read the news // live the culture
The Upcoming | Read the news // Live the culture
Thursday 27th November 2014
CultureLive musicMusic

Pink Floyd – The Endless River | Album review

  Tuesday 25th November 2014
  Tuesday 25th November 2014

There was a weight of cultural importance poised ready to engulf what is sure to be Pink Floyd’s final album from the moment its release was announced. It’s difficult to imagine a record that could live up to the inherent expectation of a swan song from one of the most influential and acclaimed acts in the history of recorded music, but it’s nonetheless sad when listening reveals that The Endless River certainly can’t.Pink_Floyd_-_The_Endless_River_(Artwork)

Brought together as a eulogy to Richard Wright by Dave Gilmour and Nick Mason (who, with the late keyboardist, comprised Pink Floyd after Roger Waters’ departure from the band in 1985), The Endless River is constructed largely from recordings made 20 years ago, during the trio’s sessions for The Division Bell. It’s perhaps inevitable, then, that this is no 21st century re-invention, but rather a revisit to the old post-Waters waters of its predecessor, inviting many of the same criticisms.

Forgoing lyrics and much else in the way of traditional song structure on all but the final track Louder than Words, the album is arranged into four interconnected ambient soundscapes (one for each “side” of a double vinyl album). For the most part, the sound itself is that of a dreamy sci-fi odyssey: impeccably mixed with trademark care, beaming specific instrumentation and effects to the listener from precisely choreographed directions, but ultimately samey and of a singular, funereal pace. Though authentically Floyd, there’s also a patchouli-scented whiff of the relaxation aid here, complete with the whale song (Ebb and Flow) and rainstorms (Amnesia) that one might associate with such a thing.

The established lugubriousness is occasionally threatened – when the tribal rhythms of Skins threaten to build to dancehall intensity, or when Gilmour’s guitar ceases its sporadic mewling in favour of a sustained blues riff on Allons-Y (1) – but such anomalies are all too quickly reabsorbed into the sonic background.

The closing track, featuring a Gilmour lyric speaking of love’s endurance in the face of spiteful bickering, serves as a fitting tribute to Wright, but also to hint at the potent forceful energy a Pink Floyd song could command, back before such squabbles took their toll.

Acolytes the world over may rejoice at the emergence of any new material, but after snapping up The Endless River in their droves, they are likely to feel disenfranchised by a last word from their heroes that is probably better forgotten.


Stuart Boyland

The Endless River is released on 10th November 2014, for further information or to order the album visit here.


More about the author

Stuart Boyland


Release date: 10th November 2014




Share this story

  • Pin It
  • Share on Google+
  • Reddit
  • Stumble
  • LinkedIn

Latest related

The Temporary Bride by Jennifer Klinec | Book review
The Temporary Bride by Jennifer Klinec

The Temporary Bride is a work born of a colliding of cultures, and a life of food and adventure. Densely atmospheric [read more]

TV on the Radio – Seeds | Album review
TV on the Radio – Seeds

On previous albums, TV on the Radio were so far ahead of the curve it was ridiculous. The breadth and depth of the [read more]

Röyksopp – The Inevitable End | Album review
Röyksopp – The Inevitable End

Whether you know their name or not, there is a high probability that your ears have been exposed to an abundance of [read more]

Imelda May at the Shepherds Bush Empire | Live review
Imelda May at the Shepherds Bush Empire

Having released four albums and enjoyed performances on Jools Holland, along with televised performances in the US, [read more]

Foo Fighters – Sonic Highways | Album review
Foo Fighters – Sonic Highways

If you’re ever unfortunate enough to meet someone who claims not to like the Foo Fighters, back away slowly. The [read more]