I cannot claim to be a Pink Floyd fan. Yes I like their music and appreciate it. Yes ‘Comfortably Numb’ has one of the greatest solos ever. But I still cannot profess to be a fan of theirs. Which made me wonder why I was looking forward to their new material with such anticipation. ‘Louder Than Words’ made me realize why.
Released on 14th October, ‘Louder Than Words’ is the first release in promotion of Pink Floyd’s upcoming album The Endless River. The album was recorded at Astoria, David Gilmour’s houseboat recording studio and the band have had to use slightly smaller amps due to that, which gives the sound a unique quality. It starts with a very trippy clean intro as the piano fades in. Then the whole band comes in as David Gilmour sings a fond goodbye to deceased Pink Floyd member Richard Wright. As Gilmour revealed in an interview recently, the only way he knew how to express his feelings were through music and this song is a great tribute. Some might call it a “stock” Floyd song but that does great injustice to the song. The amount of layers and detailing in the song is just staggering. The arrangements are done perfectly and Pink Floyd prove that they are masters of song writing.
The song does have some similarities in structure and arrangement with a lot of other Pink Floyd songs. But that does not detract from the beauty of the song as Gilmour’s characteristic guitar fills are smooth as ever. The soaring backing vocals, the string sections, the piano licks are all vintage Pink Floyd.
The song also features electronic string quartet Escala. The group provide a beautiful textured feel to the song. You could say Pink Floyd stick to their strengths here as they thrive while playing with orchestras and symphonies. But it gives the song another aural dimension and adds to the fullness of the sound. That counters for the absence of Roger Waters and allays all fears people might have had about the band’s ability to put out music of the highest quality without him. The drums are classic Pink Floyd. David Gilmour shows us his bluesy roots and closes out the song with a warm solo.
Fans of the band will not be disappointed by the song. Overall, ‘Louder Than Words’ is a very good song by a great band. Pink Floyd do not reinvent the wheel but they do not need to as they stick to their strengths here and give us over four and a half minutes of briliantly layered 70’s psychedelic music. It is just sad to know that this will be their last album.
You can check out the song here