Meant as a tribute to their late keyboard player Rick Wright, The Endless River is the first new Pink Floyd album in over 20 years, and likely to be the last according to guitarist David Gilmour and drummer Nick Mason. Pieced together from recordings accumulated from the Division Bell sessions back in 1993, the majority of The Endless River is instrumental, but it's all instantly recognizable as Pink Floyd, as each and every track is permeated by Wright's haunting keyboard work and Gilmore's signature, melodic guitar lines. If you've always liked the more laid back, ambient, and mysterious parts of the Floyd cannon, chances are you'll really enjoy what is essentially a reworking & recreation of some of the music from the Division Bell vaults by Gilmour & Mason.
One of the nice things about The Endless River is that you can load the CD into your system, sit back with the drink of your choice, close your eyes, and let the music take you on an epic journey. Granted, that's kind of always been the case with the music of Pink Floyd, but seeing as this one is mostly all instrumental, the flow from track to track is well done, the guitar & keyboard lines gently grab you and pull you along for the lengthy ride. Wright's majestic keyboard textures are all over the album, so as a tribute to the man, Gilmour & Mason have done a fantastic job here. Many of the tones you'll hear will bring back memories of Animals, Wish You Were Here, and Dark Side of the Moon. "Skins" is especially chilling, with Wright's ominous array of keyboards creating all sorts of creepy sounds over some expert drumming from Mason and Gilmour's liquid guitar lines. "Asinia" would seem well suited for vocals, but instead you get Gilmour's soaring guitar and Gilad Atzmon's fluttering saxophone taking place of the human voice. The electronic voice sample on "Talkin' Hawkin' " is from none other than scientific genius Stephen Hawking, and the engaging "Louder Than Words", the final track on the album, is the one actual full-fledged 'song' here, complete with emotional vocals from Gilmour & a cast of female backing singers.
As you would expect from a Pink Floyd album, it's expertly produced, easily one of the most gorgeous sounding recordings you'll hear this year. Any serious fan will no doubt have to have this and should instantly fall in love with what's on display, though your mileage may vary depending on your patience with instrumental music. For me, if this is it for Pink Floyd, they've gone out in style and put together a fine tribute to the fallen Rick Wright. Can't ask for more than that.
See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!
1) Things Left Unsaid
2) It's What We Do
3) Ebb And Flow
8) The Lost Art Of Conversation
9) On Noodle Street
11) Allons-y (1)
12) Autumn '68
13) Allons-y (2)
14) Talkin' Hawkin'
16) Eyes To Pearls
18) Louder Than Words