Are we at the end of the river? It says that it’s endless…. So, is that all? And afterwards? What kind of an end is that? Will there be something else, someone else tomorrow? Can all the musicians of today offer one hundred per cent of what Pink Floyd have offered all this time?
All of the above, and not only, questions have been torturing me since last summer after the announcement of the new and last album of the greatest, for many people and for me too, band there has ever been on this planet.
On reading about the characteristics of this album all this time until it was released, all these questions multiplied. “The Endless River” would be an instrumental record with the exception of one piece. The rest would be pieces that were written in 1994 for the needs of “The Division Bell” and which were cut back then.
The first hearing of “The Endless River” leaves you with a strange feeling. The music is obviously Pink Floyd, but no one can believe that it ends so quickly. The fact that there are eighteen pieces with a total duration of 53 minutes certainly makes you get carried away.
You can’t tell one from the other whatever that entails. On one hand they leave you in the magic of Pink Floyd’s sounds without thinking of anything else, on the other hand they don’t let you remember which music is from what song. Musically speaking it’s more than obvious that the songs belong to “The Division Bell” era. We are talking about music themes not entire songs and this is probably the reason why their duration is so little, something contrary to the band’s policy until 1994.Other than that, the music genius of the band is all over this record. To be honest, I’m not sure if I prefer what I am hearing to having a new music from Gilmour and Mason. I don’t know if they had the intention to do so (probably not) or if they thought that they owed people all these themes. I believe though that this would be an ideal grand finale for a band like this. The truth is that the taste is somehow bitter-sweet… The fact that you can hear the samples with Richard Wright’s backing vocals is very important. Not only the band but also the people need his presence even this way.
The last piece of “The Endless River” is the only one with lyrics (written by Polly Samson, David Gilmor’s wife), and it will remain in history as a classic Pink Floyd song. “Louder Than Words” is Pink Floyd’s last song just where their torrent bursts. A torrent which for almost half a century has been sweeping along every sound existing by imposing its own. A passing that didn’t leave anything untouched by its stamps, the pigs, the prism, the wall and so many emblems I would say. They grew generations of musicians and of ecstatic crowds. The torrent ends somewhere here…it becomes a smooth endless river which will continue flowing as long as there are still humans, sounds, and thoughts…as long as there is music that is…
P.S It’s a great honor for me to take over the presentation of Pink Floyd’s last album. I never have imagined something like that would happen to me and I would like to express my thanks to the chief editor of Rockpages.gr for giving me this great opportunity.