on 16 March 2013
As a long-time Pink Floyd fan,I was slightly indifferent to this first post-Roger Waters album when it came out. Now I can't stop playing it. In particular the title track, Learning to Fly and Sorrow. The latter is a classic: eerie, ethereal soundscapes, epic post-apocalyptic imagery to accompany a dark night of the soul, guitar to absolutely die for. Play loud, very, very loud indeed. We're talking fireworks as only Mr G can produce. If only it were even longer than 8:46! For that you will also need the live version on Pulse (sorry, but "awesome" is the only word to describe that incredible performance). Just buy it ... or both ... it's the Floyd. I mean, what more encouragement do you need.
Whatever you think of Roger Waters, Pink Floyd was clearly never the same after his rather acrimonious exit. Having won the right to continue using the band's name, David Gilmour, Nick Mason, and Richard Wright recorded and released A Momentary Lapse of Reason in 1987. It's a far cry from the incredibly successful concept albums largely controlled by Roger Waters (e.g., The Wall, Dark Side of the Moon), and it has its inherent imperfections, but A Momentary Lapse of Reason is still an impressive album featuring some great musical moments and awesome Gilmour guitar riffs.
Freed from the controlling influences of Waters, David Gilmour dominates this album - he wrote or co-wrote every track, took up the mantle of lead singer, and did much to prove himself the greatest guitarist in the business. One can read certain things in the album title and some of the songs (e.g., Sorrow) about the whole Pink Floyd turmoil of the previous years, but the main problem with this album is its seeming lack of a unifying theme. There is unquestionably a great deal of intensity in the words and music, but there's no real depth. To me, the whole album has an artificial feel to it - especially compared with the Waters-dominated Pink Floyd releases. There are no bad songs on this album (although some Pink Floyd fans don't think very much of The Dogs of War), but few seem to work up any real emotion. One can get a feel for this in the opening instrumental track; there may be Signs of Life in the initial sounds of plodding movement through water, but these are lost in a cacophony of artificial voices speaking unintelligibly in the background. I have to admit that I don't always understand what Gilmour and the guys are trying to do in some of these songs.
Learning to Fly is somewhat pop-oriented track that succeeds quite well, but the first real magic is to be found in the song On the Turning Away. This track about man's lack of concern for his fellow man also features some amazing guitar work by Gilmour. Gilmour's finger work basically carries the second half of the album, one rendered somewhat obscure by the long instrumental Terminal Frost and its musical A New Machine bookends. The album closes out impressively, though, with Sorrow. This is the most emotionally compelling song on the album, and it opens with David Gilmour doing what he does best.
I can see how some Pink Floyd fans don't really care for this album. It's very different from what had come before, and the song lyrics don't really compare to those written by Roger Waters. Still, this is Pink Floyd - maybe not the Pink Floyd we wish we still had, but Pink Floyd nonetheless. David Gilmour, Nick Mason, and Richard Wright revived this group when many thought it was dead and buried, and their own distinctive musical creations introduced a new generation of fans to the magic that is, was, and always will be Pink Floyd.
on 29 April 2014
A momentary lapse of reason signifies the end of a five year plus legal fiasco involving rights to the band name an Roger Waters case against David Gilmour. The 1987 album certainly has the Floyd esque to it and has a striking 1980's sound that I happen to relish. We begin mysteriously with the "Signs of life", transpiring into the commercial sounding hit of "Learning to fly"; which is I suppose intended to make a bold statement about the band's return, and a statement and very enjoyable one too. "The dogs of war" returns back to serious Floyd territory with an arrangement of prog, unpredictable and mysterious influences and a certain favorite from this enterprise.
"One Slip" is the obvious pop number off the album but is no less enjoyable for it:- Perhaps lacking the traditional characteristics we would expect. "On the turning away" is a classic and memorable piece harking back to "The wall and animals" period; & "Yet another movie" is back to the progressive sound with a real atmosphere and thought provoking theme. "A new machine 1" begins with some distorted vocal effects and never does really materialise even into it's successive second installment. "Terminal Frost" is another excellent Floyd piece, only to be returned to the sounds of "A new machine" again with "A new machine part 2". Both I might add:- fairly pointless non-entities.
