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Pink Floyd - The Endless River CD (album) cover

THE ENDLESS RIVER

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.35 | 683 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Xenodimensional
4 stars Pink Floyd. Where to start? Without Pink Floyd I probably would not be here for starters. Having grown up in a household that loved Pink Floyd I have been familiar with them for my entire life. I took them on as a band that I 'liked' at age 14 which coincided with the release of their last studio album 'The Division Bell' (TDB). At that time I liked TDB for what it was however I have a tendency towards liking their earlier experimental output and consigned TDB to the back of the CD rack relatively quickly and considered that PF were probably done and dusted.

Fast forward 20 years and while I was initially very intrigued about the prospect of a new Floyd album two decades after their last studio release I became somewhat more apprehensive when I heard that it would be a mostly instrumental affair. I am an avid listener of instrumental music however PF seemed to me to be a good example of a band that added value to their music through their vocals and (at times) thought provoking lyrics.

Within minutes of The Endless River's (TER) debut listening however my fears were cast aside as I realised that while Floyd had explored a number of instrumental songs throughout their career they had never released an album of primarily instrumental music and that in their own unique way had found an avenue for retaining their trademark of producing albums that often had little in common with their predecessors.

Musically the album is rich with textural diversity and instrumental interplay and features many sections remniscent of songs from their own catalogue (Set the Controls, Shine On, Us and Them, Learning to Fly etc.) which rather than sounding like a rehashed medley or lessening their own legacy adds a mature perspective to the nuanced performances they were capable of at the time of the recording. Rick Wright's performances are as expected beautifully poignant and the album serves as a great testimony to all that he achieved. Special mention goes to Nick Mason who delivers some great dynamics through his playing which help push some of the pieces to greater heights than they otherwise would have reached.

Admittedly TER does in some ways resemble a series of musical 'sketches' although considering the circumstances that this album arose under one can but only appreciate the quality of the recording and the performances within it. As far as posthumous musical releases are concerned TER is almost peerless. As lovely as it would have been for these songs to have been worked into more cohesive and longer compositions I am still exceedingly grateful that they (well David Gilmour) have chosen to let the material see the light of day and secretly hope that there might be another disc or two of similar material.

Rating this album is a reasonably straightforward process. TER doesn't reach the heights of albums such as Atom Heart Mother, Meddle, WYWH, DSOTM or Animals which for me are solid five star albums. I also feel that TER has more to offer than two and three star albums such as The Final Cut, Momentary Lapse and the Division Bell so I feel that it is due four stars; it truly is an excellent addition to any prog rock music collection.

Xenodimensional | 4/5 |

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