A Momentary Lapse of Reason (1987)


 
1. Signs of Life 2. Learning to Fly 3. The Dogs of War 4. One Slip 5. On the Turning Away 6. Yet Another Movie/Round and Round 7. A New Machine (Part 1) 8. Terminal Frost 9. A New Machine (Part 2) 10.Sorrow

 

Just in case you've never heard the whole story, here's a brief summary: Roger Waters, being the "leader" of this band for the last several albums decides that he's through with Pink Floyd. Since he thinks he basically is Pink Floyd, he announces that the band is done. Guitarist David Gilmour disagrees. Gilmour is soon joined by drummer Nick Mason, and even ex-member Richard Wright wants back in as well (It was mostly Roger that was behind his sacking back in 1979). So a huge lawsuit ensues, fans take sides, and the courts rule that Pink Floyd can continue to shine on without Waters.

That was the good news. The problem was, as miserable of a sod as Roger Waters was around this time, he made a good argument concerning his talent and contributions. It's very obvious that "something" is missing from this album. This is not the Pink Floyd, by any stretch of the imagination, that had been dominating the world for the last decade and a half. David Gilmour is a brilliant guitarist, and he's a much better musician than Roger Waters (although many will argue that), so all of the songs here hold up quite well. It's just that Pink Floyd had such a unique brand, that the gap that Waters left just couldn't be filled adequately.

Oh they try. In many cases they seem to be trying too hard. Things start off quite nice on the spacey Signs of Life. It's a brief instrumental that sounds like it belongs on Wish You Were Here. In fact, it's impossible to listen and not yearn for those good old days of layered synthesizers. Then, on On the Turning Away, you can't help but listen to it and wonder whether or not they were trying to rip off their own tune Comfortable Numb from The Wall. They're very similar.

Yes, all the songs are good. But this sounds too much like a David Gilmour solo album, which it basically was. Had this album been released under the "David Gilmour" monicker, I could have possibly enjoyed it and accepted it much better. Then, of course though, not nearly as many people would have bought it. (To be fair, Roger Waters had just released his second solo album around this time, and neither one of his releases were that good either).

As a fan of the band, I could understand the animosity, but I really got tired of Roger Waters' public belly-aching about the album and the whole situation. He took plenty of shots at this album, even calling it "a pretty fair forgery". As much as I hate to admit it, he was right on target.

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