Ok the first but equal...for me one of the best Pink Floyd Albums...ok mostly instrumental but when you have a closer look into the arrangements after a few rotations...then you will hear what Pink Floyd Albums are made for..not for the first impression but for the complete conception and that's the case here.
To make the thing for us QQ 's complete is the very good surround mix of Andy Jackson..nothing gimmicky but solid.
Just gave this a first spin tonight and my initial impressions are as follows:
1. This is one of those rare releases where the consumer actually gets a great deal for their $$
2. Great packaging on the CD+Blu-ray set
3. The music itself is very agreeable...soundscapes is the way I would put it....I would have preferred more vocals, but hey, I'm still very happy with it
4. Great surround mix, not agressive, but sublime...as with The Division Bell.
All in all, a very easy 9 for me...would have been a 10 if there had been more vocals
My intitial reactions are based off of the 5.1 LPCM from the blu-ray. I'm too fresh to the music and too buzzed to vote now, but my intitial reactions are:
The music: As mellow as I expected, but not as exciting as I had hoped for. Some parts almost seemed like a ripoff/caricature of some stuff from Animals, Wish You Were Here, The Wall, etc.
The surround mix: The LFE and some keyboard effects were very prominent, while the kick drum and bass guitar were much more reserved. The song with Guy Pratt on bass is the only one that seemed to have any real solid texture on the bass guitar in the mix to me. The drums seemed to be very not upfront in the mix to me, almost like they were too quiet and coming from another room throughout most of the album. I noticed that someone else said the sax/clarinet seemed to come out of nowhere too abrubtly. I think this is because this is a very 4.0 centric mix with ocasional 5.1 flourishes, which made the center channel info too unexpected. In my opinion, either use the center channel, or don't. It's a bit unsettling to hear it kick in out of nowhere. The surrounds: Very little activity, but some interesting stuff. Not really that immersive in this aspect.
Overall, I was highly intrigued by this album, amazed to get to listen to it in 5.1 hi-def for the very first time, felt a loose jam-band feeling on some of the songs that I really dug, and feel very compelled to listen to it again very soon, but I have to admit that it wasn't quite the absolute mind blowing revelation that I had hoped (not expected) for.
I gave it a very warm and loving 8. I'm very glad they put it out as I've always wondered what else came out of the 1993 studio sessions. I don't love all of it, but I like a lot of it. The surround mix is just fine, but not my all time favorite. It's growing on me, so it may slowly rise to a 9.
Yes I heard it a lot the last days to get into it.
I really like the fact, that there is an album to honor Rick Wright.
I always liked his sounds and moods. Great musician.
Also the content of that release is very overwhelming and I'm glad I had not to buy a big box set to be able to have it.
But...when I stand in front of my Pink Floyd space and have to decide to hear an album this will be the last one to pick for me.
I don't like a snippet-album, where the involved people had headaches to puzzle it together.
Yes, it is Pink Floyd what I hear, but an album full of layouts and reminiscences.
I think I'm going to wait a bit until I let it 'mature' a bit more... at the moment I want to give it a 7 or 8..the music is good..the mix and production is brilliant..but something still feels 'off' it might be something about it I quite don't get or appreciate yet..
Listened to the CD version a couple of times last night on small speakers and in the car and finally got to listen to the BDA this morning. Sounds wonderful on the surround system and like classic PF to me. Maybe I'm too generous with the 10s but love it!
I'm settling on an 8 for this one... Here's an updated version of what I wrote on the album's thread:
It's funny. The first time I listened to this, I had just spent around a week hooked on the new Lichtmond and I don't know, I just felt like TER couldn't hold a candle to it.
I have since listened to TER several more times, in stereo at first and then in 5.1, and I like it quite a bit now. Pretty much as I expected, it took some time to sink in. I had to first accept that this isn't really a "Pink Floyd" album per se, but rather an ambient/chillout album made by the Pink Floyd members.
Going back to the comparison (and off-track) for a moment: so Lichtmond is basically Enigma infused with Pink Floyd, prog rock, spoken word and world music. And it's mind-blowing 5.1. Among the best 5.1 I've heard. You could say it's the next level. It's modern, innovative, exciting, pushing towards new horizons (all subjective, of course).
In a way, I feel that chillout music and also prog rock have come a really long way and there are some brilliant artists out there right now, case in point, Lichtmond and Ambra in the chillout corner or RPWL, Porcupine Tree in the Floydian prog rock camp. Now, these guys wouldn't do their amazing music if it hadn't been for Pink Floyd in the first place. But then again, they kinda picked it up where Pink Floyd left off and the genres have evolved into some really interesting directions. The new Pink Floyd, on the other hand, isn't particularly exciting or innovative (never claimed to be).
Instead, it's, you know, more classic Pink Floyd bits. Cozy, tried and true.
It might sound like apples and oranges, but I guess I'm inclined to compare TER and Lichtmond 3 right now because they just happened to coincide on my radar, and they're both big events in my musical world.
Anyway, just speaking Floyd-wise. This album is a grower, as I said, but I think it will grow to be a cherished disc in my collection. The 5.1 strikes me as tame, but again, that's because I've been listening to the all-out surround assault of Lichtmond 3, and I guess I'm a bit spoiled now. I think the TER mix works quite well in its subtle quality, it's discrete and enveloping and I get the impression Jackson went for more center channel usage here than on The Division Bell.
So yeah, just some random thoughts to share with you guys. It's a keeper for sure, but it needs time to sink in and you need to be in a classic Pink Floyd mood.
