By Rich Stevens
Released Friday November 7th, 2014 - Sony Music
First and foremost it should be stated that I am a longtime Pink Floydfan. When I heard a few months back the Floyd would be releasing'The Endless River' I was intrigued to say the least.
The material for the album was recorded back in 1993-94, during the recording sessions for The Division Bell. David Gilmour has described the album as a tribute to Floyd's keyboardist Richard Wright, who died in 2008 following a battle with cancer.
My first listen to the album was a few weeks back at the Auckland Stardome Observatory, where we got to hear the album in it's entirety as we delve throughout the planets of our solar system, before heading further out to the Milky Way and beyond. Pink Floyd's latest album worked perfectly for this... the ambience of the recording was an unequivocal match.
The Endless River is mostly an instrumental offering - which to me and a lot of other Pink Floyd fans works a treat. Gilmour is a master on the guitar; with his trance like playing he really does take you on a journey.
Track two 'It's What We Do' sounds like it came straight from their 'Wish You Were Here' album; in fact it could almost be a continuation from 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond'. While 'Aninsa' is very reminiscent of 'Us And Them' from Dark Side Of The Moon.
Although mostly an instrumental offering, there are a couple of tracks with vocals. Stephen Hawking makes an appearance on the track 'Talkin' Hawkin'', in his unmistakable dialect. And the final track 'Louder Than Words' features David Gilmour displaying his pitch perfect vocals and is no doubt the most radio friendly song on The Endless River.
This is an album for Pink Floyd fans... and probably not the best offering to play when trying to convert someone to the Floyd. If you've never been a fan you'll hate it, move on... nothing to see here. But if you're like me, a fan and a follower of the band, you'll love it. And I don't say that as a one-eyed fan either, if it was a disappointment I would certainly say. We can be the hardest critics.
But this one has certainly joined the rotating playlist of my Pink Floyd albums. Now we just need some kind of tour (unlikely)... or even David Gilmour performing by himself? Fingers crossed!