This is Pink Floyd’s first record since singer-bassist Roger Water’s departure in 1985. Old fans will be surprised by their new, polished sound. The album starts with “Signs of Life,”a smooth, slow moving instrumental. Most of the record’s ten songs (written chiefly by singer-guitarist David Gilmour) are anything but slow-moving, however. “Learning to Fly,” the first single, maintains an infectious beat and smooth guitar riffs. Ending the first side with “On The Turning Away,” one of the album’s most accessible songs.
Not all of “A Momentary Lapse of Reason” works. Songs such as “The Dogs of War” become overly harsh and repetitious. “Yet Another Movie,” which starts the second side, tests the listener’s patience. “Terminal Frost” is an instrumental where David Gilmour’s guitar trades lines with Tom Scott on soprano saxophone. Although not very exciting, it does convey the message of its title. It also prepares the listener for the shock of “Sorrow,” the album’s hardest rocker and closing song.
It starts with a roaring guitar solo and kicks in with a strong beat. It seems to tell the story of a man who wakes up in a world of which its people have been exterminated by nuclear war. The ending words include “There’s an unceasing wind that blows through this night…and a silence that speaks so much louder than words of promises broken.”
Although it would be unfair to compare “A Momentary Lapse of Reason” to some of Pink Floyd’s earlier work, fans will be pleased to know they have established a direction even with absence of Roger Waters. One can find this recording on CBS records.n
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