Pink Floyd, “Louder Than Words” (2014): Something Else! sneak peek

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If these are, indeed, the concluding sounds from Pink Floyd, the often-fractuous band’s last will and testament, then they have left us with a grace note.

It seems David Gilmour has grown to have a deeper understanding of the things his old band did, and the impact they made. But also, the understated role the late Richard Wright played and, perhaps most importantly, the way that petty arguments with Roger Waters ultimately became a distraction from their legacy.

“Louder Than Words” frames all of that, in an elegiac moment to finish out the forthcoming Endless River — an improbable Pink Floyd return some 20 years after their most recent album.

No, this newfound vista didn’t lead Gilmour back to a meaningful reunion with Waters, who departed in 1985 after summarily firing Wright. That never appeared to be in the cards. But there seems to be an outstretched hand to be found in the lyric, composed with help from Gilmour’s wife Polly Samson. Joined again by Nick Mason, the only figure to have appeared on every Pink Floyd release, Gilmour not only completed a series of long-unheard final Floyd works from Wright — he found some sense of peace (if not absolution) in moving past the band’s ugly split with Waters.

As such, “Louder Than Words” puts to rest old arguments, in a way that even the four-man lineup’s celebrated 2005 reunion for Live 8 couldn’t. Who can forget, really, the quickly departing Gilmour reluctantly turning back to rejoin Waters in the middle of the stage for a final bow? Even then, there didn’t seem to be as much perspective — one that gets right up to the edge, really, of forgiveness — as there is in this final song. Short of actually working together with Waters again, this is the best ending anyone would have hoped for from Pink Floyd.

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has written for USA Today, American Songwriter, All About Jazz, and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the U.S. by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Nick is now associate editor of Ultimate Classic Rock.
Nick DeRiso
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