Pink Floyd, The Division Bell

Dan Epstein

By Dan Epstein

on 12.17.11 in Reviews

The Division Bell (2011 - Remaster)

Pink Floyd
Moderately pleasant, quasi-New Age background music

As with its predecessor, 1987′s A Momentary Lapse of Reason, 1994′s The Division Bell proved that millions of people will buy a record with “Pink Floyd” on the cover, regardless of its actual contents. Give David Gilmour points for trying, however; unlike AMLOR, which was made up of unrelated songs originally intended for a Gilmour solo album, the singer/guitarist at least came up with a properly Floydian concept — the difficulty of communication between human beings — to hang The Division Bell‘s songs on. He also managed to pull formerly exiled keyboardist Rick Wright (who’d returned for AMLOR, but contributed little in the way of actual music or playing to that album) back into the creative fray; Wright wrote or co-wrote five of the album’s 11 songs, and “Wearing the Inside Out” marked Wright’s first lead vocal on a Pink Floyd album since “Time” and “Us and Them” on 1973′s Dark Side of the Moon. Sadly, Gilmour himself sounds pretty uninspired, and The Division Bell ultimately just comes off like moderately pleasant, quasi-New Age background music, with occasional sound effects and female choirs woven in to remind us that this is, you know, Pink Floyd. The band hasn’t released a new studio album since The Division Bell; unless Roger Waters miraculously returns to the fold, the Pink Floyd name should probably be left to rest in peace.