool instrumental. "What Do You Want From Me" is a song they used to play on the radio.The guitar is just killer. A top four track along with the next one "Poles Apart". I like how uplifting it is after the quiet interlude when the vocals come back after 4 minutes.The song closes with the master doing a guitar solo.

"Marooned" is an amazing guitar driven instrumental with piano.There are some inspiring lyrics on this album, like on "A Great Day For Freedom" and "High Hopes". The three tracks after "A Great Day For Freedom" really do little for me. Another gem though is "Keep Talking" (a top four). "Lost For Words" is ok. "High Hopes" is the other top four track and is a worthy track to be their final one ever.

Traces of their greatness can be heard here but overall I can't give this 4 stars. Still I like to give this a spin for the four tracks mentioned above.

Review by Chus
2 stars I don't hate Pink Floyd by any means, and I have to give them credit for being a very imaginative act (in the truest sense of the word "imaginative"... that's what psychedelia is about after all), but they are not the best rock band in history as everyone claims (and the Hall Of Fame as well). They were average musicians with average to limited talent and some edge (when Waters was in, though; Gilmour has none!!). Their best work is arguably "Animals" (I own DSOTM and The Wall, and I don't like them much either), and from that on all they did was uninteresting at best, mediocre at worst.

To the review: after Waters left for good, Gilmour had the very bad idea to carry on with Mason and record "A Momentary Lapse Of Reason" (second worst album by them); and everyone thought they were gone for good after that. Then, the most infamous reformation was planned with Rick Wright returning to his keyboard chair once again, and they recorded "Division Bell" (worst album so far). The difference between these 2 albums is that, while the former was still in a very experimental phase, the latter is so formulaic that falls from cheesy to boring at best, depressing at worse.The songs are so uninteresting that all I hear is pure atmospherics with some studio tricks, but while in their early days they had at least some edge, this has none. 66 minutes of boring atmosphere. The least bad songs here are probably "Marooned" and "Keep Talking" (which has some great female gospel voices). But the rest is depressing and generic Gilmour-Floyd marathon with the same monotonous formula of the previous album.

1.5 stars really!! rounded to 2 stars. not even for fans of Waters-led Pink Floyd

Review by Joolz
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I must admit to mixed emotions regarding Dvision Bell. While the sheer quality of material cannot be denied [well, in most cases anyway!], ultimately the album fails to ignite the flame of desire like some of its predecessors. While tracks like Cluster One, Keep Talking and the very special High Hopes are all of a very high quality, the album as a whole falls flat. For me, the atmosphere is too cosy and laid-back, and I get bored with Gilmour's endless soloing - you get the feeling the songs are there simply as a vehicle for his guitar solos. I adore Gilmour's guitar technique, but here the solos are far too dominant and over-powering. No denying it is a good sounding album, and taken in small doses, the songs are great. But when placed in the overall pantheon of Floyd's heritage, it has to be said the bite and lyrical angst of Roger Waters is sadly missed.
Review by ZowieZiggy
4 stars The departure of Roger put Dave in command, which resulted in the release of the average "A Momentary Lapse Of Freedom". It was more a Gilmour work than anything else. This one is more a band album (Rick is co-credited for five songs).

"Cluster One" starts very slowly (you almost do not notice anything during the first minute). Some aerial and spacey moments and the song can really starts after its third minute. It is then brilliant : the Floyd in all its grandeur. Fantastic keys in the background, fabulous guitar and subtle percussion from Nick. Very sensitive and emotional. Some SOYCD flavour.

"What Do You Want From Me" starts like "Have A Cigar". This is a hard song : strong tempo, heavy guitar but very melodious vocals. A strong number, maybe a bit commercial... "Poles Apart" is another great song : the band is finally united. The sound is perfect (as it has been since DSOTM by the way). Rick plays a very melodic and floating key parts. The finale has become of standard for the Floyd : inmense and emotional guitar solo. The floyd TM.

"Marooned" is a beautiful instrumental piece showcasing Dave again : I can't help it : this is the Floyd I prefer. Straitghtforward, spacey, harmonious : so HUMAN.

The same feeling applies to "A Great Day For Freedom". At this stage, the difference of tone with the Waters era is obvious : while they were dark, depressed and fighting with each other; they are now optimistic and happy to be together.

David will say : "What was really nice about the recording was that myself and Rick and Nick came together and worked well as a unit in a way that we hadn't done for many, many year". And Nick : "We went into the studio to see if we could invent anything as a band rather than entirely electronically and I think it was successful for this album. It was significant that there was something to be achieved with the three of us". Listen to "High Hopes" to be convinced.

"Wearing the Inside Out" is a mellow ballad with nice background vocals (this is another of their TM) and good sax work. It is a a bit monotonous even if, as usual, the guitar solo at the end saves the track. "Take It Back" is a bit more commercial, poppy but good.

"Coming Back To Life" has a very nice guitar intro, and when the track starts at 2'45" it is pure joy. Great melody, good backing band, and great chorists. Rythm and harmony : do we need more at this stage ? Is it useful to mention that Dave is just great in both the vocals as in the guitar solo ?

"Keep Talking" is another excellent number : a bit harder than the average here. Beautiful duo between David and the backing vocalists. The melody is rather catchy. Some arrangements remind me the DSOTM atmosphere.

"Lost For Words" has the flavour of the title track "WYWH" with a nice accoustic intro. "High Hopes" closes the album on a very optimistic mood. OK, it is a bit mellow. OK some of the lyrics are a bit childish ("The grass was greener, The light was brighter, With friends surrounded, The nights of wonder"). But this is exactly what's all about The Division Bell : hope and melody instead of shouts and stress.

When you listen to "The Division Bell" you are overwhelmed by its beauty (even if it is a commercial record, even pop at times). Some might find that the tracks are too similar one to each other, but I do not have this feeling. I just love this record. Period. This one will reach Nr. 1 both in the US and in the UK (where are you Roger) ? Four stars.

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars As Dave Gilmour once stated in an MTV interview, "The Division Bell" has a more musical feel than its predecessor since they hadn't anything to prove anymore by then. That is perfectly accurate as a concise overall description of this album's most featured quality, it is clearly and decidedly more focused on melodic ideas, concerning both development and arrangement. The two instrumentals, which are also two of the album's highlights, are some of the brightest proofs of that: just let yourself be wrapped by the ever-eerie ambience of 'Cluster One' and the melancholy mystery of 'Marooned'. The former has recurring keyboard layers as protagonist sources of sound, while the latter finds a constant climax in the soaring steel guitar flows. 'What Do You Want from Me', 'Lost for Words' and 'Poles Apart' are, to put it simply, reconsiderations of the usual Floydian melodies and textures that you can find all over the "Dark Side" and "Wish" albums, with 'Poles Apart' being the most brilliant item of all three - the use of effective steel guitar paintings and a daydream-like interlude makes it surpass the more average and 'deja-vu' tendencies comprised in the other aforesaid tracks. 'Wearing the Inside Out' is a Wright number that brings some of his typical contemplative spirit to the album: just like the two instrumentals, this track explores the relaxed side of PF quite efficiently, while not being as impressive. Impressive is 'A Great Day for Freedom', which finds Gilmour still trying to prove something - that he can write excellent conscious songs under a PF-circa "The Wall" frame. This song is certainly one of those amazing surprises that Gilmour-era PF brings to lifelong fans, but the best is to come last, since the closing track 'High Hopes' (widely acclaimed by many as the best Gilmour- era PF song) sets a pace of meditation, remembrance and resignation in a most poignant manner. The exquisite orchestrations (courtesy of Michael Kamen's genius) perfectly accommodate the moderate bombast demanded by the melodic lines, while the compelling steel guitar solo serves a sustained climax all the way towards the fade- out. The final bell tolls assume the emotional charge displayed throughout the song, while the opening ones apparently served just as a counterpoint to the Spartan piano chords (a trick also used for the electronic dewdrops at the beginning and the end of 'Echoes'). 'High Hopes' is cohesively connected to the whole album's general spirit, yet it takes it up to its most sublime level. This monster track alone provides a big dose of artistic dignity to the album, although, as I mentioned before, there are other high points. 'Keep Talking' and the almost neo-prog 'Take It Back' are less impressive to my ears, sounding more related to the "Momentary Lapse" material, yet lacking real novelty ('Take It Back') or too 'deja-vu' ('Keep Talking'). These tracks are nice, just that. Also just nice, even too AOR-ish, but definitely more refreshing, is 'Coming Back to Life'. Overall rating: 3.75, with a special mention for 'High Hopes' (4+).
Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Almost a ditto of my opinion of Momentary Lapse. We have the very unfortunate attempt to resurrect past glories without quality material, musical vision, or even decent lyrics. The Division Bell is just a tad more rounded than Momentary Lapse but that's hardly enough to recommend it. Listening to these two albums and what I recall about Waters solo work, it becomes obvious that the two need each other to succeed musically. Conflict in a band is not something to run from right away. Certainly it can become too much eventually, but great work comes from personal conflict. Roger and David will always be better together than they ever will apart. Division Bell proves David can still sing and play guitar but he is lost in boring songs with little to say. While I haven't heard Roger's recent work I would assume he too has had trouble succeeding without the talents of Gilmour.

