The Endless River isn’t an album of new Pink Floyd material per se, but rather a reimagining of jams recorded in 1993 during The Division Bell sessions.
Keeping the original keyboards, the record is something of a tribute to Rick Wright, who passed away in 2008. His playing is as stripped-back and haunting as ever, with spaced-out organ riffs that float and hover and land with the weight of falling mountains when he finally changes chords.
And then there’s David Gilmour’s guitar. His playing towers over the record, as it’s done, really, since he replaced Syd Barrett in the band. His guitar remains the melodic heart of Pink Floyd, ensuring The Endless River isn’t diminished by its largely instrumental nature.
In a way it’s fitting that the final Pink Floyd album, save for the closer, Louder Than Words, is without vocals. Like the changing faces of the moon, it marks the final phase of a band whose entire career has been marked by transformation – from the pop-psychedelia of the Barrett years, through to the grandiose space-rock storytelling of Roger Waters, through to the Gilmour-led later years.
If The Endless River really is the end, it’s an absolutely fitting finale for one of the greatest bands of all time.