Picks and Pans Review: A Momentary Lapse of Reason

updated 10/19/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/19/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Pink Floyd

The 16 albums of Pink Floyd have been a many-splendored thing. They featured arty yet visceral progressive rock with a grimly fatalistic lyrical stance and dreamlike, ornate productions interspersed with stinging guitar solos. Though former leader and bass player Roger Waters has departed, the remaining members, guitarist David Gilmour, drummer Nick Mason and keyboardist Richard Wright, have held up the Floyd tradition nicely on this first album since the 1984 schism. A Momentary Lapse of Reason has a rich, complex sound quality that cries out for compact disc. There are a number of dramatic aural special effects such as the sound of oars rowing through water, which opens the album, and the muddled, half-heard conversations that float through several songs. The arrangements are imaginative—-a dark, ominous stringlike synthesizer motif underpins The Dogs of War. Of course there are those trademark Floyd touches: the armor-piercing tone of Gilmour's guitar and the female backup singers keening like a midnight choir. Some songs can't bear up to this portentous treatment. Others, like the instrumental Terminal Frost, respond marvelously to the band's rococo rock approach. The worst falling-off from earlier form is that the LP's songs don't evolve beyond their initial melodic statement. Still the record's imposing front carries the day. Waters may be gone, but this album will give fans ample reason to keep thinking Pink. (Columbia)

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