The most interesting moments on Division Bell are still but a shadow of something like Dark Side or Animals. I think this piece by Tom Graves sums up my feelings pretty well: "Gilmour, who has become Pink Floyd's de facto leader, in particular seems bored or dispirited. His guitar solos were once the band's centerpieces, as articulate, melodic and well-defined as any in rock. No longer. He now has settled into rambling, indistinct asides that are as forgettable as they used to be indelible. Only on "What Do You Want From Me" does Gilmour sound like he cares. Another problem with the album is its length. At more than an hour, it is too long and quickly exhausts its few fresh ideas. The band seems to be padding at every opportunity. Consequently, The Division Bell will satisfy only the most ravenous Pink Floyd fan."

There is no reason for progressive music fans to own the two Gilmour solo albums passed off as PF unless one desires the complete catalogue.

Review by progaardvark
COLLABORATOR Crossover/Symphonic/RPI Teams
4 stars Division Bell was a significant improvement over Gilmour's A Momentary Lapse of Reason, showing the group return more to its traditional form. Instead of the beginning of a David Gilmour solo album turning into a Pink Floyd album, Division Bell started off as a group effort, this time with Richard Wright as a full member again. It's true that Gilmour is the most dominant force behind the album (lyrics, vocals, guitar solos everywhere), but he doesn't overwhelm the album and Wright's presence clearly can be heard. Lyrically this album is more of a return to the Wish You Were Here and Dark Side of the Moon days as they are quite poetic and intelligently scribed.

Again, like A Momentary Lapse of Reason, no specific concept is presented on the album, although most of the music deals with the theme of communication and lack of it. Some of Gilmour's lines sound like they're directly inspired from his fallout with Roger Waters. Musically the album is more spacier than previous efforts and takes a mostly song-oriented approach. Long gone are the days of 10-20 minute epics for these guys.

Over the last few years my opinions of this album have moved about from being a masterpiece to just being good, but with more recent listens it seems to have aged quite well. It, like most Pink Floyd albums, is another gem in their long history as a hallmark of progressive rock. An excellent and worthwhile purchase and their most significant contribution after 1980. Easily four stars.

Review by russellk
2 stars PINK FLOYD's final studio album is filled with FLOYD-like sounds but ultimately doesn't quite pass the test of time. It really is an album too far.

Though the three remaining band members co-operated on this album, to the extent that RICK WRIGHT was accepted back as a full band member, wrote material and even gets lead vocal duties, this is still largely a DAVID GILMOUR effort. As such, it features a great deal of his lazy guitar work, and I've never been more bored with it. Here's the reason why. When you examine his most famous solos, they are not only excellently written, they are painstakingly prepared for - that is, the song builds up to them - but also the backing is significant and powerful. Would the solo at the end of 'Comfortably Numb' be so highly regarded without the powerful chord sequence? Or the one at the end of 'Pigs' without the wonderful bass runs? 'Time' and 'Money' without the driving beat? In fact, the rhythm section is largely ignored in the composition of these songs. The result is that there is no real dynamic to them. They go nowhere.

The only conclusion that can be drawn is PINK FLOYD miss ROGER WATERS as much for his driving bass as they do for his driving personality, and this album is compelling evidence of it.

'Cluster One' is perhaps the album's highlight, along with the closing track. How immensely frustrating to have a pleasant, at points majestic, opener that builds tension only for it to be immediately dissipated by a cumbersome, lead-footed Jurassic whine of a track as 'What Do You Want From Me'. The emotions are forced, the topic - the misunderstanding engendered by a lack of communication - old hat and not particularly well conceived. And as we drag our way from one plodding track to the next, we begin to suspect that dear, tolerant DAVID is actually having a go at ROGER, ten years after the event. You know, I'd hoped he'd have a little more to say. Here's the rub: a band that offers otherworldly soundscapes and soaring guitar work ought to have something of more importance to say than a rehash of a decade-old spat between two spoiled brats.

'Poles Apart' goes on and on, eventually trickling to a halt, to be replaced by 'Marooned', the most undeserving recipient of a Grammy I've ever heard. GILMOUR makes noises on his guitar for a while, and that's about it. Seagulls on the shore and all that. I find it unconvincing. Compare this mush to any FLOYD instrumental you care to name. 'A Great Day For Freedom' raises the stakes a little, and the inevitable guitar solo is almost earned. The only worthy track apart from the opener on the first half of the record is WRIGHT's 'Wearing The Inside Out', with it's call and response chorus. But even WRIGHT sounds tired. There's a couple more songs of dubious merit before our ears are warmed by 'Keep Talking', which has enough oomph to qualify as a genuine FLOYD number. Another indirect stab at WATERS follows, then the album finishes with the excellent 'High Hopes', the only song that actually goes anywhere. The 1970's FLOYD would have made a masterpiece of this song, and even the 1990's lads don't do too bad a job.

In the end, this is an album every PINK FLOYD fan already owns, and one that can be safely ignored by everyone else.

Review by progrules
3 stars The interesting question with this album is: do you judge it as any prog album or as a Pink Floyd album, at their standard that is. And that makes a big difference I feel, because their standard is pretty high, if not extremely high. And if you judge it as any prog album, meaning as if it was done by any random band then the story is a totally different one.

Because then we are talking about a high quality album any other progband would sign for. But Floyd, well they have done such incredible things in their career. And then come up with this album, hmmm...

Make no mistake, I like it a lot, it's at least somewhere between good and very good but excellent as Floyds 70's albums used to be, no really. Well, at least it's a lot better than for instance A Momentary Lapse of Reason but that was a rather pale album all in all. This is more inspired, more sparkling again. Almost like in the old days.

But it comes nowhere near Wish you were here, Animals or even Atom Heart Mother as far as I'm concerned. So Therefore I can't give it the excellence status alas. But I'm fair enough to admit it's actually somewhere around 3,5. For Floyd standard that is....

Review by Queen By-Tor
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Coming back to life? Just about...

Pink Floyd's final album, The Division Bell is one that is far removed from the band's older material. Likely due to the absence of main lyrical (genius?) madman Roger Waters, the music is a lot less aggressive (although it still is at points) and a lot more reflective. Wearing the inside out would be an excellent way to describe the way the material here sounds. Reflective, yet dark and sometimes light. Really, this was never destined to be the band's best album and it certainly has it's moments, but all around this is merely a tired old band's dying breath.

Opening with the pleasantly subdued instrumental Cluster One we're off to a start not dissimilar to their previous studio album A Momentary Lapse Of Reason with it's quiet opening exploding into motion as the second track begins. The second track here is the ever controversial What Do You Want From Me - a story about false idol worship cooked up by Gilmour supposedly following an argument with his wife. This is where the new Floyd starts to show through. Less spacey and more rock, What Do You Want From Me is likely one of the heaviest tracks the band ever recorded. However, it's not long until that one fades into oblivion and it's replaced with the soothing acoustic intro of Poles Apart. Seemingly an obvious shot at former band-leader Roger Waters with its lyrics, this one comes off as a rather strange personal track - something the band really hasn't done since Wish You Were Here... except this time it's almost an attack rather than a ''I miss you'' track.

