So there it is, the new Pinkloyd studio album. The first in twenty years. What do you say to a researcher who has been believed dead for twenty years, who suddenly returns from the ice? "Nice to have you back," huh? All right, well, good to have Pink Floyd back. At least for a moment - for the last time. "The Endless River" consists of extended outtakes which David Gilmour, Nick Mason and Rick Wright recorded for the album "The Division Bell" in 1993, but did not use. The band had initially planned to release it as a double album: a part with vocal pieces, a part with instrumentals. The instrumental part first fell victim to time pressure, then to disinterest and finally to oblivion. "The Endless River" is a tribute to Wright, who died in 2008. As seldom before, his keyboards are in focus: the slightly jazzy piano, the subtle synth surfaces and also the Farfisa organ. Accordingly, the album has become a largely instrumental one - of the 18 tracks grouped into four suites, only one is vocal. This means that there are more guitar solos than ever before on a Floyd album. Gilmour presents itself in top form. "Sum" is the essence of the band. "It's What We Do" could well have been recorded on the British Winter Tour '74. In "Skins" Mason reminds of "A Saucerful Of Secrets" - what a welcome psychedelic surprise! The four tracks "Allons-y (1)", "Autumn '68" (with a church organ solo from 1968), "Allons-y (2)" and "Talkin' Hawkin'" (which is based on "Keep Talking") together make a sensational longtrack. Especially in "Allons-y (2)" Gilmour proves once more that he knows how to enchant like no other with few notes. And the band proves with "Calling" that they are still capable of a world class intro of the quality brand "Echoes", "Time" or "Sheep". Some fragments remain meaningless, the too lovely "anisina" is even a disturbing factor. "Louder Than Words" - the song with vocals - initially appears as a foreign body, but actually fits exactly into the overall sound. The 5.1 mix on DVD/Blu-ray makes the sound even more vivid. The bonus tracks of the '93 sessions have only documentary character, they are unchanged. Pink Floyd don't plagiarize themselves. Surely they quote themselves in some passages. But if you weren't allowed to, 99 percent of all bands would have had to stop after the first album. "The Endless River is neither embarrassing nor disappointing. It's far too good to live a shadowy existence on an outtakes bonus CD of the anniversary edition of "Division Bell". It's worthy of a Floyd album.
Top track: Sum