Foo Fighters Sonic Highways
If the post-Roger Waters Pink Floyd played like a faint carbon copy, “new” Floyd album The Endless River barely registers a trace of ink. The David Gilmour-led version’s third full-length—and first since 1994’s The Division Bell—was largely conceived during recording sessions for that record, which, though better than predecessor A Momentary Lapse of Reason, was fairly pedestrian in its own right. As a tribute to bandmate Richard Wright, who died in 2008, Gilmour and drummer Nick Mason polished up and augmented the material featuring Wright’s final Floyd contributions, and the results sound predictably recycled.
The spacey “It’s What We Do” plays like a lame “Shine on You Crazy Diamond” rerun, while the pulsating “Allons-y (1)” feels like some Floyd-inspired knockoff group’s stab at “Run Like Hell.” “Sum” builds to some decent energy, as does the drummy “Skins,” but their instrumental ambience, which might have seemed strange and exciting to classic-rock fans in the mid-1990s, feels less than original in 2014, when sounds of these sorts abound.
The rest of the set ranges from forgettable (the vaguely ominous “Night Light”) to positively dreadful (“On Noodle Street,” which basically amounts to hold-music smooth jazz). Wrapping with final cut “Louder Than Words”—the only track featuring full vocals, including the cringeworthy first Gilmour-sung couplet, “We bitch and we fight/Diss each other on sight”—The Endless River serves as a sad footnote to one of rock’s proudest legacies.