"Endless River" Album Cover

“Endless River” Album Cover

By Gabe Wanissian, Sports Editor

Uninventive, insincere, and tasteless: these  are the words that come to mind when listening to Pink Floyd’s 15th and, thankfully, final album, The Endless River. Described to be both part “Swan Song,” and part tribute to the late bandmate Richard Wright, River fails to live up to such a noble cause by every measurable aspect.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise however, the “new material” essentially contained leftover recordings from the 20-year-old album The Division Bell, that were “modernized” and  “re-imagined” by the band.

Problem is, the ‘80s-’90s Floydian music that excluded former frontman Roger Waters is considered by many to be their weakest efforts; good seasoning on rancid food doesn’t make it taste any better.

However, to say that zero enjoyment can be found from the album would be a false statement. Tracks such as “It’s What We Do” and “Anisina” sound eerily similar to Floyd classics such as “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” and “Us And Them,” respectively.

The songs make for good listens, as the tracks they attempt to emulate are masterpieces in their own right, but the short felt nostalgia quickly turns into a “been there, done that” soundscape.

Actual songs are few and far between, as the record is littered with interlude tracks, such as “Ebb and Flow,” that sound like generic New Agey ambience that is fit for a yoga studio more than it is a progressive rock album.

Some compositions (see “Allons-y”) could pass for an iMovie background tune for a college student’s Media class presentation project; it is this lifeless, uninspiring songwriting that can also be seen in the album’s only lyric containing song, “Louder Than Words.”

Containing bits such as, “We bitch and we fight/Diss each other on sight,” the lyrics are a far cry compared to the moving social commentary found in early Darkside-era Floyd.

Endless River reaches the unforgivable point of no return on the track “Talkin’ Hawkin’” when Stephen Hawking (yes, the physicist) makes an unnecessary cameo to deliver a spoken word that will surely go down as the most cringeworthy musical moment of the past millenium.

It is with this pompous and “because we can” exuding track that it becomes painfully clear, the legendary Pink Floyd has nothing more to offer to the world. That in of itself is not the problem- all of the greats eventually fade off into the sunset. However, when a band declares their final album to be a tribute to a deceased band member, the least one could have expected was a little heart and soul behind the project.

Endless River ends up being stagnant swamp water passed through a brita filter; it’s still undrinkable.