The release of the latest, and ‘allegedly’ last ever Pink Floyd album was something I regarded with slight suspicion, and a sense of dread. The foundation of the album was based on Richard Wright’s outtakes lying around after “The Division Bell” sessions almost 20 years ago. In recent years, it has become an alarming trend by record companies to scrape the bottom of the barrel of posthumous artists/bands outtakes to create albums of frankly substandard material to fleece the fans of their money. So when I heard “The Endless River” had being created from bits and pieces, I did feel slightly alarmed. Also I must confess I have not been the hugest fan of post Roger Water’s Pink Floyd, particularly 1987’s album “A Momentary Lapse Of Reason” which I thought lyrically, was a bit of a mess.
However, “The Endless River” decides to play to all the remaining 3 members of Pink Floyd’s strengths, and due to the mainly instrumental nature of the album, it avoids the frankly embarrassing lyrics that spoilt some of their recent albums (anybody remember “Dogs of War”). This record is closer to previous albums such as “Meddle” or “Wish You Were Here” with its beautiful synthesizers and fluid guitar playing. However there is nothing on the album as outstanding as “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” or “Echoes”, but it does provide a pleasant cohesive listen from start to finish. As always, David Gilmour’s guitar playing is exquisite taking centre stage on most of the album, while Richard Wright’s synthesizers add textures and depths to this suite of music.
“The Endless River” does provide a fitting epilogue to one of the greatest bands in British music and is a suitable tribute to the late Richard Wright. Pink Floyd have avoided chasing tacky trends such as getting hip producers in to update their sound, instead they’ve finished the book with an album that reminds fans of the many reasons why we fell in love with them in the first place. However it must be said a small part of me still wished for an appearance by Roger Waters but that ship sailed down “The Endless River” sadly a long time ago.