Another wonderful instrumental as Marooned gets on it's way. Not quite as quiet as the opening track, this one winds around until the sometimes-accused-as-being-another-part-of-The-Wall A Great Day For Freedom begins. One of the slower tracks on the album, this one lazy wanders around until it ends. And that's when the first major standout of the album takes form. Wearing the Inside Out is a fantastic track which makes full use of the backing choir and shows Gilmour attacking the darker side of the human mind. Emotional and reflective, this is one of the tracks that has turned into a true Floyd classic over the years.

Unfortunately, it changes there.

Starting to look for another hit, Take It Back shows Floyd apparently attempting to be U2 in a twisted alternate reality. Isn't that riff stolen strait from The Edge? At least Gilmour's voice is good on it. However, this poppy rocker is something that old Floyders and proggers may find is not their cup of tea. The next track, Coming Back To Life is more of the same, although it fortunately makes better use of some of Floyd's more prominent features (excellent reflective bit at the beginning). But suddenly POW! Cowbell! and the track becomes another pop-rock attempt. Still much better than the previous track thanks to Gimour's (I want to say) soulful delivery of the lines, this one is not a standout on the album.

But wait, what about the end of the album?

Luckily the album takes a turn for the better nearing the end. Keep Talking is a quiet, almost creepy, reflective and emotional track that sounds like Floyd has started to borrow a pinch from electronic with its sounds and computer voice. Then Gilmour's voice comes in along with the backing choir and makes this track truly something to talk about. Lost For Words unfortunately doesn't keep the expectations quite as high, but still manages to deliver a solid track with an almost country riff (and wait! Did he just swear!?). Pleasant melodies make this one move right along until... The band's final masterpiece High Hopes comes in and delivers all the expectations that one would expect from the band. Perhaps the finest single track recorded by the band since their Animals album, this dark and sombre track can easily evoke goosebumps from the listener as Gilmour's voice brings us through some excellent parts of the chorus until the song brings the album (and to this date... the band) to an ultimate close.

Uneven. That's the best word to describe this album. While some tracks come off as purely fantastic, others come off as eyebrow raising. If you're a Floyd fan you'll surely get a kick out of this album, but for others it's not the first place to start. 3 stars for a good but non-essential album.

Review by JLocke
3 stars Roger Waters is no longer the creative force of Pink Floyd, and it shows. However, that is not to say that THE DIVISION BELL is completely worthless or inferior to the golden years of Pink Floyd's career. On the contrary; it is quite good.

While Waters' intelligent lyrics are of course no more, everything else feels pretty much the same, as I was never a huge fan of Roger's bass playing, and musically, the Floyd still sounds rather intact. In fact, the only thing that alerts fans of Waters' absence is the lack of good lyrics. Otherwise this album could be compared to any of the Waters-era Floyd records and be non-discernable to the untrained Floyd fan.

What the that exactly mean? Well, it means that, while the lyrics contained within THE DIVISION BELL are quite lackluster, the musicianship and overall orchestration is still amazing, rivalling any of the other top Floyd records without question. The band hit a couple of low points with Waters' final outing with the Floyd in THE FINAL CUT, and then with the first Waterless album ever, A MOMENTARY LAPSE OF REASON, both of which were nowhere near the caliber of say, ANIMALS or WISH YOU WERE HERE. Not by a long shot. But you know, THE DIVISION BELL is perhaps the first really good Pink Floyd album since THE WALL. If you can forget the fact that Waters isn't there anymore and just listen to it with an open-minded ear, I whole-heartedly believe that you will be quite pleased with the result of three fourths of classic Floyd busting their asses to create a genuinely good album. I think they succeeded in this, but that sentiment is not sjared by everyone, I understand. All I can say is to at least give this album a chance before casting it aside as trash.

David Gilmour has always been one of my favorite guitar players ever, and he really shines on this one, now armed with new freedom to go any direction muscially that he wants, and the result is quite pleasing to me. There are many beautiful, ambient and atmospheric moments as well as some fresh new jazzy licks, not to mention the hard rockers Pink Floyd became known for after DSotM. There are even a couple of soft rock ballads that b\flirt with pop a bit, and while this may not be enjoyable or acceptible for some die-hard Space-Rock fanatics, I personally find this change of pace a much-needed departure. A breath of fresh air, if you will. This album actually breathed new life into Pink Floyd as a whole entity. It is truly a shame that no other albums were made (at least as of this writing, and probably never again), because I personally heard new potential in THE DIVISION BELL's new yet familiar soundscapes, yet it was apparantly not to be.

The ambient sections are borderline Progressive Electronic a la Brian Eno, while the softer tracks actually have a slight U2-ish vibe to them, but not overwhelmingly so. Personally, I don't think the Floyd has ever left the Prog genre once, even in this album. Indeed, amongst the more conventional tracks are some truly Psychedelic ventures that are true to calssic Floyd style, and will be sure to satisfy the die-hard fan of the olden days. In some ways, this album is actually the most Psychedelic and Spacey record since DSotM in terms of just raw, true to form trippiness that was gradually lost over the course of the Waters takeover. While I like both eras, the Space-Rock days have always had a special place in my heart, so the return to more soaring guitar parts was quite welcome with me.

Roger Waters can't really say much about this one, though he may have been the truely creative one of the bunch. This fact still does not stifle the glaring truth that Gilmour was the composer when it came to what the music sounded like, and Waters' lackluster bass playing is not missed in the slightest. I always looked at Waters and Gilmour as the Lennon and McCartney of Pink Floyd-- where as one of them may have been great at coneptual thinking and poetic lyric writing, the other was the skilled musician, capable of bringing the artist's vision to fruition. In this case, I think what is proven here is that Waters was John Lennon in the Floyd, and Gilmour was Paul McCartney. Now that Waters, the paltry musician but brilliant songwriter, is gone, we are left with Gilmour, the superb musician but primitive lyricist. Because opf these reasons THE DIVISION BELL loses some marks from me. Gilmour had to request hep with writing the lyrics, and they still didn't turn out all that well.

Aside from the obvious lack of intelligent wording, everything else is just like the old days, and because of that, I say that the magic returned for Pink Floyd's last studio effort-- much more than I can say for the bulk of past Prog masters, who died a horrible death with their last dich efforts at something great falling considerably short of expectations. Luckily this didn't happen with Pink Floyd, as THE DIVISION BELL is a very good, solid studio work; and one that I think Gilmour, Wright and Mason can be truly proud of. Best tracks are: ''Cluster One'', ''Poles Apart'', ''Marooned'', ''Wearing the Inside Out'', ''Coming Back to Life'', ''Keep Talking'' and ''High Hopes''.

Happy listening. Good stuff, and worthy of any serious progger's collection, truly. The best post-Waters album by far. And that is all I have.

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars It seems Pink Floyd was attempting to keep playing more delicate songs on this album rather than rocking out. Gilmour's guitar and voice are in fine form, and he really takes center stage. Most of the keyboard work is relegated to the background, and the drums are in many places not played. Several of the songs are longer than they should be (mostly due to extended guitar soloing and slow compositions). I won't bother commenting on the "Publius Enigma" (there are other sites devoted to that), but I will say that the typically bland nature of the music does not engender in me a desire to go hunting for secret meanings. The album starts off strongly enough, but midway through loses a great deal of momentum, after which everything sounds like more of the same.

"Cluster One" The opening track is one of the most beautifully serene pieces of music in the Pink Floyd catalogue. It makes me think of David Gilmour's "Castellorizon" from On an Island, only softer and with Rick Wright's input.

"What Do You Want From Me" I think that after such a tranquil piece, "Poles Apart" should have been the second track, and this one placed elsewhere. Still, this song really hearkens back to Pink Floyd at their peak, with screaming guitar and those electric piano chords punctuating the song throughout. On the other hand, the second half sounds more like something from a David Gilmour solo album.

