Having sold 250 million records worldwide, ranking number eight on MSNBC’s “The 10 Best Rock Bands Ever” and named as Q magazine’s biggest band ever, Pink Floyd’s 15th and final album, “The Endless River,” has been much anticipated.
The start of the farewell album prepares listeners for the start of a journey through time and space. More specifically, the eerie combinations of percussion and keyboard bring about a trance-like sound that calms and intrigues the listener.
The title of the track, “Things Left Unsaid” begs the question of what the band feels they have left unsaid over the many previous songs and albums they have produced.
Rhythm picks up a bit with the track, “Ebb and Flow” where the band uses extended mesmerizing notes on the electric guitar combined with gentle flowing lyrics to continue the sound journey.
The next four tracks titled “Sum,” “Skins,” “Unsung” and “Anisina” all feature similar sounds of paired percussion and electric guitar while continuing the eerie spacey sounds very familiar with the band’s sound.
This set of tracks sports many dissonant chords and tunes seem to clash at different points but always find a way resolve themselves into a harmony. The progression and resolution is truly magical in sound.
“The Endless River” introduces the melodic tunes of the piano as a way to change up the spacey sound in the short but sweet track, “The Lost Art of Conversation.” The next track to pick up steam once again is “Allons-y,” which features once again the creative sounds of David Gilmour on the electric guitar.
The band throws it back to the 60s with the track “Autumn ‘68” which features a melancholic tune, remnant of the sounds produced by a church organ.
The fourth movement of the album features four different tracks all with the same characteristics of Pink Floyd: long flowing melodies, melancholic and eerie notes and crescendos and descendos of sound.
In an interview with Redbeard in 1994, David Gilmour, guitarist and vocalist for the band, provided the source for most of the material of what would be “The Endless River.” He explained that most of the inspiration for this farewell album originated from a series of 90-minute recorded DATs, which produced five or six hours of music.
In the interview, he explained that all the music already existed in the heads of the band members but by choosing specific pieces and adding new ones over time, the band was able to create an album they deemed worthy, especially after the loss of their keyboardist and fellow founding member, Richard Wright.
Overall, the album is exactly what the band members have described. The musicians sat down for hours and hours and just played what they felt.
The pure genius and originality of the their sound cannot be argued. Their universal sound has seen success across a global market of music.
The album has received mixed reviews from such a large fan base. The group’s original die hard fans are sad to say goodbye to their loved musicians. The success with albums such as “Dark Side of the Moon” and “Wish You Were Here” probably won’t compare to the sounds of this album. However, any fan of Pink Floyd will find something to like and appreciate in this farewell album.
Like many classic rock bands, Pink Floyd has shifted in sound directions and group members but has consistently maintained a fan base by maintaining their everlasting popular stellar space rock sound.