Track Listing - Read the Lyrics
1. Cluster One
2. What Do You Want From Me
3. Poles Apart
5. A Great Day for Freedom
6. Wearing the Inside Out
7. Take it Back
8. Coming Back to Life
9. Keep Talking
10. Lost for Words
11. High Hopes
by Mark Henderson
by Tim Shelton
The Division Bell Album Review
By Mark HendersonOk here we go... This is my attempt to review, examine, and pick apart quite possibly one of the most amazing albums of all time.
David Gilmour has sharpened his songwriting skills to a very fine point since the last album, the lyrically-lacking, musically-masterful A Momentary Lapse of Reason. With The Division Bell, all of Gilmour's talents shine, combining all types and moods of music, and lyrics revolving around a central theme: Keep Talking.
I'm going to take a quick look at each song, and try to figure out(from my perspective at least) how it ties in.
I thought this song was extremely boring when i first heard it, but as I listened on I realized what was going on here. The first three piano notes are played, and then repeated backwards, having almost a conversational effect, like a conversation is taking place. The guitar echoes the notes, adding to the theme. Two things are talking here, and the music gets more and more complex as more "words" are exchanged the music finally crescendoes at a very slow, very quiet tempo as the "conversation" comes to a halt, and the CD segues directly into the next song.
What Do You Want From Me
This is what happens when people don't communicate pretty much. The song is sung from a confused mans point of view, trying to figure out (duh) what somebody wants from him. This song also has some other references in it, ("sell your soul for complete control, etc..") The music is very bluesy which is a complete 180 from Cluster One, which adds to the effect that strange things happen when we stop talking.
This is Gilmour looking back on a past friendship/relationship (with Waters perhaps? - "did you know it was all going to go so wrong for you?") and realizing that he has come out on top. The acoustic guitar is amazing in this song, and the way the "did you know" echoes repeatedly pop up throughout the entire song is very creative. I cannot for the life of me figure out what is going on in that strange interlude, but oh well, its still pretty interesting.
Silence, Loneliness, and Sorrow saturate this piece beyond belief. In the context of the album, we get the feeling of a man that has either marooned (haha) by his friends or has cut himself off from the rest of the world. I'd be inclined to believe the latter, because of "Wearing the Inside Out." The guitar playing is Gilmour at his absolute technical and skillful best. Every note seems perfectly placed, even when the effects take over and make the guitar sound as if its going crazy. (adding to the theme of the song once more.) This entire album should be a textbook on how music relates to lyrics.
A Great Day For Freedom
This song extends the communication theme to another, worldwide level. The point here is, lack of communication causes strife. Also, it proves that the human race in general has lost the ability to communicate in the way that we should. Uncomfortability and loss of words (uh oh! another song coming on) causes us to separate from one another, at the expense of caring and compassion. The slow, delayed piano gives us a very nostalgic melancholy theme for the song.
Wearing The Inside Out.
This is the chronicle of a man who has cut himself off from the rest of the world, except for his television set. "with an endless stream of garbage" give us the idea that Wright doesn't like TV, as he shouldn't, because even as it is communication, its controlled, censored and filtered communication, which Gilmour addresses in High Hopes "our thoughts trade consciously and without boundary" The music in this song is kind of bland, making you think of a man, blank eyed, staring into the white noise of a television screen.
Take It Back
An environmental song worked into the metaphor of a relationship, again extending the theme of the album into another worldwide theme. Mother Earth is trying to communicate her pain from our mistreating her, but we are not listening, even the know we know what we are doing to her. The music sounds too poppy, but it was one of the few singles on this, so, i guess it was TBDs version of Learning To Fly. The video extends the environmental metaphor even further.
Coming Back To Life
Quite possibly my favorite song on the CD. This song states that even though someone has left you behind, the only thing you can do to save yourself is "kill the past and come back to life" Very Good advise and great song. Three masterful guitar solos, one during the slow ambient part, and two during the fast cheery part build the song to a climax, where Gilmour takes us "into the shining sun" I cant figure out what his "dangerous and irresistible pastime" tho.. help would be appreciated
The Climax of the entire CD. One of the best intros I've ever heard. Stephen Hawking's guest starring on vocals. Amazing. This song combines everything pink floyd, echoed guitar, a great guitar/keyboard solo, vocals, the gospel singers.. oh man its great. The song basically spoon feeds us the concept of the album, which i don't really agree with (too much Fast Times at Ridgemont High) but its a great song nonetheless. Notice the conversational music once again: during the guitar solo, the guitar hits a high note and fades out, and the keyboard fades in on the same not, finishing the conversation where the guitar left off. The conversation that started in Cluster One is perhaps finished????
Lost For Words
This is my least favorite song on this album, but there is some pretty darn good acoustic soloing on this song This song is about trying to open up the communication lines between him and his enemies, and his enemies not responding at all. This seems like too much of a filler, such an average song for this CD.
In my opinion, the CD has already ended, and this is the encore or epilogue or conclusion. This song sums up the entire album, presenting a utopia where the communication has been opened, but also realizing that, like all utopian societies, this is bound to fail "Up above, the flags unfurled, we reach the dizzy heights of this dreamed of world"
The CD ends with a blazing guitar solo, pushing the theme out of the album and into our lives, giving us something to think about as we live our lives: KEEP TALKING