Pink Floyd Meanders Down an ‘Endless River’ of Greatness

Daniel Russell, Staff Reporter

Twenty years seems like a long time, but time is not relevant to legends. Albums like “Dark Side of the Moon,” “The Wall,” and “Wish You Were Here” etched Pink Floyd’s name in history.

There is no really pinpointing the kind of rock music the band creates. They are considered by a number of labels: psychedelic rock, art rock, and progressive rock — and now, classic rock. The band should not be labeled because every record they have released has brought a different sound.

“Dark Side of the Moon” brings heavy jazz influences, like in the song “Money,” where there is a great saxophone solo that no other rock band would be able to get away with.

The “Wish You Were Here” album’s title track brings a soft acoustic sound that is worked to perfection.

In songs like “Shine on You Crazy Diamond,” the band brings almost an orchestra feel that completely turns and rocks the listeners’ brains out.

The album “The Wall,” is their greatest work. This record is full of face-melting guitar solos and very strong vocals from front man David Gilmour. Having said this, all this music was released before the bassist and vocalist Roger Waters left the band for a solo career. After Waters’ departure, the band became less relevant and started releasing records that have been close to forgotten today.

That was until the band’s 1994 release of “Division Bell,” when the band made their best record since the release of “Animals.”

“Division Bell” seemed to be the band’s farewell studio record. They remained idle, other than a live album, “Pulse,” and a couple of remastered greatest hits records, until last year, when the legends decided to give it another shot with the record “Endless River.”

The “Endless River” sound is almost the same as “Division Bell.” “Endless River” is full of sides and parts of songs that were originally recorded in ’94 during the creation of “Division Bell.” This is not to say the band did not do any recent recording for this record.

They cleaned up and added some amazing sounds that are unique to Pink Floyd. The songs on this album seem to run together without pause. This album could really all be one very long song. They all seem to bring a common theme with synths and a sort of whining guitar that harmonize very well.

In songs like “Side 4, Part 2: Eyes to Pearls” the band brings a very strong movie soundtrack feel that I am not accustomed to hearing from Pink Floyd.

As soon as the first song starts, the sound could be identified as Pink Floyd, but the band does not come in with vocals until the 17th track, “Side 4, Part 3:Surfacing.” Those vocals are not in the form of words. We don’t get the first lyric until the 18th track, “Side 4, Part 4: Louder Than  Words.”

This was disappointing because Gilmour has such a great voice, and the writing they have had in the past is impeccable. The 21st and last track of this album, “Nervana,” is my favorite. This song is dominated by the electric guitar of Gilmour and he shreds it.

It reminds me of the greatness they showed in the past. Maybe I was unrealistic and expected too much of this album. There is no debating, however, that “Endless River” is strong work. Pink Floyd continues to prove that their musical river is endless.