The studio output of post-Roger Waters Pink Floyd (or “Pink Fraud” as the ex-bassist sometimes called the band’s continued efforts) remains among some circles a touchy indictment of classic rock bands continuing on despite diminished ranks. Still, few bands have earned such repeat scrutiny as Pink Floyd: as the inimitable architects of both psychedelia and heady concept albums, the band at 75% still demands attention, and even more so two decades down the line from their last studio album, The Division Bell. While it may remain hard to reconcile the band’s last stand with the heyday of their 70s efforts, the musicianship and production on display can’t be ignored. David Gilmour’s lucid six string whale song gestures, Nick Mason’s global beats, and Rick Wright’s savannah sunrise synthesizers paint a tapestry in stereo that begs for the best hi-fi you can buy.
For the album’s twentieth anniversary, Rhino Records has re-released it in a handsome monolith of a box set replete with remastered LP, CD, and Blu-ray, bonus artwork, and two vinyl 7s and a 12 covering the album’s standout tracks “High Hopes” and “Take it Back.” It may seem like convenient timing for the new set, but considering Pink Floyd’s recent announcement that The Endless River, an album of brand new material, is slated for release this fall. The word is that the surviving members (sans Waters) culled the new tunes from The Division Bell sessions.
– Luke Dennis