After a break of twenty years, the progressive rock kings released a new album, nostalgic and definitive.
At the announcement of a new Pink Floyd last May, the planet music began to stir. What could the old flamingo, who had been sleeping for 20 years, still have to say? At the beginning of the summer, Pink Floyd specified that "The Endless river" would be primarily an album composed only of instrumental tracks, recorded between 1993 and 1994 and reworked since 2013 by David Gilmour and Nick Mason, Rick Wright the keyboard player having died in 2008. Roger Waters point then, coming out yet of three years of triumph with "The Wall". Pity. No new compositions, therefore. Too bad too. But the appearance on the air recently of a single sung has stoked our curiosity. And if "The Endless River" was an interesting project? Especially since the first interviews granted by Mason and Gilmour in England give a little more light on the context of this disc. It is primarily a tribute to Rick Wright, whose role in the Floyd, according to Gilmour, was always "too underrated".
And indeed from the first notes of "Things left unsaid", we hear a long intro keyboard very classic sound of the Pink Floyd 90s. "It's what we do" seems to be a distant cousin of "Welcome to the machine", and makes you immediately take off in your memories, in a universe that you have listened so much and loved so much. First emotion on this melancholy title, long enough, illuminated by beautiful guitar parts of Gilmour. Purists would dream of a sung part, but the case here is above all musical. Mason and Gilmour prolong the pleasure by finding their old friend on these parts of keyboards put in boxes more than 20 years ago. The know-how is brilliant, it's reassuring, but risk-taking, it is minimum. The first part of the album concludes with "Ebb and Flow", allowing David Gilmour to display his art. Designed as a double-sided four-sided album, "The endless river" is actually played in the form of four long pieces, divided into several sub-pieces. "Sum" which opens the second part is a nice nod to "a saucerful of secrets" and "The Wall" happily mixing the sounds of the time. Same thing for "Skins" who does not hesitate to take the battery gimmick "Time" or the helicopter "The Wall" (Waters will love …).
A sound cathedral
"Anisina" clearly deserves words, but the vintage sax and the choirs in the middle of the title make it one of the highlights of the album. "The Lost art of conversation" will thrill fans of "Shine on you crazy diamond", when "Night Light" recalls "Take it back". As you can see, Gilmour and Mason had a lot of allusions to their glorious past, as if to conclude an epic that began almost 50 years ago. The third part, by far the most rock, will take you to Gothic lands, but also in the late 60's when Gilmour was making his range in cafes "Autumn '68". In the end, the sonic cathedral built by Pink Floyd will send you directly into space with this magical "Calling" or "Surfacing" almost rural. The final bouquet is called "Louder than words" and serves as a single for radios, because it is the only song sung on the album. "This thing we do," said Gilmour, in his deep voice, "is stronger than words."
So get ready to dive your eyes closed in this endless river. But know that the adventure is well and truly over. Pink Floyd puts an end to its elegant career on November 10 with the release of the disc. To the delight of the fans. And their greatest sadness too.
"The Endless River" (Emi / Warner), released on November 10
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