The three remaining members of Pink Floyd (guiding light Roger Waters acrimoniously split from the band more than a decade ago) could live like kings on the royalties from the 13 million-selling Dark Side of the Moon alone, but no—they had to go and release The Division Bell, their first studio album in seven years. Pink Floyd’s 1973 hit ”Money” was a surprisingly hooky, half-serious spoof on greed, but The Division Bell, which their current tour is promoting, is an objective lesson in the disastrous effects of that deadly sin. Avarice is the only conceivable explanation for this glib, vacuous cipher of an album, which is notable primarily for its stomach-turning merger of progressive-rock pomposity and New Age noodling. There are only two vaguely memorable songs, and they rip off U2 (”Take It Back”) and evoke Jackson Browne (”Lost for Words”). The rest are instantly forgettable tracks dressed up with keyboards, weird sound effects (called ”earth sounds” in the liner notes), a gloomy female choir, and, heaven help us, the requisite orchestra. It’s hard to imagine even the most dedicated Pink Floyd freaks hearing anything but dim echoes of their heroes’ former greatness in this mass of hot air. Still, there are millions of people who will plunk down hard-earned money for The Division Bell. Don’t say you weren’t warned.
We gave it a D