When the rumours started appearing on line that a new Pink Floyd album was going to appear, the news was greeted with a mixture of wonderment and disdain, depending on which camp you were in. The Roger Waters camp dismissed it stating that Roger had not been in the band for 29 years. Pink Floyd fans wondered what was going to be served up but didn't stop them ordering it in its thousands making it the biggest pre release sale in Amazons history. Even now it is still at number one and kept the new One Direction album off the top spot.
I have to admit being a huge Pink Floyd fan. It was The Dark Side Of The Moon (1973) that brought me to the prog table. I can remember vividly the day I bought Wish You Were Here (1975) on the day of release and taking it home on the bus not daring to open the black shrink wrapped album but wondering what majestic sounds were going to be inside. I also bought the next three albums on day of release and I saw the band on the Animals Tour in 1977. Although I liked the next two albums, A Momentary Lapse Of Reason (1987) and The Division Bell (1994), I never felt they were a patch on the afore mentioned albums, not because Roger was no longer with them, but because the band had changed into a different animal playing in a different era.
So on to the new album. We all know now that it is an double album made up of outtakes and jams from the Division Bell sessions and is in essence a tribute to the late Richard Wright (keyboards) who died in 2008. Although it is available to download as well as a CD and CD Deluxe it is vinyl that the band want to promote. Hence side one, two, three and four. I want to enthuse about it and tell you it is one of the best albums in a long time. But I can't. Don't get me wrong. It is very nice and listenable, but because of its very incarnation it sounds like what it is. An album of unused ideas made to sound like a new Pink Floyd album. There are moments when you think you are listening to Shine On You Crazy Diamond when that familiar E minor to C chord sequence underpins that classic David Gilmour guitar sound. There are lots of piano and keyboard layers over which Dave Gilmour plays his inimitable style of guitar. There is even a drum solo from Nick Mason. The final song Louder Than Words (the only song with vocals) is a good song but it will never be a Comfortably Numb.
So what we have here is a nice, enjoyable, pleasant instrumental for the most part album that Pink Floyd fans can listen too for a while then file away and go back to listening to the real stuff.
*** Dave Smith
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