Pink Floyd "The Endless River" (Parlophone, 2014)
Pink Floyd never made it to the 50 year mark, but they got close, and “close” is more than I can say for Endless River, and album that features an unremarkable cover of a gent sailing off into the sunset on a warm sea of clouds ... how very prophetic. But allow me backtrack, and wonder for a bit.
With this many years and albums behind them, Pink Floyd have been many things to many generations, but never the same to all, and I sincerely doubt there’s a fan who hasn’t gotten lost along the way, cherishing several albums that speak to them, and forever selfishly hoping that Floyd and Pink will find their way back to those special moments. I remember seeing Pink Floyd on their first tour of America, it was an adventure to say the least, then again for Dark Side of The Moon, and Animals. For me, Pink Floyd were all about Meddle, Dark Side of The Moon, Wish You Were Here, and Animals ... after that they lost me. I genuinely became tired and disenchanted by their infighting, and the constant repetition of themes; though it’s been said that an artist paints but one painting, and then constantly repeats it with variations. So yes, there are those who stand firmly in the camp of Syd, and the mid 60’s Floyd, and those rooted in the 70’s, when home electronics hit their golden age, and yes, many are still enthralled with The Wall, and all that followed. But even with all their experimentation, Endless River is not a proper Pink Floyd album, no matter how much Floyd’s members try to insist that it is.
First and foremost, it’s nearly a posthumous release, as two original members have drifted downstream, and most of the material harkens back to outtakes and cutting room floor bits that at the time were deemed unremarkable, yet here, strung together with other bits and pieces from the 60’s onward, somehow people have convinced themselves that Floyd are doing what they’ve always done ... drawing from their surroundings to create a sonic landscape of vision and wonder. But it’s not a sonic landscape, for the most part it’s an instrumental album that drifts nowhere, channeling nothing, and climbs to no remarkable soaring heights. The lyrics are sparse, and when delivered, still harken to personal imperfections, wrong doings, the fact that time has passed them by, and the notion that no matter how sincere, amends can never be made with either lost family or bandmates.
To be honest, Endless River comes off like the final two hour special for a television sit-com series, where there are endless flashbacks, outtakes worked in, and an attempt to tie things together … though sadly always coming off a bit disingenuous. But, this is the way of the world, people desire things to be drawn together, all of the i’s dotted, and the t’s crossed. If anyone should know that the curtains can not be drawn, and the door quietly closed, it’s Pink Floyd, a band who made their mark by painting a hallucinatory sky.
I do not relish this bit of reality ...
Review made by Jenell Kesler/2014
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