Pink Floyd’s final ever album is also their first album in 20 years following 1994’s ‘The Division Bell’, an album that was a complete 180 in that it had them trying to sound how they did in the 70s. I say it’s a Pink Floyd album but there’s effectively only 2 members left in Pink Floyd, but take it how you will. The band have said that this will be their one and only crack at making a 21st Century album, but they’re essentially just re-recording a load of the material they recorded during the time that they made their last album; so naturally it sounds like them taking a stab at sounding how they did in their hay-day.
The songs on this album are pretty much all instrumental, with a lot of the sounds being taken from ambient music and stringing them together into these ‘sides’ which consist of a few songs (or parts) that are a couple of minutes long. These sides don’t really add to anything though and with them being broken up into parts it really hurts the cohesiveness of the album. They would have benefited by going back to ‘Animals’ era Floyd and managing to string together these parts into one big musical song. Perhaps if it were still the full band they would have put the effort in and done this.
There are massive guitar solos and synth-scapes that span out through entire tracks on here. The guitar leads and the way in which it’s organised couldn’t have been done by anyone else but Floyd and although they are an interesting listen; there’s nothing new or exciting to really grab onto. Too many times on this album does it become extremely tedious being sucked into this world where nothing resolves and there are no crescendos or surprises to wake you up. Although the songs are very well made and put together it merely sounds like a whisper of what they used to be. Even when the singing comes in like on the single for the album ‘Louder Than Words’ it’s just not enough to win you over and ends up feeling quite dated.
For hardcore Pink Floyd fans, this might be what you’ve been after, but probably not. It certainly doesn’t feel good enough to be in the discography of a band that defined an era. It’s admirable to see a band still wanting to make an album that feels like some sort of grand, ambitious and coherent piece of music; it’s just they really fail at it here on most levels. These last two albums they’ve made (although made 20 years apart) will fit nicely into a little pocket of Floyd’s discography that had them going back to their 70s sound. A nice little slice of nostalgia. Nothing more, nothing less.