A Momentary Lapse of Reason review by Pink Floyd

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  • Released: Sep 8, 1987
  • Sound: 5
  • Lyrics: 3
  • Overall Impression: 4
  • Reviewer's score: 4 Poor
  • Users' score: 8 (49 votes)
Pink Floyd: A Momentary Lapse of Reason

Sound — 5
After "The Final Cut", it was clear that neither guitarist David Gilmour nor bassist/main lyricist Roger Waters were going to record an album together again. In 1983, both released solo albums ("The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking" by Waters, "About Face" by Gilmour) that only went gold in the US, and both went on tour to promote them in small arenas. It was clear that apparently a solo album by any member of Floyd wouldn't by much succesful if the name of the band wasn't attached to the releases. Anyway, Waters disbanded the group by 1985. Unfortunately, David was "nostalgic" at this point. He succesfully "un-disbanded" Pink Floyd by 1986, and 'reunited' with drummer Nick Mason and keyboardist Rick Wright (this one just as a session musician). The result? A purely "David Gilmour solo album" with the name "Pink Floyd" in it, with a lot of session musicians assisting Gilmour, with Mason rarely playing (and I can't even say the same thing from Wright! ) and often replaced by a drum machine ("Learning to Fly" and the entire second half of the album). The opener instrumental "Signs of Life" is a straight "Dark Side of the Moon" rip-off with some "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" traces. Next comes "Learning to Fly", which is a bit dull, but still one of the strongest numbers here. However, "The Dogs of War", the third song, comes near to the definition of "worst Floyd song ever", but it was surpassed but another song from this album, the AWFUL "A New Machine". I can't believe that David could come with the idea of placing such a disgusting song here, with those horrendous robotic-like vocals. "One Slip" sounded at first to me a bit to Duran Duran, but it's again Gilmour with it's "Another Brick in the Wall (Part I)"/"Run Like Hell" riffage and it's a good song. The best, however, is the beautiful "On the Turning Away", sounds to me a bit like "Wish You Were Here" (the song), but it's beautiful, and remarks the guitar habilities of David at the end. "Terminal Frost" is a somewhat pleasant instrumental, with a beautiful piano line. Finally, we have the disgusting "Yet Another Movie" with a aimless coda ("Round and Around"), and "Sorrow", a somewhat improved version of "Yet Another Movie", is not so bad, but I dislike a bit Gilmour's monotonous singing and the synthesizer line.

Lyrics — 3
If you're searching for lyrics, look somewhere else. David Gilmour is just the guitar player, the definitive lyricist was Waters, and for that reason David is generally assisted by other people (see the credits). You may find great lyrics in "Learning to Fly", "Sorrow" and "On the Turning Away", but then you just find horrible lyrics, just like in "The Dogs of War" and both parts of "A New Machine". The other lyrical spots just doesn't impress me, and I just don't care about 'em.

Overall Impression — 4
It's sad that someone with the name "Pink Floyd" would release this. Compared to the earlier efforts, it's just a weak imitation/parody of them. If you love 80's mainstream music, well, this is the point to start with the band. But I'm not one of those. Fortunately, they released "The Division Bell" in 1994.

9 comments sorted by best / new / date

    He got help from a few people, including his wife.
    Wrong. That was "The Division Bell", seven years later and with a new wife (Polly Samson, some English writer or something like that).
    I agree. This album, like a lot of other Floyd Albums is very underrated. I wouldn't say that it is the same as other floyd albums, or trying to immitate them. quite the opposite really, it took me weeks of casual listening to finally get into and appreciate this album,because the songs and feel are different, but it really is very good. And no, Roger Waters is NOT pink floyd. like it was pointed out, roger was the lyrical genious, but many songs were written by the rest of the band to fit his lyrics. he couldnt have done it on his own, or with session musicians
    This may seem off-topic, but i purchased the division bell the other day and found the lyrics by gilmour were decent, but nothing compared to waters'. I really liked the compositions on this album and wright finally contributed to songwriting on an album (at least he hasnt done so since wish you were here). The lyrical quality of the album is somewhat lacking, but the musical quality of the division bell is really good. I like the post-waters music a lot, but then again, all pink floyd is good pink floyd I may pick this one up, I liked some of the songs from this album that is on pulse Of course, nothing comopares to the wall - ****ing geeeeenious
    great album despite not being the full band. Sure its more like David Gilmour style but it doesn't detract.
    It's just not the same without Roger Waters. Still, it's a pretty good album but it lacks a certain quality that was present on the earlier albums.
    Roger's songs are all a lot deeper in the lyrics. They are mostly about war, or depression, or going insane. They are mostly very depressing lyrics, but the instrumental parts of the songs are almost "happy". Roger could be called the "genious lyrics writer" but he isn't the whole thing. They are all equally good at their own things, whether it be writing the lyrics, the music or a bit of both. Thats why they are the greatest band to ever grace the planet.
    Darkspear wrote: Pink floyd is overrated...
    No, perhaps DSOTM and (mainly) The Wall are overrated, but otherwise I've never seen a music critic praising Meddle, Obscured by Clouds or Animals at the same level as those two. And they usually fail to see the 2 or 3 gems that are randomly thrown in AMLOR .
    pink floyd went down the drain after waters left everything else is prettymuch solo david gilmour