We finish on another strong Floyd highlight with "Sorrow" and is easily one of the best songs of the album. On this one, there are plenty of nice-prevailing baselines in-distillation with a strong undercurrent of prog-ness, ultimately culminating in a superb finale.
"A momentary lapse of reason" is definitely a very strong Pink Floyd album. It might lack some of the charm, passion and the notable vibe it's successor "The division bell" re-created; however, what's here is still good stuff:- which is perhaps only brought down a notch or two by a few unwise musical maneuvers.
on 5 November 2012
I'm well aware that AMLOR and The Final Cut (2011 - Remaster) polarise the opinions of many Pink Floyd fans. For me, neither are classic Floyd. But then, both are still Pink Floyd and so therefore both (in their own ways) are a cut above most other bands' efforts.
Musically, this album has "80s sound" stamped all over it. Some of it can creep into cheesy-feel, but I've always thought that is a product of its time rather than the music itself. Suffice to say there are more than enough highs in this album (Signs of Life, Learning to Fly, One Slip, On the Turning Away, Sorrow) to make it an album worth buying. The stinkers (Dogs of War, A New Machine [either part], Terminal Frost), well, just gloss over these. Yet Another Movie is somewhere in between: I've always thought it sounded a bit lifeless on the album, but live it takes on a whole new feel.
Overall, AMLOR sounds like what it was: Gilmour fighting tooth and nail to get Floyd back up and running. As with any Pink Floyd album, you can rely on him providing some great guitar work and some kiss-ass solos, but the album lacks the finesse Rick Wright brought, or the heart Roger Waters lyrics added to previous numbers. (I would also add that in the comparison to The Final Cut, TFC also lacked Wright's finesse and Gilmour's musically superior skills too.)
Finally, with regards to the remastering effort: this is the 3rd copy of the album I've owned, and it is comfortably the best sounding version to date. As with other Floyd remastering efforts, the overall sound is much cleaner, much crisper, and overall much more life-like. For those of you who already own the album (and like it!), I'd suggest it's probably worth getting hold of.
on 14 July 2014
This is just an incredible album. It may be a million miles away from Dark Side in style, but this is still music at it's best. Intelligent lyrics with music that never seems to be trying very hard, but carries you along at a million miles an hour whilst digging deep in to your soul. All whilst sitting relaxed in your armchair. Paradoxical, but true. Startlingly simple yet brilliantly complex in the the same way as Dark Side. This album has the same innate qualities.... this could only be Pink Floyd.
on 16 November 2001
It is now 1987 and Pink Floyd have been dormant for four years. We fans had read countless articles from the music press over that period of time saying that Floyd were dead. Roger Waters had seemed to have won the cold war as his 'Pros & Cons Of Hitchhiking' album had been released and he had toured America and Europe with playing Floyd songs to boot. God was on his side, literally because his new lead guitarist was God (Eric Clapton just in case you didn't know his nickname). But just when we had given up hope of seeing the brand name, Pink Floyd on any new product A Momentary Lapse Of Reason is released.
Hang on a moment, we had had no Floyd for years then all of a sudden we have more activity than something which is very active. Roger was following his own dream world with Pros & Cons, diverging from his bleak melancholy state and to venture into something quite unusual. Now here was Gilmour and Mason with Wright in toe proving that they equally had a right to the name Pink Floyd. The legal battles continued but us fans didn't care, we had Waters and Floyd.
OK, with Waters now out of the main picture, the Floyd could continue true to what fans would expect of Gilmour/Mason/Wright: great music. First and foremost was the great music. This was there first true musical adventure since Wish You Were Here (1975). What did surprise a lot of people was Gilmour's lyrics. It was like a reincarnation of Waters. They were sad (One Slip: about an unwanted pregnancy), untrusting (Dogs Of War) and cold (Sorrow). Gilmour admitted that some of Roger had worn off on him. Thanks Roger. Could us fans love a too happy Floyd, I don't think so.
This album to me sounds like a more joyful version of Animals (without Wright's superb piano) crossed with the moodiness of Wish You Were Here. Of course there is more to this album than that but it is not a smooth as David Gilmour by Gilmour (1978) or as barren as The Final Cut (1983). Indeed this album is almost seductive in parts. Look no further than Terminal Frost with its beautiful saxophone.