"Poles Apart" Mysteriously underrated, "Poles Apart" features beautiful acoustic guitars and a fretless bass, with a lovely vocal melody. The chorus is both interesting and pleasing. The middle section is a little weird and out of place, with the calliope and the strange noises. I really like the way there are no drums on the first verse and a slow beat during the second verse that is doubled in the third. It gives the song a feeling of expectation, and when the third verse comes, it's nothing but exhilarating. Gilmour treats us to an extended guitar solo during the final two minutes.

"Marooned" Despite being different compositionally, this second instrumental (which won a Grammy) is very similar to the first. It does become a bit more upbeat about halfway through with the addition of drums.

"A Great Day for Freedom" Referring the fall of the Berlin Wall, the composition of "A Great Day for Freedom" could have easily fit in with the album, The Wall. The two main melodies (the verse in a minor key and the chorus in a major) are loosely reminiscent of "Goodbye Blue Sky." The entire second half of the song is devoted to Gilmour's bluesy guitar soloing.

"Wearing the Inside Out" Another slow one, introduced with some saxophone work, this is one of the few songs when we're treated to the late Rick Wright's voice. No, he was never as strong as Gilmour or Waters on lead vocals, but he had a unique sounds. I would say that the song is a little too low for him, and that this is a fairly weak track anyway. It drones on and on, never really going anywhere. More guitar soloing in the end has started to make this album feel more and more like David Gilmour's project, and not a true Pink Floyd record.

"Take it Back" This one could have easily been a U2 cover.

"Coming Back to Life" In case the album wasn't already saturated in lush keyboards and Gilmour's singing, there's the first three minutes of this one. The rest sounds like a mediocre pop song from the late 1980s.

"Keep Talking" Much more of a new age track in the beginning, this one samples the voice of Stephen Hawking. Gilmour trades vocals with backup singers throughout the verses. The electric guitar solo in the middle gives way to a rare synthesizer solo. Again, this song carries on for far too long.

"Lost for Words" This is perhaps one of the simpler songs in terms of structure, working with a very basic chord progression, a straightforward melody, and unsophisticated acoustic guitar work.

"High Hopes" Dark and brooding, the final and longest song opens with bleak piano and the tolling of a bell. David Gilmour has stated that he had "High Hopes" virtually written and a demo recorded in a day. Despite the length, it is not a complex song, but does have a nice melody, particularly during the refrain. For variety, there is at least a slide guitar solo (rather than certain licks in Gilmour's signature tone played ad nauseum). The song fades out, leaving us with further bell ringing.

Review by poslednijat_colobar
4 stars A return to form, but there's no time for more! The previous two albums are almost solo work: The Final Cut by Roger Waters and A Momentary Lapse of Reason by David Gilmour! This is something fresh and innovative. It's again under the leadership of David Gilmour, but not so full leadership like in the previous release. I have to mark the big impact of Richard Wright in terms of songwriting, but not so much in terms of playing the piano. The piano is mostly on the background. I will mark one negative moment on the album - too much guitar solos by David Gilmour in most of the tracks - you feel you always listen to one song. There are 3 brilliant songs - Cluster One, which is an intro; What Do You Want from Me with some funk elements and High Hopes - one of all time bests by Pink Floyd. Again excellent album in terms of lyrics after The Wall!
Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars Strange how this album was so underated and ignored by the press when it was releaased in 1994. Fortunatly I can see that most people here on PA gives it high praising, like it deserves. Ok, it does not have any radio friendly stuff like On the Turning Away Or Learning To Fly, but it is by far more consistent as a whole. Unlike A Momentary Lapse Of Reason, Division Bell is the kind of record I listen to from beginning to end without skipping a single track. It was Pink floyd´s final CD? Then they did it on a grand way.

I was very happy to see Richard Wright back on the fold and his contribution can´t be denied (man,, I just LOVE that Hammond sound!), the old PF sound is back. Besides I was delighted to see his musical contributions being recorded again (Wearing The Inside Out is one of my favorites on this CD. I can´t have enough of it!) Ok, Roger Waters is not here, who cares? Contrary to a lot of people I think PF could live without him. And the three remaining guys are in top form. David Gilmour confirms his influence, talent and inspiration on every track. And his voice is also still strong and convincing.

The production is perfect. The other musicians are also very good and the arrangements are tasteful. It only makes me sad this band never did anything else on studio after this one. It was nevertheless a great album to end a brilliant and influential career. Not really their best, but one of the best. Just listen and dream away. Four stars.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
4 stars The ringing of The Division Bell had begun!

I might be the only one holding this opinion but I think that The Division Bell is actually Pink Floyd's best album. I have never been a big fan of the band, but I find this album excellent. The material here is very strong and very melodic.

Some say that this is more of a David Gilmour album than a Pink Floyd album, and it is true that Gilmour dominates this album with his vocals and guitars, but for me that is just what makes The Division Bell so great. Gilmour has both a distinctive singing voice and a very distinctive guitar sound that really comes to the fore on this album. This music is unmistakeably Gilmour and therefore unmistakably Pink Floyd.

But we should not forget Richard Wright's role in the band. His keyboards are also a part of the sound of The Division Bell, perhaps more so than on many other Pink Floyd albums, especially The Wall and The Final Cut. Wright even sings one track on this album, Wearing The Inside Out. This song is exactly similar in style to the material on his solo album Broken China. In my view this is the least good song on the album and slightly out of place, but still good. Wright has a much more anonymous voice.

Music is a lot about expression and emotion and there is a lot of instrumental and vocal expression in these songs. The lyrics are great and it is clear that they care about what they are singing. All the songs are very good, but A Great Day For Freedom, Coming Back To Life and High Hopes are my particular favourites. High Hopes is really a Symphonic Prog masterpiece! The acoustic and the steel guitars are fantastic here.

While I think that Pink Floyd is a good but overrated band overall, this particular part of their career - encompassing The Division Bell and the previous Momentary Lapse Of Reason, culminating in the excellent live album PULSE, containing songs from these two albums as well as older classics - is underrated.

Highly recommended!

Review by The Sleepwalker
2 stars The final album Pink Floyd has released and it really is different from everything else the band has released. Where A Momentary Lapse Of Reason was full of rock songs, not all very good but some were quite interesting, the Division Bell is more pop than rock. Of course, some of the songs are rock songs that only Pink Floyd can make, but their style has really changed during the time between A Momentary Lapse and The Division Bell.

The album starts out very mellow and pretty interesting with "Cluster One", a six minute long track in the same style as Shine On You Crazy Diamond. It's very mellow and does really show that Pink Floyd was still alive when the album was made.

The second song is "What Do You Want From Me". This song reminds me a bit of the Animals album, cause it's kind of a raw, agressive rock song. I can enjoy the song pretty much 'till the three minute mark, the song gets pretty terrible there, the song turns into a very bad pop song, and that's a shame. I would have really liked it if the poppy part was left out.

"Poles Apart" is a perfect example of the pop songs on this album. The song starts out with some nice acoustic guitars, David's vocals come in and the song sounds pretty fine, but then suddenly an extremely cheesy chorus comes in, it's terrible. The song goes on for a while and suddenly a very strange trumpet break is heard, I have no idea why it's in the song. Just as "What Do You Want From Me" the song is screwed up by a cheesy, uninteresting part.

Next comes "Marooned", which is by far the best of this album, it's probably even the best song the band has made after Waters' departure. Marooned is very haunting, David's amazing guitar skills can be heard in this song and the idea of being stranded somewere on a remote island is amazingly expressed by David's guitar. I really don't have anything bad to say about "Marooned", it's simply amazing.

"A Great Day For Freedom" is a pretty nice song, it's a pretty slow song, but it really is a Floydish song. The song is very piano driven, apart from a great guitar solo and is in a kind of haunting mood, I really like that. "A Great Day For Freedom" is one of the better songs from this album.

"Wearing The Inside Out" is a song sung by Rick Wright, a great keyboard player, but not a very good singer. This song is very uninteresting, dull and doesn't sound very original. I really can't enjoy this one.

"Take It Back" is another very poppy song, but it isn't very bad at all. It is, like a lot of the songs on this album, pretty cheesy, but I still can enjoy this one. The biggest negative thing I can say about the song, is that all of the six minutes of it sound the same, there is absolutely no diversity at all.

