Pink Floyd - A Momentary Lapse of Reason
The first and lesser of the two Gilmour-led Floyd albums, A Momentary Lapse of Reason is the work of a band in the midst of a seismic transition. It’s also a massive break from the album that precedes it, The Final Cut, which saw Waters taking the helm and dominating the performance and composition to an almost laughable degree. Waters left the band shortly after the release of The Final Cut, leaving Floyd without one half of its visionary core.
Gilmour was left to shoulder the weight of songwriting on A Momentary Lapse of Reason, and he responded by leaning heavily on material he had recorded for his third solo effort. This probably explains why the album feels a bit slapdash at times and lacks a strong, unifying theme—usually a prerequisite for a Pink Floyd record. Freshly resigned and embroiled in a legal dispute with his former band members, Waters predictably hated the album and, though far from unbiased, he wasn’t entirely incorrect in his criticism.
Songs like “The Dogs of War” sound like pale imitations of the band’s Dark Side of the Moon era, relying too much on the same dynamics to feel surprising in the least. And both chapters of “A New Machine” date themselves with a Frampton-esque “talk box” effect that’s both unnecessary and annoying. Still, Floyd’s trademark atmospherics are largely in place here, and they sound more on the same page in the wake of Waters’ departure.
Though far from essential listening, A Momentary Lapse sees the band transitioning into a brave new era with a drunken kind of grace.
1. Signs of Life
2. Learning to Fly
3. The Dogs of War
4. One Slip
5. On The Turning Away
6. Yet Another Movie
7. Round and Around
8. A New Machine (Part 1)
9. Terminal Frost
10. A New Machine (Part 2)