A good portion of the tracks from this album found there way onto the live album Delicate Sound Of Thunder but apart from Sorrow none are improved on. Sorrow also appeared on Pulse and again this is a superior version. It is my favourite track from AMLOR.
There are several more stand out tracks which include One Slip, On The Turning Away and Yet Another Movie.
This is a great chill out album. It is best heard in the dark, then again most Floyd albums are, but I ignore my wife when she says the power should be cut off too.
Just one final note. If you were wondering who plays bass on the album, it's the legend that is TONY LEVIN.
Thanx for reading this.
This 1987 release was the first Pink Floyd album ever recorded to exclude founder-member Roger Waters, who left the band at the end of 1985 and initiated legal action to prevent the surviving three members from continuing with the Pink Floyd name.
Having been `fired' from Floyd in 1981 by Waters, Rick Wright was legally prevented from re-joining by contractual restriction so although he made a modest contribution to this album he was not a formal band member but retained at $11,000/week as a session musician. Nick Mason confessed to being out of practice as a drummer, so most of the percussion on AMLOR is also played by session musicians and drum machines, with Mason busying himself with production and sound effects. So AMLOR is essentially a David Gilmour solo album under the Pink Floyd name.
As such the album is more than just OK with some definite high-points, but "lacks a theme" and is more a diverse collection of songs, mostly penned by Gilmour or Gilmour plus various collaborators; keyboard player Jon Carin, for example, composed and played the main theme to `Learning to Fly', probably the best-known track from AMLOR and a perennial PF stage favourite. Other good tracks are `On the Turning Away', `Signs of Life' and the great closer `Sorrow'.
So AMLOR is a good PF album, though by common consent not a great one. Its place in history is important in that it established Dave Gilmour as the undisputed band leader of the resurrected-in-midlife PF and has Gilmour's trademark compositional style stamped all over it, showcasing plenty of his unmistakably gutsy guitar passages and with him doing all the lead vocal work.
The best version of AMLOR is IMHO the 2011 Discovery Edition, which has a rich, clean and crisp sound mix.
The definitive statement of this final Waters-free incarnation of PF is 1994's `The Division Bell', indisputably one of PF's top-five career-best albums.
on 5 December 2014
As a fan of Floyd since the beginning, I take issue with some of the other reviewers of Floyd albums, who seem to criticise various tracks that I actually like and find virtue in the increasingly dismal stance taken by Rogers Waters last efforts. I always thought that like the Beatles 'White album' that Floyd's 'The Wall' could have made a good SINGLE album if the weaker fillers were left out. (OK I know that The Wall was a concept album and tells a story but some of the tracks are not as strong as others). After the bleakness of The Wall and Animals and Final Cut I thought Gilmour at the helm brought Floyd back to form. Both 'Momentary Lapse' and 'The Division Bell' are excellent and consistent albums, good throughout, and I think The Dogs of War is an excellent powerful track. Its all subjective innit?
on 7 December 1999
I like this album, it is a little less polished that the Division Bell but is in a similar vein and it grows on you like the prog-rock stuff I used to listen to.
Lots of Gilmore guitar and it seems to be the emergence of the fourth generation Floyd, practicing to see whether the buying classes would in fact buy. I dont know how well this did sell but I bought it and I rate this one highly.
My favourite track is "Learning to Fly", I can listen to this time after time and it still has a riff that can penetrate the foggiest mile on the M1.
Not a top classic but one of those albums you keep coming back to.
on 13 July 2005
Ok let me start by saying that I do not consider myself to be a die hard Pink Floyd fan. Im not into the physcadelic early stuff, to which the band were noted for as with "Saucerful Of Secrets" and a few other cds of theirs. However that said I do own "Darkside Of The Moon, The Wall, Wish You Were Here" and this cd.
To those whom say this cd is no good and consider themselves to be more of fans than myself I say this. This cd is David Gilmours, leadership and his interpretation and so therefore is MEANT to be different. True it does not have Roger Waters guidance, or sadly Syd Barretts, but thats the whole point, its not meant to. This is Gilmour, Mason and wrights album, and shows the true genius of these musicians in there own right.
I recommend to newcomers of Floyd like myself to buy the albums mentioned in this review icluding this 1, and you will not be dissapointed. 5 stars!!