The next song is "Coming Back To Life", a song that does have lots of diversity. It starts out with a clean guitar solo, just like "Cluster One" a bit in the Shine On mood. As soon David starts singing it gets much less interesting, but it still sounds nice. But then, the biggest anti-climax of the album shows up, an incredibly childish riff that lasts for more than three minutes. The song ends with a guitar solo, but because it's played over the childish riff it isn't an interesting one at all. Though the song starts out pretty good, it turns into a true disaster.

"Keep Talking" is a decent song. The vocals are pretty uninteresting, the dialogue like vocals make the song pretty annoying but as soon as the song reaches the solo it gets better. The solo is in fact pretty simple, it isn't as complicated as most of David's solos but it's very nice and segues into a pretty good keyboard solo. The second verse has, apart from the annoying vocals, some nice talkbox skills from David Gilmour but isn't much better than the first verse. Thanks to the solo and the talkbox the song is a decent one, but the vocals are very annoying.

"Lost For Words" is a true pop song. It's not a bad song, but it is kind of a boring song, if it wouldn't be on the album I wouldn't miss it at all.

Everybody seems to love "High Hopes", well, I don't. The song starts out with the sound of bells. The piano riff that follows also is pretty nice. The vocals however don't interest me at all. The chorus tries to be epic, but it isn't. The acoustic guitar solo sounds really much like the middle part of Welcome To The Machine, from WYWH, it's not original at all. The very lengthy outro solo is nice, David really shows his slide guitar moves and he proves he really is a master of the guitar. The solo isn't very complex, however, and David has made some other slide solo's that are much better, solos like in Marooned and Shine On You Crazy Diamond (The solo from part 6). I think "High Hopes" is really overrated and I don't think it's interesting at all.

Pink Floyd's final album is probably my least favorite of the band, it only contains one classic, "Marooned", some of the songs are decent, but most of the songs are very weak. I give this album only two stars, I am really dissapointed I have to give my all-time favorite band such a low rating, but I think the album is pretty bad.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Continuing the style of A momentary Lapse of Reason with a second rip off of mid 70's Floyd, was not what we were waiting for. At least I wasn't, I was all into grunge back then :-).

There are two acceptable songs here (What Do You Want and Keep Talking) and one excellent song which is of course High Hopes. The rest of the album is simply painful to hear. When it came out, I hoped Floyd never would make an album again. Of course that wish leaves a bitter taste now after the passing of Richard, but what I meant was that I wanted to keep the reputation of Floyd intact and wished it wouldn't go down the drain like that of Genesis, Yes, ELP,...

This album was a narrow escape. But it ends on such a high note that we can forgive them. The closing track is so strong that it saves the complete album from oblivion. It's the track that should truly end the recording history of the greatest and most influential rock band ever. Amen.

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Last to date Pink Floyd album ( and possibly last ever).And second David Gilmour's Pink Floyd album.

After Waters left the band ( and I absolutely believe, that even being a band of collaborator's team, Pink Floyd's soul was Waters), all we have after should be named Gilmour's Pink Floyd. Just because the music ,the atmosphere and all aesthetic is different.

Momentary Lapse of Reason was first album of new direction. Blues-rock based melodic pop-rock didn't win a big attraction. This, second one, is improved. And if the music is still same mid-tempo simple blues- rock based melodic songs, album sounds more mature, more completed. For sure, you can't speak about any techniques or progressivity with slow and simple Gilmour guitar work, or primitive drumming. But the songs are catchy, different, and even if over polished, album successfully balanced on the edge between blues rock and pop-rock, but still didn't cross the border ( anyway, it still not Chris Rea never).

I think this album should be listened from the position of prog-related music ( in fact, it is almost Gilmour solo album, and all real Gilmour albums are prog-related, no way prog). So it doesn't look strange that two best songs from that album for me are "What Do You Want From Me" and "Keep Talking", both pop-heavy blues rock pieces.

Even if couldn't be recommended to prog purists and "real Pink Floyd" fans , this album is good enough for many listeners of just good music.

Review by thehallway
4 stars That's more like it! A huge improvement from 'Momentary Lapse...'. 'The Division Bell' sees the post-Waters line-up of Pink Floyd working together, putting in the time and effort, and creating a worthwhile album as a result.

There are more elements of classic ('Dark Side' to 'Wall') Floyd here, with psychedelic soundscapes and some cosmic soloing. There remains as well, unfortunately, some elements of 80's/90's power rock; the band trying to "fit in" with the music scene of the time. But these can be largely ignored and one can receive a great deal of enjoyment from this album, especially if you look at it as a whole. 'The Division Bell' is a concept album (take THAT Waters!) with a main theme of communication [or lack of]. The artwork is once again appropriately "Thorgerson-ised" and further expands on this theme (check out the internal images within the booklet, those are interesting too). And so fans are treated to a full package here, a music-lyric-image bag teaming with goodies. There are some weaker moments obviously, and some songs that don't quite fit, BUT these are outweighed by the substance. I particularly like the way the album flows. Yes, it's a song-cycle! A format the Floyd seem to be good at ('Dark Side of the Moon' anyone?). And there's a better balance of Gilmour to Wright this time, who even gets his own vocal spot. Oh and Mason's playing is no better or worse than usual (I don't think he was replaced by a drum machine this time).

Much anticipated, this album delivered, and continues to deliver, what is essential of Pink Floyd music, complete with it's own set of sound effects. 'The Division Bell' is no 'Wish You Were Here', but it's certainly no 'Ummagumma' either.

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars I seem to be in a minority when I say that the band should have called it a day after the release of The Final Cut, which was also Pink Floyd's last true masterpiece.

Whenever I want to explain what Pink Floyd were all about; the four albums from the classic-era tend to be brought up. I also like to spice things up with a few hidden gems like A Saucerful Of Secrets, the underrated Meddle and, my personal favorite, The Final Cut. There has never been a moment when I started playing A Momentary Lapse Of Reason or Division Bell just to show one or two great gems that the band still were capable of towards the end of their career. Why is it so exactly? When listening to these albums I do experience those same rich landscapes with excellent playing from both Gilmour and Wright, but something is always missing in that experience. It was only recently that I realized that these two final Pink Floyd albums were completely hollow experiences that offered nothing that we, the fans, haven't heard done better before.

I'm sure that my discovery isn't all that controversial and most of the fans who listen to these final albums can agree that they aren't listening to them in order hear anything new from the band, but that's also when the music stops being progressive and just turns stale. Let's be open minded about this issue and accept thing the way they are. I agree that The Final Cut was more or less a Roger Waters solo album than a Pink Floyd such, but what followed after that should, just as much, be considered as David Gilmour solo albums. Just listen to On An Island and you'll see exactly what I mean.

The late great Richard Wright had only that much time in the spotlight on Division Bell while Nick Mason's contribution hadn't had a spark to it since Meddle. I hope that most of you agree that A Momentary Lapse Of Reason was a disaster and although Division Bell was a definitive step up from that flop the album lacks anything that would make me want to revisit it for any particular reason. I'm certain that this album plays on the nostalgia that most people associate with Pink Floyd's heydays. It would never have been half as popular if it was merely labeled as a David Gilmour album and I don't understand why so many people have trouble acknowledging this.

There's no real point of discussing the individual moments of Division Bell because it will only end with me rambling about all of its flaws. Let me just acknowledge that this record would have never gotten this much attention have it been released by any lesser know artist and you're actually loosing an opportunity to discover new exciting music by listening to it! This is a definite collectors/fans only album since the fans have already spoken on this issue, but if you're new to Pink Floyd then I simply say-- Don't bother!

**** star songs: What Do You Want From Me (4:21) Marooned (5:28) Wearing The Inside Out (6:48) Keep Talking (6:11) High Hopes (8:31)

*** star songs: Cluster One (5:58) Poles Apart (7:04) A Great Day For Freedom (4:18) Take It Back (6:12) Coming Back To Life (6:19) Lost For Words (5:14)

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars While this album sounds like more of a band effort than "A Momentary Lapse Of Reason" (and it is, Gilmour shares much of the song writing with Richard Wright), it still does not compare with any of the best Pink Floyd albums ("Meddle" through "Animals"). Sure, there are some sound effects mixed in, and that moody Pink Floyd sound, but the album just sounds too calculated to give you chills the way the classic albums did.

