Indulging in the bewitching soundscapes of Pink Floyd 20 years after…The Endless River should leave no one indifferent. It has been so many years since the fans last savored the band’s High Hopes and Co., and finally the much-awaited revelation is here.
The English band that had shaped Progressive Rock in the 1970s took a long break since their last album, The Division Bell. Many things have happened ever since, including the painful fact that Richard Wright whose imprint had electrified albums like The Piper at the Gates of Dawn and Meddle, has passed away. Earlier in the 1980s, Roger Waters had left the band in a move that, to many, meant the end of Pink Floyd. It was not the case, even though his departure marked a before-and-after.
Gilmour’s tunes are as sweet as ever, his solos are mature and hypnotizing. Mason is perfect, if somewhat discrete. Together, they offer a full spectrum of sounds that range from their early psychedelic feel and all the way to New Age and even jazzy flavours. These are two legendary gentlemen that still rock. Gilmour is generous to the fans, his music seems to flow effortlessly and is unmistakably his.
The video tracks that come with the iTunes album are an extraordinary plus…where else can you see the last recording sessions of Richard Wright?
But there is one thing that I do not like about The Endless River: it’s not intriguing. Musically, it’s a triumph; conceptually, not so. It lacks the ‘landscape’ quality of tracks like Echoes, the explosive genius of ‘The Trial’, the intensity of ‘Time’. Moreover, the lyrics and song titles are a bit cheesy. Gilmour and Mason are first class musicians, but it takes Waters (as in, Roger Waters) for an album to become epic. Nevertheless, it’s not fair to bring Waters into the picture now.
Gilmour and Mason, masterful as they are, show exceptional ‘craftsmanship’ proper of their age and their experience, their music is carefully composed with little or no room for whims or spontaneity. The best part is that you can always forget about this review, play The Endless River, and surrender to the current.