Like The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd have not had the creative fire burning inside of them since the release of The Wall 35 years ago (or in The Stones case parts of Tattoo You, an album of outtakes from a richer period in their history). As Roger Waters indulged his demons on The Final Cut (1983) and then left, the magic was gone long before that album and his exit. The prefunctory A Momentary Lapse Of Reason (1987) and The Division Bell (1994) just served as pleasant revisitations to old haunts where we once built mighty sand castles or had our first kiss or our first joint. To hear these three musicians play together, three uniquely talented originals dreaming away in their oversized suits horrified some and placated others but it’s not really their fault that millions of people wanted any version of them that they could get.
With The Endless River, The Floyd have done nothing more than release some jamming outtakes from The Division Bell sessions from thirty years ago in memory of their sweet friend Rick Wright. Gilmour’s guitar still soars, Nick Mason’s drum rolls still punctuate the songs like no other drummer could and Rick Wright’s keyboards leave beds of mood that glue it all together. This album is a quiet look into their soft and warm relationship serving as a tribute to the loss of their friend to cancer. It’s a mostly instrumental soundtrack album from the point of view of older men reminiscing about their lives from a hammock with a Ferrari parked in the drive way. Let’s thank them for everything they gave us and let them have their last rites in peace with sentimental memories of the good times they had playing together.