The songs are not bad, but not great, and most of the best moments are where you can hear the band striving to sound like Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Hey You, and even Time. The best, and most original sounding song is Keep Talking, which features quotes by Stephen Hawking.

As a Pink Floyd fan, I'm happy to own the album, but it's not one I go back and listen to very often.

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
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.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Gilmour, Mason and Wright remained of the Pink Floyd money making machine. The best thing about this album is Pink Floyd were able to take it on the road to produce some of the best of their tours since The Wall. The music sounds similar to that on Momentary Lapse of Reason, very accessible rather than progressive. The melodies are infectious and easy to sing to for the live performances. The songs focus on many themes as usual, but they are still harping on about old Syd with songs such as Keep Talking. The lapse or complete lack of communication is the key theme, seen primarily by the striking cover art of two mute souls conversing, an optical illusion from the dark ages that works well for an album cover.

The tracks are quite famous now as they appear on live DVDs such as Pulse. My personal favourites are the cynical What do you want from me, A great day for freedom, Take it back, Coming back to life and Keep talking. The latter track features a convincing voice over by genius paraplegic scientist Stephen Hawking. The best song on the entire album is undoubtedly the atmospheric haunting High Hopes. This track is quintessential PF with a startling bell tolling effect and very emotive performance by Gilmour. The majestic closing section is an incredible performance by the band. The film clip promo was brilliant and seen in the live shows on the circular screens.

There are some strange tracks that never rang well with me such as the lengthy Poles apart, that is perhaps too long and drawn out. Marooned is also a strange one but sounds great as background music. Overall this was a huge album at the time and the last studio album for the band before they became a live act only. It is definitely one of the better PF albums of recent years and a fitting way to bow out of the studio recordings.

Review by lazland
3 stars It is a little hard to believe that it has been a whole seventeen years since this, the last original studio release from The Floyd. I love this band, but am an unashamed Waters fan. The great man himself described the predecessor album, Momentary Lapse of Reason, as a "passable copy" of Pink Floyd. This one he derided as pure rubbish.

Was he right? Well, no, not exactly. It is not pure rubbish by any means, but what it most certainly could be described as, one Richard Wright written track excepting (his first since Wish You Were Here), is a David Gilmour vehicle with Pink Floyd musicians effectively acting as session musicians in support. The irony of this, I am sure, was not lost on their old protagonist, given that the excellent Final Cut was, equally effectively, a Waters solo vehicle with the rest in abject support.

It was a massive hit, with commercial and BBC radio utterly fawning over the whole project, helped along by the success of the single High Hopes and a strange sense, at the time, of nostalgia. The resultant tour was huge, with the band selling out massive arenas all over the world. It was also their swansong, and with Wright now sadly no longer with us, it will, I think, and actually hope, stay that way.

The playing throughout is exceptional, as one would rightly expect from such progressive titans. It is helped by Bob Ezrin's usual high standards of production, and I think credit should be given to Wright, who, since Animals, had been rather an abject figure both inside and outside the band. His contribution both on keyboards and, most welcome, on vocals on his track, Wearing The Inside Out, is brilliant, and it was a boon to us long standing fans to hear it. A nice jazzy track, with marvellous sax from long time collaborator, Dick Parry, this perhaps should have appeared on a Wright solo effort, but it is a highlight of this album.

It is definitely Wright's work which saves the otherwise rather ordinary Poles Apart, for instance, from descending into mediocrity. As a swansong, he had much to be proud of.

The mood throughout the album is rather downbeat, but I do rather think that much of it is being done "by the numbers". Unlike the classic period from Meddle to The Wall, and even passages from Momentary Lapse, you never really get the feeling that there is any passion amongst the gloom. The solos by Gilmour are more than competent - it is David Gilmour after all, and he never played rubbish, but there is never a hair raising moment amongst the proceedings. Neither is there a sense of the really interesting experimentation you had with A New Machine or Terminal Frost on the predecessor. For example, here Marooned as an instrumental is merely slightly interesting, well played, and ideal as a background noise rather than challenging and thought provoking. On tracks such as this and the dour Keep Talking (Gilmour's worse moment, I think), Waters' bitter criticisms do ring true.

However, it is not all in that vein. A Great Day For Freedom is a genuine Floyd classic, reflecting Gilmour's and his soon to be wife, Polly Samson's (she co-wrote much of this album) more upbeat and less cynical political world view than the departed lyricist. Of course, one could also reflect that the lyrics also point towards the "Wall coming Down" as referring to the departure of Waters, or maybe it's just me being rather cynical.

High Hopes is a fun track, and deservedly a hit single.

However, overall, I find this a disappointment when compared to the mighty, essential, works that all concerned had been involved with over the years. As a Gilmour solo album, perhaps it would creep up to a four star rating, but as Floyd? Never. If you rightly rate the four albums from Dark Side to The Wall as masterpieces, this simply isn't fit to lick their boots. It comes nowhere near.

It is a good album, but no more than that to me. Three stars for this.

Review by Warthur
2 stars The Pink Floyd story limped to a shuddering halt with this album. Really, the band had been on a downward spiral since their last truly classic album Animals; The Wall and The Final Cut, whilst they had their moments, were blighted by Roger Waters' utter control over the band's creative vision causing so much internal acrimony that they barely functioned as a cohesive unit, whilst A Momentary Lapse of Reason was notable more for the legal battle over the Floyd name than for any of its musical content.

Here, Pink Floyd deploy dated production values which went out of fashion a decade earlier (just listen to what they've done to Nick Mason's drums) and toss in generic Floydisms in a half-hearted attempt to recapture past glories. Gilmour's guitar solos are meandering and pointless, the soul influences thrown in here and there are a shameless attempt to remind listeners of the backing singing on Dark Side of the Moon, but when you strip aside all these embellishments at its heart this is a mediocre 80s AOR album recorded in 1994. In short, everyone involved in this project should have been capable of much better, but simply didn't deliver. Like Momentary Lapse, it's cargo cult Pink Floyd, tossing together all the surface elements of past albums in the hope that this would magically yield the Pink Floyd sound of old. It doesn't work.

Review by stefro
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'.


Review by b_olariu
4 stars The last hurrah album from 1994 named Division bell is to me another worthy album from their catalogue. No weak moments here, they keep the Pink Floyd sound and is better then anything they released after The wall even in same place with The wall for me. Again I'm not agree that this is a bad album pieces like What do you want for me, Cluster One, Poles apart, Take it back or High hopes stand as proving greatness. Good vocal lines, smooth and elegant instrumental arrangements, so what more, to me this is Pink Floyd all the way. 4 stars easy, I really like since it hit the shelves almost 20 years ago. Nice cover art.
Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars I feel this is album has received an unfair beating as far as ratings and reviews go. The album to me is just as good as the classics "Wish You Were Here" and "Animals" even though I didn't feel it was quite that good at first. I have found that to be the case with a lot of people. Even those who I know personally, who originally said that it was a good album but not as good as they used to be, now say that it is one of their favorites. And rightfully so. Even professional critics have had the same reaction, the delayed appreciation of this album. Hard to believe that this album, with songs that really aren't that hard to listen to, is actually a grower. The real gems and appreciation for the album come with time. This was not the case with the previous album "A Momentary Lapse of Reason". For me, that was a much weaker album with only a few selected highlights. I know it was a difficult album for David Gilmour also dealing with legal issues and fights with Roger Waters and hard feelings from Richard Wright. The public opinion after that album was that Pink Floyd was not as good without Roger, but I had a hard time believing that after his attitude with the even poorer attempt "The Final Cut" which is one of the most lackluster albums in Pink Floyd's history and Roger helmed that one. With this album, David Gilmour gives proper credit to Richard Wright and other people that helped bring this album about.

