Pink Floyd’s albums have always been related to a rich history of beautiful artwork and their latest release, The Endless River, is no exception.
The cover image for their 15th and final studio album was created in October 2013 by 18-year-old Egyptian teenager, Ahmed Emad Eldin, whose work was discovered online by the Hipgnosis design studio co-founder, Aubrey Powell.
Although The Endless River’s artwork may depict similar traits to their traditional Pink Pantheon album covers, its gnarly image reminds us that this comes from new talent with a fresh perspective on the artistic direction of the band. When interviewed by Vice magazine in October 2014, Eldin recalled creating the particular image “after thinking about the intersection of life, nature, and what is beyond the world - what takes you to new limits.”
Musically, this album has received mixed reviews - perhaps because it is lyric-less. Plus, despite being notably Pink Floyd, it sounds more like a rarities rather than an encore to their successful international rock ‘n’ roll career. It does have some continuity from their previous work; the title Endless River was taken from the last single, The Division Bell, from Pink Floyd's previous album High Hopes.
However, when we look at the album cover and compare it to the sounds within, one does wonder how these both came together in such juxtaposition. There is discordance between the music and the imagery. Yet, lest we forget, it is also Pink Floyd’s first studio album to be produced since the founding member and keyboardist, Richard Wright, died in September 2008. Perhaps this incongruity was intended on a far deeper level to reflect the feelings of the band, but also to show that it was important after such changes that they altered their direction.
The wonderful thing about The Endless River is that when listening to the sounds on continuous play, it all starts to make sense. This album definitely needs a conservative style of listening, rather than single-picking streaming on Spotify, as it is here that you start to realise its cohesive nature. This album is, in many ways, perhaps about connecting the dots, a continuum - a last round to mark their final stop. In other respects though, it is about fresh beginnings and “new limits”.
Words: Dimas Bian