10 April 2013

Pink Floyd - The Division Bell

A final album by great artists is sometimes sad affairs - especially if they are billed as such. Then you get albums which just turn out to be their last release and the artist just doesn't release another album.  That always give the hope that the artist is going to release something else (please see David Bowie for proof). Pink Floyd is a band I got into after the event.  I find Dark Side of The Moon boring, The Wall too long and I seem to go for their more off the wall stuff like The Final Cut and Wish You Were Here. I actually remember when this was released and I was just not even bothered to go near it.  So it was not fully listened to till about 4 years ago.  So was the wait worth it or was it just another detour into over the hill dull soulless rock that does nothing to anyone below the age of 40.

Right off the bat, I just want to talk about the warmth of this album.  It was obviously a labour of love for all the people involved and some of the production is amazing.  The album starts off with the almost noise-esque beginning "Cluster One" and breaks out the keyboard and mournful guitar that I always associated with the moments of Pink Floyd that I tended to stay away from; but all of a sudden at least on this album it made sense. The work of Bob Ezrin can be felt here in such a way it makes the most out of being almost simple.  Breaking into the slow and painfully hypnotic "What Do You Want From Me". Now, before I come over like a converted fan boy I will like to point out the following:

1 - When this album goes up its own ass, it really goes up it. "A Great Day of Freedom" whilst being a decent piece of work it just goes that few moments too far.  Also "Come Back To Life" (which was the first song released to radio stations in the UK upon its release just does nothing for the album. It is as if they wanted to make the first track heard the worst so the rest of the album sounds better.

2 - The track of the album is deeply unsatisfying for me, whilst not does not spin wildly it does make for a slightly disjointed feel to me. I know saying this against Pink Floyd is like having an honest opinion about the death of Margret Thatcher, but I just have to say it does not flow as smoothly as it might for some people

Now whilst some of this is just not doing it for me, I have to say that they kept the best for last.  The ending track is called "High Hopes" and it is the crowning piece of this album and for me the band as a whole.  All the way through a bell is ringing and this brings about an atmosphere of nostalgia and memories of times that have long since vanished.  The guitar work and slide guitar solo is perfect and even typing this is sending shivers up my spine.  That this track ends their final album is either a very calculated piece of work or the happiest coincidence ever.  I cannot praise them enough for that one moment. 

But one moment does not make an album (but in this case it does increase the score).  Overall because of the disjointed feeling of this work and the fact it is sort of self referencing I can only admire the work; I do not love it enough.  It is one of their albums which I do like but that is mainly due to High Hopes and the overall packaging (one of Pink Floyd's biggest selling point has always been their art work).  It is a very safe album with one soaring piece of music which leaves people wondering what they would have done next.  Personally I think this was them saying they were done, that they were finished and wanted to leave it as it is.  Unchanging and at least in their eyes, perfect.  More of a full stop than a party and I urge you all to listen to "High Hopes". For me it was the only song I would listen to one summer.....

6.5 out of ten - Now I see where you were going, but not quite there

Youcan purchase from here (The remastered version)

You can also purchase one of the original version for slightly more here

You can visti the band's website here

You can now listen to the album on Spotify

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