Pink Floyd: The Endless River


“We fight/Diss each other on sight/But this thing we do/These times together/Rain or shine or stormy weather/This thing we do.”  These are the lyrics from the song “Louder Than Words”, a new track on Pink Floyd’s fifteenth and final album.  After nearly half a century of becoming legends in the making, the latest album The Endless River is Pink Floyd’s last curtain call to the stage.

The Endless River is a new take on Pink Floyd’s music.  It is derived and based on the twenty hours of jam sessions and unreleased material from Pink Floyd’s last album, Division Bell, which was released in 1994.  The newest album received it’s name from the last lyrics on Division Bell: “The water flowing/the endless river/forever and ever.”  David Gilmour originally planned to release another album in tribute to the late keyboardist Richard Wright, but after listening to the old recordings, he began to see real potential.

The music differs from the last couple albums.  It is mainly instrumental with only a few very important lyrics, written by Gilmour, Wright, Mason, with one contribution from Gilmour’s wife, Polly Samson.  They share everything the band has been through; it is meant to share a few memories before Pink Floyd breaks apart.  Both surviving members of the band, Gilmour and Mason, discussed how the album is much more like their 1973 Dark Side of the Moon album or their 1979 The Wall than anything else.

The album is 21 songs in length, with only one song having any lyrics at all.  It is split into four sides consisting of three to five songs each.  All individual sides contain different material, expressing certain emotions.  The album could be described as boring due to the instrumentality, but to those who enjoy a good old jam session it is somewhat of a treat for your ears.

Unlike most instrumental music, classical instruments are the least heard.  It is mainly keyboard and other foreign noises, much like synthesized sounds.  This is what keeps the album interesting.  There is so much of the band’s past hidden within the album such as the ticking clocks, originally from Time on Dark Side of the Moon, as well as Division Bell guitar solos.  At the same time, the album pushes music to the future, with sounds that no one else has dared to record before.

One particularly interesting track, Talkin’ Hawkin’”, features Stephen Hawking’s speech called “Keep Talking”.  Gilmour decided he had to do something with this miraculous speech after hearing it for the first time, finding himself mesmerized and wanting to share the feeling with his fans and listeners.

“I just found it so moving that I felt that I had to try and do something with it, or with him or something, in some way,” Gilmour recently told the UK newspaper, The Independent.

Since coming out, the reviews of The Endless River have been all over the charts.  Many have hated it and said it was a mediocre goodbye, leaving the fans wanting so much more, while others called it “genius” and a wonderful way to take a bow.

The Endless River certainly leaves an endless effect on the fans of Pink Floyd.  The music seems to resemble a way of saying goodbye, but the music is forever.  The music is endless and can inspire generation after generation.  Instead of thinking of it as an end, it can be just another stepping stone towards sharing their music with the world.