RE: The Division Bell? Why not liked?
I hate to be the downer, but I absolutely hate this record. Not just because Roger isn't there. I try not to let that influence my opinion too much, but when you go back and listen to the record, it really shows.
One of my biggest problem with the album is its length, at about an hour and 5 minutes, they seemed to have used all the ideas up about halfway through, and just recycle them throughout the album. The songs, in my opinion are much too long for what they are, and they could have (again in my opinion) gotten the message across in at least half the time they did. The exception to this, I think is "High Hopes" which is somewhat decent.
The lyrics on the album are awful. Some of it comes off as whiny ("Poles Apart" - the 'golden boy' stuff, "Lost for Words", "Keep Talking", "What Do You Want From Me." They just come off as half-ass jabs at Roger. And other spots in songs just come off as forced. It seems like, in a lot of spots, from what I remember, that David is just pulling phrases out of his ass just to make a rhyme. The one example that I always cite, that makes me cringe is "Promises lit up the night like paper doves in flight." I know David has never been a great lyricist, it's not trying to insult Dave, but it's never been his strong point, and I don't think the fact that he brought Polly in to help did much good. I'm not exactly sure how much is hers and how much is his, but from the overall product, I don't think it was a good thing.
The instrumentals are somewhat decent, I suppose, but I think Cluster One takes WAY too long to just get to the damn point. Marooned is bearable, I suppose.
Another problem I have is the backing singers, which make me want to strangle them. They're distracting when you're actually trying to listen to the music, because they're so obnoxiously annoying that they overpower everything else that's going on..and when the lyrics they're singing are a bunch of whiny drivel, it doesn't exactly help.
Musically, some of the melodies are nice, but again, they stretch songs out for much longer than is needed. Too much of a good thing can end up being bad. "Coming Back to Life" and "High Hopes" are probably two of the "best" things to come off this record, at least from David. The best non-instrumental tune, is probably Rick's first writing credit since "The Great Gig in the Sky" back in '73's The Dark Side of the Moon. I'm of course talking about "Wearing the Inside Out." Decent tune..It's nice to hear Rick singing, a pleasant change halfway through the album. They should have utilised Rick more, I think. I do hear/see that it's much more of a group effort than its predecessor, and that's cool, but I still think this album is a bit uneven, balanced one way.
I think vocal wise, hearing the same guy singing for nearly an hour got a bit tiring, aswell. I really think Rick is something they should have utilised more: songwriting and singing wise; if they had, it might have saved this record from being such a dire whine-fest. But as is, the record is just extremely tiring, and is close to, if not the worst thing Floyd has put out (In my opinion)
I tried to make this review sound as..well..professional in the way that I tried not to just blatantly attack the album, but pinpoint its weaknesses in my estimation, and why they drag the album down. I hope I was thorough, and I'd be willing to answer any questions/comments
Snake, history will never know what she did. No one will ever learn the truth. Her story... her debriefing... will endure only in your heart. Everything she did, she did for her country. She sacrificed her life and her honor for her native land. She was a real hero. She was a true patriot. ~ EVA re: The Boss (MGS3)