A journal not only of sight and sound, but of mind (fin9901) wrote,
A journal not only of sight and sound, but of mind

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Album review: Pink Floyd, The Endless River (2014)

First, if you don't know who Pink Floyd is, this review will be pretty much meaningless to you. Go buy and listen to at a minimum Dark Side of the Moon, and preferably The Wall and Wish You Were Here, and optionally Meddle, Animals, and The Division Bell.

Second, if you're the kind of person that takes albums to chop them up into their constituent tracks to shuffle into your iPod or other music device, this isn't the album for you. Pink Floyd after all is a band that makes albums, not singles. There is one way to separate this album into pieces, but I'll get to that later.

With that out of the way, I was astonished and gobsmacked to find out that Pink Floyd was putting out another studio album after it had been twenty years since The Division Bell. As it turned out, it was released the same day that Foo Fighters released their most recent studio album, Sonic Highways, and if you had told me that one of those albums would have more than twice as many tracks as the other (18 vs. 8), I would have been nearly certain that the Pink Floyd album would have the lesser number of tracks (since they have two albums with a total of 5 tracks and another two with 6), but that is not the case.

However, being Pink Floyd, yes, The Endless River has 18 tracks, but the first 17 are instrumental only, with the final track named Louder Than Words. Again, being Pink Floyd, the tracks all flow together, so separating out the album by its tracks doesn't really work. If you want to listen to it in less than all in one go, it is more or less in four pieces, which just happen to fit the four sides of vinyl that it was also released on. These pieces are tracks 1-3, 4-7, 8-14, and 15-18.

Also, this album wasn't recorded and released for the general public, it was targeted to the band's fans from its nearly half-century of work. You can hear echoes (pardon the pun) of lots of previous Pink Floyd albums on this one: the background voices from Dark Side of the Moon, the horns from Wish You Were Here, Stephen Hawking who was on The Division Bell makes another appearance (Talkin' Hawkin'), even a track named Autumn '68 referencing Summer '68 on Atom Heart Mother. That track in particular makes use of a recording of Richard Wright (who died in 2008) playing the pipe organ in 1969. That's just the kind of band they are, and it's breathtaking hearing them weave all this material together; a large part of it was recorded during the sessions for The Division Bell, for part of an instrumental album planned to be released at the same time, a concept later scrapped.

But it all came together for this album. If you're a fan of Pink Floyd, or a fan of albums in general, you should check this one out. It provides a very nice final bookend to the set of music that Pink Floyd has given us all, and if you already have more than a couple Pink Floyd albums, this one should definitely join them.
Tags: pink floyd, the endless river
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