While Pink Floyd’s The Endless River may have just unseated boy band One Direction’s Midnight Memories as the most pre-ordered album in Amazon’s history, their new album is far from receiving critical acclaim.
While the Guardian‘s Alexis Petridis takes his time to discuss the various influences that can be heard from different eras of Pink Floyd’s history, but is also very clear:
“You listen to something like Anisina and think: this is very nice, but would it have killed you to work it up into a song?”
The Endless River is an album compiled from outtakes from the studio sessions around Division Bell, which was the band’s second album after the departure of Roger Waters. Most reviewers, therefore, agree that it’s not surprising that the album sounds like something listeners may have heard before — in one way or another, they probably have. Astute listeners will catch musical references to Animals, Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, and even Summer ’68 on Atom Mother. What varies is the reaction to the similarities. After all, most fans of Pink Floyd assumed that the story of the band ended in 2005 with an incredibly awkward group hug in Hyde Park.
The best thing about The Endless River is that I can quietly snuff out and bury my one-time claim of having purchased every Pink Floyd album
— Aaron (@zincoinc) November 7, 2014
The Daily Mail‘s Adrian Thrills was more positive overall about the album.
“There are meandering passages, atmospheric solos and — in the tradition of all good prog-rock bands — an overlong drum solo and a gong… But with the group’s old fire long extinguished, this is chill-out music for adults.”
And Michael Gallucci at Ultimate Classic Rock was on point, as well.
“If it sounds like a collection of old outtakes at times, that’s the point. And if it has more in common with the band’s post-Syd Barrett, pre-superstardom records than the mid-’70s epics that turned on millions of headphones-wielding fans, that’s sorta the point, too.”
The album does feature the keyboard work of Richard Wright, who died of cancer in 2008. All of the tracks on the album but the last are instrumentals. Many reviewers are calling it a footnote to the band’s storied history, but not always with the implied derision that the comment would usually entail. After all, with only two of the band’s original members left, David Gilmore and Nick Mason, one has to question at what point it becomes nonsensical to hit the studio and make new music while still calling it the work of Pink Floyd.
Andy Gill at the Independent may do the best job at summing up the feelings on this new release from a band like Pink Floyd.
“Ah, now I remember why punk had to happen.”