Thursday, November 06, 2014

Pink Floyd - The Endless River - Review


This has to be the biggest surprise of 2014 a new Pink Floyd album. Its out in the UK on Monday but by the miracle of technology I have acquired a copy for a review so here is my thoughts as I was listening to the album.  

1 Things left Unsaid
This is a ambient soundscape with some spoken lines for interviews, I wouldn't swear to it, but I think one line is even from roger.
2 Its what we do
Very much a coda to the Wish you were here album a kind of a mix of Shine on and welcome to the machine, imho already better than anything that was in Division bell musically. Wonderful.
3 EBB and Flow
This starts off with one of the pulsing synth noises off Metallic  Spheres think youth worked on this one. Some nice backwards guitar with some of Ricks electric piano.
4 Sum
This start the second of the 4 phases of the album almost a flashback to Astronomy Domine at the start then goes into a Gilmour slidefest. I was expecting this to build up into something bigger and it err didn't.  Such as the nature of pink Floyd you never get what you expect.
5 Skins
This could have been a new version of Syncopated Pandemonium from 1968 Nicks wonderful drums with manic slide noises from David.
6 Unsung
Another big 90s Floyd intro piece
7 Anisina
This was one of the tracks the band put a teaser out for, and IMHO they teased a bit that makes people think this was just going to be elevator music. Its very much a Us and Them esque piece. I guess this may have not made the cut for Division bell because it sounds too much like us and them, but the strange thing is it would fit right in as part of Roger Waters ‘When the wind blows’ suite. It’s a shame that the 2 never got combined.
8 The Lost Art Of Conversation
Another Rick piece again could well have been part of the ‘Soundscape’ album that was mooted.  This is really an intro into the following
9 On noodle Street
Its strange this one, it almost sounds like it could be the music for a Bryan Ferry song.
10 Night Light
If I'm critical of anything on this album it’s the very nasal acoustic guitar sound here and there. This track being a case in point. Id have mixed off the acoustic guitar again this is an intro to the next track.
11 Allons-Y (1)
To hardcore  Floyd collectors this is a known track as its been in fan circles for a few years, though polished up now this is essence a song that is musically far better than most of Division bell, had a good driving Floyd riff. But I guess it got dropped because strains of it sound like other Floyd tracks.
12 Autumn 68
This is another nugget of gold Ricks playing the Royal Albert Hall Organ. The weird thing is why wasn't it called autumn 1969 because as far as I know the Floyd never played the Albert hall in 1968 but they did do The man And The Journey there in 1969.  Also if this was the show when the band got ‘banned’ from the RAH how come they played in 1970?
11 Allons-Y (2)
This carries on where the other part left off.
12 Talkin’ Hawkin’
Another nice piece of mid tempo 90s Floyd with speech form Stephen Hawkins , not sure why TBH but hey it’s a great piece of music.
13 Calling
The intro to the last segment of the album a wash with 90s snyths and piano. When recording this the Floyd had ample number of ‘intro’ pieces I suspect that’s why this album was split into 4 sections.
14 Eyes to Pearls
Again not wishing to criticise but not a fan of the guitar sound on this. The Drums sound epic mind.  This is almost Wall esque.
15 Surfacing
The penultimate track on this album, have to say playing this through it feels like it finished very quickly. Again a very polished piece of music that again id add to the list of bits that probably should have gone on the Division Bell.
16 Louder Than Words
This is the song most people know as its had a fair bit of airplay. I don’t mind this song, but its not the most amazing thing ever. The intro really reminds me of Marillion.
NB in addition to the above comment I think this song will grow on me. I may well end up loving this song. Actually I probably already do.

There are also 3 bonus tracks
TBS 9
This is a bit of ambient sound that has its roots in Echoes and Careful with that Axe Eugene. Sounds rather lovely.
TBS 14
Love the fact I can hear a Farfisa in the background of this one, bit like one of the barn jams that David Gilmour did in 2007 nice.  This is one of my favorite pieces on the album.
Nervana
This starts off with a heavy Gilmour guitar riff (Think Nile song) bug drums come in, this is the ‘Rocker’ of the album. Again another jam but a great jam. Almost has a Punk vibe.

To summarize I have enjoyed listening to this album a lot more than my first listen to The Division bell and to A Momentary Lapse of Reason.  Maybe my tastes are different to how they were back then.
This album is a collection of bits, but I know that because I am a Pink Floyd nerd and can understand why bits were not used. But that does not mean that this is something that shouldn't be heard because as a piece of music it is in my view far better than what most modern bands today will dish out.  Is this the best Pink Floyd album no, is it the worst, no its probably the album of the 3 post Roger Waters albums that I will play the most that’s for sure.

Below the EPK for the album






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