So, as I said, at first I put this on the same level as the previous album, but after many listenings, I have come to appreciate this more. The sound is more a return to the heartfelt sound of PF and the thoughtful well-written lyrics. Gilmour still does some experimenting with the guitar and overall sound, but it is a lot more tastefully handled and not so over done as it was on "Lapse". There is a lot more variety in the music, there is a loosely bound concept (Communication) which brings a better cohesiveness to the album, and Gilmour sounds like he is more relaxed and willing to make an excellent album for the sake of music. I know that Gilmour was originally against the idea of this album feeling like the remaining band had seen their day and had doubts that they could work together again. But after some sessions and agreeing to give Wright some credit this time, he started recording sessions on the sly, and realized that the group really was working together again. They got the foundation of many songs worked out, then put all the finishing touches on the ones they selected for the album and recorded and mixed it on Gilmour's boat. This worked so well and everyone was pleased with the final project so much that they chose to do the same thing on his boat for "The Endless River" which is their excellent final album released in October 2014. In fact, the music that was worked out in the sessions for this album was going to be part of the next album and was a project called "The Big Spliff" but when Wright passed away, it was decided to use a lot of that music for "The Endless River". Anyway, all the music written during this time was highly inspired. Again, I find that most people have come to really appreciate this album over the years. Excellent sound, great musicianship, inspired lyrics, less stress and better teamwork produced a much better album in "The Division Bell" and worked to create an amazing album. True it's not in the same vein as "The Wall", "Dark Side of the Moon", "Animals", or "Wish You Were Here" but excellent in different ways. Say what you want about it, I consider this essential Pink Floyd music and a masterpiece of progressive rock. I didn't always think that, but I definitely do now.

Review by Wicket
3 stars I give Gilmore a pass for the flop that was "Momentary Lapse Of Reason". After all, the album title explains what the album actually was. I mean, it's not like anyone made stellar prog albums in the 80's.

Before "The Endless River" though, this album, "The Division Bell" was supposed to be the final encore for the once proud Floyd, with Gilmore and Mason NOT reunited with Roger Waters BUT reunited with faithful keyboardist Richard Wright.

The idea behind this record, oddly enough, has to do with a re-occurring theme of communication, something that was a bit of a problem between Gilmore and Waters (hmm). Either way, I always felt like Gilmore needed to return this band back to glory, that "signature sound" that was lost so long ago, and perhaps ol Ricky Wright could do it.

"Cluster One" starts off beautifully, with Wright's playing doing all the heavy lifting and Gilmore adding guitar spots where needed, and "What Do You Want From Me" just screams "Have A Cigar". So far, so good. It doesn't sound incredible contrite or strained, but rather relaxed, the way a true Pink Floyd disc should sound. At least there's an attempt to get back to basics.

Sadly, there is still a tug of control in Gilmore's wake to seem more like a solo album, none more so than "Poles Apart". I honestly couldn't care for it at all. That song is a sound of the 90's, in my opinion, where individual stardom was more important than taking a bunch of other guys with you to the top. Thankfully, though, Gilmore redeems himself with a tasty guitar solo spot on "Marooned".

And then from there it just disappears. Nothing after "Marooned" sounded like Pink Floyd, but rather a Gilmore solo album. I had high hopes, man.

Was it surprising? Not really. The 90's might have signaled the rebirth of progressive rock, but "prog" was still as dead in the 90's as it was in the 80's. The result of this album? A few tasty morsels, proof that Gilmore could still bring back the classic Floyd, but ultimately, overcome with pressure just to make it all about himself.

Luckily though, there'd be one last chance for redemption.

Review by VianaProghead
4 stars Review Nº 523

"The Division Bell" is the fourteenth studio album of Pink Floyd and was released in 1994. It was released seven years after "A Momentary Lapse Of Reason". "The Division Bell" is a kind of a conceptual album where large part of the album deals with issues of communication or the lack of it. The global idea is that many of life's problems can be solved through dialogue. Songs like "Poles Apart" and "Lost For Words" are sometimes interpreted as referring to the problems of communication between the ex-member Roger Waters and the other members of the group. However, Gilmour denied that the album is an allegory about the separation of the group and Nick Masson said that the message on the album does have some meaning because it's about people making choices, saying yes or no, during their lives.

The general theme of communication is reflected in the title of the album. It was inspired by "The Division Bell" used in the United Kingdom Parliament. It's a resource used in the United Kingdom Parliament when voting a motion, opinions are divided and it becomes necessary to call MP's to vote, indicating that a vote is to take place. The recording of the album took place in several locations, including the band's Britannia Row Studios and Gilmour's houseboat Astoria.

The line up on the album is David Gilmour (lead vocals, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, bass guitar, keyboards and programming), Richard Wright (vocals and keyboards) and Nick Mason (drums and percussion). The açbum had also the participation of the guest musicians Jon Carin (keyboards), Bob Ezrin (keyboards and percussion), Dick Parry (tenor saxophone), Guy Pratt (bass), Tim Renwick (guitars), Gary Wallis (acoustic and electronic percussion) and the backing vocals of Sam Brown, Carol Kanyon, Rebecca Leigh-White, Durga McBroom and Jackie Sheridan.

"The Division Bell" has eleven tracks. The first track "Cluster One" is a peaceful and quiet ambivalent music, which then segues into 3 songs of Gilmour's guitar stealing the show, leading the music with an almost effulgent quality. The second track "What Do You Want From Me" is a hard song with strong tempo, heavy guitar but with very melodious vocals. Gilmour's sudden vocal key change transforms the track beautifully. This is a strong number, maybe a bit commercial, that sets the stage for the melancholic songs that are to follow. The third track "Poles Apart" fades in with a quality and moody acoustic phrase and never loses its charm which brings Pink Floyd right back to the early 70's. Gilmour's vocals are bright and inspiring maintaining the nostalgic and slightly melancholy mood of the song. The fourth track "Marooned" is a great composition with an excellent composition and sustained time signatures that can only be filled up with a patient guitar player like Gilmour. It explores Gilmour guitar virtuosity, augmented by a great piano touch. The fifth track "A Great Day For Freedom" has a duality of moods with the piano being melancholic while the melody and lyrics are more optimistic and hopeful. Gilmour provides an impressive lead during the song. The sixth track "Wearing The Inside Out" is may be Gilmour's most impressive musical performance, between the melodic vocals and various guitar textures. Wright performs lead vocals here. The saxophone solo right at the jump by Dick Parry sets a great mood. The seventh track "Take It Back" is another strong track with more great guitar work from Gilmour, and some precise drumming from Mason. It's probably a bit more commercial and poppy but it still is a very good song. The eighth track "Coming Back To Life" starts with a gentle bluesy guitar intro and is overall a good listen. However, Gilmour seems to have the habit of projecting his own guilt back at the audience and the lyrics on this song illustrate that fact. The ninth track "Keep Talking" has a masterful arrangement starting with the vocal interludes by Stephen Hawking to the extensive use of a "talk box" and the call and response of the verses between Gilmour and the female chorus. The tenth track "Lost For Words" fades in masterfully with a deep organ before it finally gets to the folkish, acoustic heart of the song, completed with slight accordion and honky piano and a fine acoustic lead in the outro of the song. The eleventh track "High Hopes" starts with joyous bells in the distance of a rural scene, the lyrics speak of the things one may have gained and lost in life. Fittingly, the song concludes with a fine, bluesy guitar lead by Gilmour.

Conclusion: "The Division Bell" is a great album. It's the best album released by Pink Floyd since "The Wall". It's an album without a weak track. However, it isn't an easy listening at the first time. It demands a number of listenings to can fully appreciate it properly. "The Division Bell" is, for me, the sixth best studio album released by the group, after "Meddle", "Dark Side Of The Moon", "Which You Were Here", "Animals" and "The Wall". However, it doesn't represent, for me, a masterpiece. It's true that it's almost a perfect album but I sincerely think it lacks to it something to can have that status. In reality, I feel it lacks to it the creativity and the irreverence of Roger Waters. Nevertheless, "The Division Bell" is a great way to end the musical career of one of the greatest progressive bands that already existed in the world.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Review by Hector Enrique
4 stars The success of "A Momentary Lapse of Reason," which led to one of the biggest rock tours of the late 80s, demonstrated to the world that there was a possible life for Pink Floyd post-Roger Waters. With that momentum, 7 years later, they delivered "The Division Bell," which ultimately ended up being the band's last studio album (because, to be rigorous and not let ourselves be carried away by emotion, "The Endless River" cannot be considered a concept album as such...).

