Pink Floyd

The Endless River

Written by: BV on 10/11/2014 17:11:17

I owe a great deal to Pink Floyd in a lot of ways. I vaguely remember first really getting into rock music because my dad used to listen to Pink Floyd albums quite a lot – and still does as far as I’m aware. He introduced me to this bluesy, ethereal guitar sound which drove forth highly poetic lyrics about the music industry, money, mental illness and, indeed, a yearning for contact with old friends lost due to unfortunate circumstances. This pairing of magnificently engulfing soundscapes and utterly amazing lyrics quickly had me reeled in and Pink Floyd became my obsession and definitive point of origin as a whole-hearted music lover. When keyboardist Richard Wright passed away, what little hope that was left in me to ever experience a Pink Floyd concert passed away with him. Yet, here some 20 years after Pink Floyd’s “Division Bell” the band has reconvened as a two-piece consisting of Nick Mason and David Gilmour, whilst utilizing material recorded while Wright was still very much alive. As such, “The Endless River” is the end of the line for Pink Floyd – an homage to the importance of Richard Wright in what can only be regarded as one of British music’s most groundbreaking bands.

Consisting primarily of ambient, instrumental suites the album seems to focus on the musical chemistry that has always existed between Gilmour and Wright. The subtle and often fundamental keyboard playing of Richard Wright seems to form the very essence of the Pink Floyd sound on which Gilmour’s signature guitar lines become the hook that reels the listener in. One piece consisting mostly of swirling organs, suspense-filled synths and incendiary, ethereal guitar melodies is titled “It’s What We Do” – and rightly so. “Allons-y” vaguely hints at the band’s efforts from “The Wall”, bearing a subtle resemblance to the marching riff of “Run Like Hell”, whilst “Anisina” is a piano-driven rundown that rings familiar bells – recalling the grandeur of “Us and Them”.

With “Louder Than Words”, the album reaches its end in a grand style. As the only track to feature vocals by Gilmour, it instantly stands out as something different from the remainder of the album. The lyrics of the song seem to sum up perfectly what the Floyd is, and always has been about and so there is something true and, in itself, poetic about simple lyrical lines like; ”We bitch and we fight / diss each other on sight / but this thing we do / these times together / rain or shine or stormy weather / this thing we do / with world-weary grace / we’ve taken our places / we could curse it or nurse it and give it a name / It’s louder than words / this thing that we do / louder than words / the way it unfurls / it’s louder than words / the sum of our parts / the beat of our hearts / is louder than words”.

In the end, “The Endless River” seems to be a sonic collage recalling various eras of the band’s sound, seeking to mark itself as the definitive, final chapter of a remarkable musical suite that has stretched out over nearly fifty years – from the humble psychedelic, acid-fueled visions of Syd Barrett through Roger Waters’ era of mental illness, emotional scars and turmoil and finally reaching an end with the Gilmour-led, highly ambient pieces of work. It is a stunning piece of work in a sense, and although it seems very unlikely that “The Endless River” would have garnered much (if any) attention had it not been for the Pink Floyd name adorning it, it still seems like a worthy end and a fitting homage. Farewell, Pink Floyd.

Download: Louder Than Words, It’s What We Do, Sum, Things Left Unsaid
For The Fans Of: David Gilmour, Bjørn Riis, Sigur Rós

Release date 10.11.2014

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