Pink Floyd, The Endless River - REVIEW

First let me state my bias, I am a HUGE Pink Floyd fan. I have been listening to them since their very first album came out back in the 60's. I knew before the debut that The Endless River (Called TER from this point on) would only have one vocal track so I am unbothered by what many people have pointed out.

I purchased both the CD and Vinyl from Amazon, and the 24/96 Flac download from HD Tracks. Like I said, a huge fan. My Reference system consists of a Audible Illusions Modulus 3B tube pre, Odyssey Stratos Extreme+++amp, VPI Scout and a ZU/Denon LD103 cartridge. The SUT is by Bob's Devices and Phono cables by VPI. I also used my Esoteric UX-3 player for the cd's. The High Rez files were played through an Asus laptop connected to a Musical Fidelity Musical Link 192 and a Wyred4Sound Dac1. Speakers are Von Schweikert VR-33.

The secondary system consisted of a Rogue Cronus Magnum Integrated, Sony SCD777ES sacd player and Odyssey Kismet Reference floorstanding speakers. I will get to the point why I mentioned the 2 systems in a minute.

TER has a very nice Pink Floyd type of flow through out the album. You know where the album starts and ends as it's all laid out in a logical order. The mostly unassuming and humble Richard Wright shows just how stunning he plays and how essential he is to the Pink Floyd sound. Without him, there would be no Pink Floyd. Many will argue that there hasn't been a real Pink Floyd since Roger Waters left all too many years ago. I won't argue that here.

I hear many familiar sounds from Atom Heart Mother, Meddle, DSOTM, Wish You Were Here and Animals. You have to listen carefully, but the references are definitely there. While this isn't Floyd's best work, it is rather good and a lot better than some of the tripe that passes for music these days. I give it 4 stars.

My reason for mentioning both systems is to show how different they are, but that the music sounded the same regardless of which format or system I played. What I found is that the highs seem very slightly rolled off. I noticed it on my reference system and also on the secondary system. I wonder if others could chime in here and tell me their impressions of that anomaly.

On a personal note, I am happy to hear any new music from Pink Floyd, even if it is more than 20 years old.
Thanks for taking the time to post your impressions, Stereo5. For anyone
wishing to dip their toe in The Endless River, the whole thing appears to be
accessible on Spotify. Of course, if you like it enough, buy it!
Stereo5, thank you for your review. I as you, and a huge PF fan and have the album here but have not had time to relax and listen. Hopefully over the T-day weekend. I will interject ,although not directly related, that "A Momentary Lapse of Reason" is one of my favorites next to WYWH and Meddle. I plan to get the Digital versions as well but waiting due to budget.
I have been needing a PF fix and look forward to resting the needle in the groove. I will mention that Porcupine Tree has been a great gap filler, but there is nothing like the original.
Ghost house, I finally found time to listen to this and found my first impression was very good. I believe this album will be spun a few more times in the near future. I do agree that the references to WYWH are purposeful but well executed with freshness and depth control. I found at the end after all instrumental music, that the vocals seemed a little intrusive to the mental state of mind propagated by the previous tracks. Not that they didn't offer to the album, but I was really liking the music and not missing vocals, and it revealed to me that PF has more dimension than exposed before. I wonder what is on tape from all the other albums. Sequals,...hmm
Theo & Stereo5 - I wasn't going to comment further, but in response to Theo, especially...
I listened to most of side 1 of this 2 disc recording before getting bored with it. No problem with it being largely instrumental...I tend to prefer instrumentals over songs with lyrics. Based on what I heard, Endless River seemed mainly like a musical melange of quotations from previous PF compositions. I thought the weaving together of these various bits was skillful but did not find the larger resulting compositions "inspired" and they ultimately did not hold my interest. When in the proper mood, I'll definitely go back and give it another shot. My 2 cents only. Glad you are enjoying it.
Not the very best of "The Pink Floyd" but very listenable. It's similar to Division Bell. If you liked that one you like this one.
I originally thought that I would not like TER because of it's lack of lyrics, however I realized what I loved most about PF was the extended spaces void of lyrics. The more I listen to TER, the more I like it.

If you are a Floyd fan, then you absolutely should buy it. There are certainly glimpses of Floyd albums past, but somehow it seems completely fresh to me because there are no lyrics.

Autumn '68 is simply haunting and my current favorite track, however the entire album simply works. Highly recommended.