"The Division Bell" respects and connects with the band's history, maintaining atmospheric structures that wander through territories no longer as much spatial, but rather focused on human relationships, with melancholy and a halo of brotherhood as guiding threads. It was not an easy road because, while Waters' absence brought peace and harmony to the group, on the other hand, it diminished their ability to articulate and create powerful proposals that only he was capable of. Several musicians were called upon to fill the void, and even Gilmour's wife had to assist with the lyrics, a process that had become a nightmare for the guitarist.

The result was more than a worthy work, with very good tracks, such as the intense and raspy "What do you Want From Me," the almost obligatory reference to the eternal Barrett and the bellicose Waters in "Poles Apart," the festive and enthusiastic "Take it Back," the beautiful initial guitar solo of "Coming Back to Life," and the majestic "High Hopes," which closes the album dissolving into chimes.

It's likely that even the members of Pink Floyd didn't have a clear understanding at that time that "The Division Bell" would be the final chapter (or almost...) of the story of one of the most influential rock bands of all time.

3.5 stars

Latest members reviews

3 stars The Division Bell was released in 1994 and is unquestionably the strongest of Floyd's three post-Waters albums. Rick Wright rejoined the band as a full member, and his contributions are both noticeable and appreciated. The Division Bell, though, like many albums from the 1990s, is way, way too lo ... (read more)

Report this review (#2904358) | Posted by TheEliteExtremophile | Monday, April 3, 2023 | Review Permanlink

2 stars What I think most people don't realize about this album is that it's actually a concept album, about a breakup. A dreadful breakup between Roger Gilmour. Throughout the entire album, Gilmie tells us about the stress and despair of love being taken so for granted. And having such a beautiful, rom ... (read more)

Report this review (#2882344) | Posted by theCoagulater | Tuesday, February 14, 2023 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Review #16 Pink Floyd's last studio album was released in 1994 (the year when I was born) and they gave a legendary world tour including two nights at the Foro Sol in Mexico City, my mother couldn't assist because she was a sixteen-year-old teenager with eight months of pregnancy but my father (w ... (read more)

Report this review (#2463916) | Posted by Uruk_hai | Saturday, November 7, 2020 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A really good album for the last remaining of the members of Pink Floyd. After Roger Waters left, David Gilmour take the leadership and after several year for the first post-waters album, Division Bells was released. Most of the material was composed by Gilmour and his wife, although Wright wrote ... (read more)

Report this review (#2115225) | Posted by mariorockprog | Friday, January 4, 2019 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Not one for long goodbyes... This was a bit of a doozy coming back to it after a long time. It isn't like any other Pink Floyd album; everything has changed. The remaining band members have changed in attitude since Momentary Lapse of Reason in '87. For one, there isn't as much gung-hoe e ... (read more)

Report this review (#1594168) | Posted by aglasshouse | Tuesday, August 2, 2016 | Review Permanlink

4 stars For me, this is the first prog album I've heard, but is it really prog? Yes, it is (an excellent addition to any prog rock music collection), it's a strong album which feels very Floydian but also offers enough new sounds for Floyd fans. Speaking of which, the first is one of the nicest int ... (read more)

Report this review (#1532564) | Posted by DDPascalDD | Thursday, February 25, 2016 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I remember buying this album 20 years ago as my second Pink Floyd tape (after "The Wall") and absolutely loving it. Isn't it a sign of a great album, then, when you still feel exactly the same way about it all those years later, without even trying? Because I do. I might be wrong, but I remember ... (read more)

Report this review (#1461663) | Posted by Glubluk | Thursday, September 10, 2015 | Review Permanlink

3 stars The Division Bell is an album that I bought solely because of High Hopes. It, along with What Do You Want From Me, were the only two tracks that I had heard prior to actually getting the album, and I figured that I should give it a try, as it is Pink Floyd's last album, at least until their new swan ... (read more)

Report this review (#1285952) | Posted by Obsidian Pigeon | Monday, September 29, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Released in 1994, The Division Bell proves that Pink Floyd began his career in 1967 is still present, almost 30 years later. This is undoubtedly one of the cult groups had greater longevity. Its the last studio album and the second without Waters ,who left the band in 1985 for opinion's differenc ... (read more)

Report this review (#1051872) | Posted by Legionnary | Wednesday, October 2, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This album is definitely one of the best albums created by Pink Floyd (even though Roger Waters is not in the band anymore, but Gilmour takes on really well). This was the first album I heard completely of the Pink Floyd (considering my age, I was in junior high school when the album appeared ... (read more)

Report this review (#1028801) | Posted by Memo_anathemo | Wednesday, September 4, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Such an underrated album, for me it's up there with "Dark Side", "Wish You Were Here", and "Animals" (my personal favourites)! Just because Roger Waters is gone doesn't mean Pink Floyd can't make a good album. It's certainly different from the other albums I just mentioned, with a very happy and pea ... (read more)

Report this review (#878147) | Posted by dscurtis | Tuesday, December 18, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The Division Bell is in my opinion the most underrated in the pink Floyd discography. It is perhaps the best album since Animals, as the band emerges from the songwriting dictatorship that plagued The Final Cut, The Wall, and A Momentary Lapse of Reason. Richard Wright is back in the band, and his c ... (read more)

Report this review (#771367) | Posted by Mr. Mustard | Friday, June 15, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The Division Bell is the album that really got me into Pink Floyd, and it's still one of my favorites. In fact, if someone were to cast a spell on me so that I weren't able to hear any music from '71-'73, I'd probably call it their best album. Every song is carefully tailored over, and you c ... (read more)

Report this review (#721420) | Posted by 7headedchicken | Tuesday, April 10, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Oh God ... but what is a fantastic album.The Pink Floyd´s swansong, the final statement of these geniuses of music, this album is my first experience out of the 70s ... and believe me, it might not be here as good as "Dark Side of the Moon"(because they did nothing they can match this masterpi ... (read more)

Report this review (#459116) | Posted by voliveira | Saturday, June 11, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I rushed out to buy `The Division Bell' when it was released. Many years later, after giving it plenty of repeated listens, I tend to feel it is an album of unparallel power and emotional scope, from the first thirty seconds of the eerie, atmospheric `Cluster One' until the rich bell tolling at the ... (read more)

Report this review (#426976) | Posted by Frankie Flowers | Sunday, April 3, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The Division Bell comes as physical continuation of AMLOR (1987), but it is of much higher quality both in terms of production and compositions. It was the best approval that David Gilmour could lead this great band without loosing in quality and of course without the stress he surely had for the ... (read more)

Report this review (#323350) | Posted by Silent Knight | Wednesday, November 17, 2010 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Well, I'm torn on giving this three stars because I can hardly call this album good, on the other hand High Hopes is a top five Floyd song. High Hopes has some of the best lyrical content I've ever heard- ever. About the loss of hope, growing older, and growing farther apart. The chorus recalls t ... (read more)

Report this review (#323284) | Posted by Billy Pilgrim | Wednesday, November 17, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The mind-blowing end to the saga of the Floyd. Could one wish for a better ending than "The Division Bell"? (I know, an odd album for a first review but I have to start somewhere) With the rather poor "A Momentary Lapse Of Reason" people had gained a certain dislike for the new Gilmour-led Pi ... (read more)

Report this review (#308275) | Posted by Weirdamigo | Thursday, November 4, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The Division Bell does what all the pre-Animals Floyd albums do best: ensures that the melody does not suffer for the preponderance of lyrics. That's not to say that Gilmour can write lyrics as well as Waters. But when considering the Floyd's "Great Phase" -- from Meddle to Animals -- the mu ... (read more)

Report this review (#293715) | Posted by cjde341 | Saturday, August 7, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars After the return with A Momentary lapse of reason, Pink Floyd was back with all his power. At that time, Rick Wright was a permanent member again and Gilmour seemed to felt free from the extra musical issues which affected him in the previous album. By this way the album is far better than its ... (read more)

Report this review (#289618) | Posted by genbanks | Wednesday, July 7, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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