Pink Floyd, The Endless River as reviewed in The Phantom TollboothWhat is true of this collection is that the music of Pink Floyd has matured yet maintains a true and strong meaning for all who intently listen.

VThe Endless River
Artist: Pink Floyd
Label: lowercase people
Release Date: November 10, 2014
Duration:       18 tracks, 52:54

There are two great pieces of music from late 2014, which I had not found the time to review but have persisted in memory to the point of this brief mention. The first of two is The Endless River by Pink Floyd. This, perhaps final note in the band’s collection, is meant to be an extension of their last LP, The Division Bell, and to be a tribute to the late Richard Wright, the keyboardist of the band who passed in 2008 and who provided much of the substance to this collection and the last. Many of The Endless River’s songs are material left over and unfinished from The Division Bell.

The Endless River is 90+ percent instrumental with a spattering of Stephen Hawking’s recorded voice on a few numbers to provide continuity to the previously released album. While all pieces have continuity with the previous release a few have legs of their own.

From “Things Left Unsaid” with a bit of Hawking through “Skins” the music is languid and spacious. With a bridge in the collection, “Anisina” leads with bold piano and holds classic Pink Floyd saxophone in the midst of Gilmour’s soaring guitar – this is a highlight among Pink Floyd musical moments.

The dark, brooding and anthemic “Allons-y (1)" slides into “Autumn '68” with church-like organ giving a stunningly emotional break to times gone by, followed by “Allons-y (2)” returning to Floyd’s roots.

“Surfacing” signifies an end to the journey that is The Endless River as it gives way to “Louder Than Words”, the one piece having true vocals shouting two messages. The first a true reflection of Pink Floyd’s life-long message for the human race to be true to itself and another to the historical members of the band to keep communication open, true and critical, leaving personal direction behind. A happy, playful ending makes you wonder what either might come next or what might have been.

From “Things Left Unsaid” to “Louder Than Words” the listener can’t help but wonder if this is as much a statement of the band breaking up over the years as it is to a statement of human kind’s condition and our times in general.

What is true of this collection is that the music of Pink Floyd has matured yet maintains a true and strong meaning for all who intently listen – life holds wonderful moments, quiet moments, and those which are sad and painful too. The Endless River has sonic moments and continues their great musical message, leaving the cacophony of youthful rebellion behind with The Wall and maturing to a reflective message of hope and love in The Endless River.

Scott S Mertens