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Pink Floyd – Endless River

December 14, 2014

Pink_Floyd_-_The_Endless_River_(Artwork)

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As inconsequential as this release is – mere extra material from 1993’s Division Bell sessions – I love this album and it will make my “best of 2014.”

Division Bell, and the live follow-up Pulse, have a special place in my heart.  I was really into those two albums when they came out and I had the opportunity to see Pink Floyd perform in the summer of 1994 at Minneapolis’ Metrodome (the only concert I ever saw at The Dome that sounded good).   I used to drag my old PA speakers out in the backyard on summer afternoon and listen to Division Bell and Pulse and smoke a cigar.

Since Endless River came out this fall I have been listening to it on Spotify.  I bought the Blu-ray edition (for $36), but promptly returned it to fund the latest Wilco release.  It just seemed too much to pay for such a throw away album.  But the damn thing kept haunting me and I just had to have it.   I recently repurchased the Blu-ray edition for a mere $26 – it turns out Best Buy will match other retailers – including online retailers like Amazon and Barnes and Noble (this album was available from Barnes and Noble stores for $32 and online for $26) – Best Buy’s regular price was $35!

The album is primarily instrumental and ambient.   it just reeks classic Pink Floyd.  And lets face it, Pink Floyd is one of the greatest rock bands of all time – if they fart it is interesting – and their sound is such great ear candy you could care less how empty the calories are. There is not much to review here, other than to say if you like Pink Floyd ear worms you will like this album.  I almost prefer that it is primarily instrumental.  The one song with vocals is the worst cut on the album (a little to obvious bitch and boast about being Pink Floyd).

This is Pink Floyd lite – the Gilmour version – which is fine with me – I am a sucker for Gilmour’s seagull guitar sound and can live without Roger Waters heavy-handed story telling.  It is the sound not the lyrics that matter with Floyd.

The Blu-ray edition comes with a Blu-ray disc and a CD so this is my big opportunity to test drive a CD vs. a high-resolution stereo PCM (96kHz/24 bit) on my Oppo 105D.  The Blu-ray disc also has some non-album material (which is available on Spotify – pretty cool little jams) and video material (worthless).  The Blu-ray edition also includes an expanded booklet (vs. the CD edition – that means a few more pages and bigger photos) and 3 collector post cards (oh boy – should I mail them to a friend?).

What I am interested in is pure sound – does the high-resolution version sound better than a CD?  Yes it does – but not as much as you would think.  The CD sounds a bit like it has blanket over it, yet at the same time a bit harsh at dynamic moments.  The PCM (96kHz/24 bit) version handles the whisper to a scream dynamics effortless.  There is not the listener’s fatigue you typically have with a CD.  I don’t have vinyl copy of this album to compare to – but the PCM (96kHz/24 bit) version has all that’s great about a vinyl record without the bad (surface noise).  Is it worth twice the CD?  Yes if you really love the album (my new standard is to sample new music on Spotify and if I love it I buy the CD and if am gaga over it I buy the vinyl – now I would consider hi rez).

But what is all about is the music and if you are Floyd fan you will like this and to hear it in studio quality sound on a nice stereo is frankly why you have a nice stereo.

 

 

 

 

 

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