They went out very much as they came in, amid an almost other-worldly, ethereal landscape of thematic sound. Perhaps not 60s psychedelic but still with a musical approach time appropriate yet rooted in their history. That’s Pink Floyd’s newly-released and final album titled, “The Endless River.”
The record is a farewell to fans and also an ode to fallen band member Rick Wright. In a recent issue of Rolling Stone, guitarist David Gilmour credits the keyboardist, who passed away in 2008, for providing the group’s melodic foundation around which all of their music was built. To go on, says Gilmour in the article, would be pointless.
Expanding upon music originally created in 1994 around Pink Floyd’s last album, “The Division Bell,” ‘River’ is largely and appropriately instrumental, in turn shining an especially bright light on Wright’s talents. It is also a format that has worked well for the group over the years; just consider their swan song, “Dark Side of the Moon.” And, like most of Floyd’s work, the record is meant to be played in its entirety with each song melding into the next, something all too unfamiliar to music consumers (and creators) today.
And while Roger Waters (for better or for worse) has not been a part of a Pink Floyd recording since “The Final Cut” some 30 years ago, it is almost too bad he could not have been involved in some way with this final effort. And just as it is not a stretch to discern that the theme of this album (the importance of communication in solving problems and furthering humanity), is at least partially rooted in the epic battles between Waters and his founding bandmates, could there not have been a truce for this ending opus?
After all, as Gilmour sings on ‘River’s’ last and only tune with words:
It’s louder than words
The sum of our parts
The beat of our hearts
Is louder than words.