On another note, I'm bugged by the scarcity of sound effects on The Endless River, which feature heavily on pretty much every other Pink Floyd album. From footsteps through "the machine" to bells to voices, rockets, a row boat, slamming doors... Pink Floyd was massively cinematic. This album has only a few effects here and there... A bunch of dolphins, birds, recycled bells from Summer 68 and we're almost done.
Music is an 8, mix is an 8. Sonics would be a 10, but I'm not raising the score because of something that was to be expected. So here we go: 8.
Not ambient at all - but very instrumental. If you think vocals make the song, find something else to listen to.
If you think that the music is more important then the poetry, however...
The is definitely not typical Pink Floyd fare. I have every studio album - some in several forms.
- It is subdued...but it is not ambient. I think a lot of folks equate "ambient" with "not rocking instrumental". That's a load of hooey. This album shifts too often and too quickly to be ambient.
- It is far more coherent than many of the reviews would lead you to believe. Listen from end-to-end and make sure if you rip it first to play it gapless. My guess is that reviewers who perceived it as a "mess of unrelated musical ideas" did two things: 1) Read about HOW the music was made and decided it was "smart" to let that knowledge provide a lot of their personal interpretation (after all, expectations shape perception to some degree), and 2) They did NOT listen end-to-end.
- Actually - the one flaw in coherence IS the one vocal track.
- This album is clearly, at least in part, a tribute to the late Richard Wright. FANTASTIC. That's as it should be. Keyboards are front and center on this one. Guitars are subdued - but still signature DG.
Surround mix is very front-focused. Pads are extended to the surround channels to widen the soundstage, and a few discrete parts are sent to the surround - but most of this mix is in front. It very much gives you the "U" shaped, immersive soundstage that so many surround nuts like.
8 from me, music is superb, love this more than Division Bell.
The 5.1 mix is ok but sounds a bit safe, I was excited to hear the drum solo song 'Skins' in 5.1 but was a bit let down by its lack of use of the 5 speakers available. I'm one of those 5.1 lovers who prefers active 5.1 music, flying around the speakers when it suits the music.
I'm not going to rate this now after 2 listens but if I would it would get a 7...and if Polly Samson didn't suggest the inclusion of some words(vocals)it would have been a 6. Even though I knew what to expect...to some degree...from comments on this board.... I was still surprised how it felt like THE ENDLESS INSTRUMENTAL...and not THE ENDLESS RIVER....rivers flow...instrumentals just exist...not trying to be harsh here but I now understand why this album gets such a wide range of opinions...you either love it or hate it....I think there is middle ground here...I think it's good for what it is(a patchwork of sounds)but is this enough....well the detractors are going to say that it's glorified elevator music and much too bland... and the ones who love it will say it's still Pink Floyd and they love hearing Richard Wright's contribution
After 2 straight listens to ER I put in the Division Bell DVD and it sounded SO much better than ER....if anything ER has made me appreciate Division Bell even more...I'll give ER more time and more listens but I doubt my mind will change very much...it needs more vocals and more listens isn't going to fix that...
While the sound quality/mix is good enough, I can't get into this one. As one who thought that Water's great lyrics is one of the best aspects of Pink Floyd music, this just doesn't seem like a PF album to me. Even though I never really thought they were the same without him, and AMLOR is their one album I don't even own any more, I did enjoy The Division Bell for what it was. And I like it even more now that I have the 5.1 dvd. But I always thought of it sort of like I do the Trevor Rabin Yes albums. OK, but not the same as the classic lineup. More like Gilmour solo albums. But this one doesn't even do that for me. Everything keeps sounding like it should be an into to something more - an actual song. But of course their isn't one until the dreadful Louder Than Words that has to be the weakest lyrics of any Floyd song ever. Right now I can't imagine ever really reaching for this one again, but I'll probably pull it out again in a month or two to give it another shot and see if it happens to click at that point.
Definitely recommended more for those that enjoy the Pink Floyd "sound" instead of the lyrics/message of the earlier albums with Roger Water's contributions.
I like the album , It has to be listend to as a whole, and not picked at as the best Floyd albums do.
Do I care its mainly instrumental not one bit Its quite a brave move and one which could ahve been a car crash but has turned out to be a wonderfully relaxing album, and I think worthy of repeated listening.
I've run out of my quota of 10s for the year, so this will have to be a '9'.
Main reason is the lack of vocals and lyrics, and the fact that there are just better surround mixes released this year that are more deserving of a '10'.
That said, fidelity is quite remarkable, and I enjoy a lot of the music. I can imagine I will come to love this album even more the more I hear it, as I already have a much more favorable opinion on the second full listen.
Don't be put off from getting this release simply due to the lack of vocals and lyrics. It really is quite a very good album, even though it doesn't quite measure up to the rest of their catalogue (particularly "Dark Side", "Wish You Were Here", "The Wall", "Division Bell", etc)
Plus since this is a new release in high-res surround that you don't have to pay with an arm and a leg for it, it's imperative that it be bought to help sales increase, giving us even more of a chance for more surround releases.
One final note, I'm really enjoying some of the extra videos quite a lot.
i did a first listen earlier this week. on the surface it did seem a bit dis-jointed like it was several unrelated ideas strung together. there were some bright moments namely nervana and allons-y.
yesterday i got into the mood and put the album on for a full on serious listening. it made all the difference. the album definitely took on more of the jamming quality present in earlier floyd history. yes there is plenty of division bell nuance to the music as it was recorded at that time. however, after the full listening there are a bunch of nuances that date back to animals and even way back to meddle era. the album has plenty of strong moments, it is a shame it took 20 years to see the light of day. ricks contribution to the album is immeasurable.
I'll keep my write up short as a lot has already been said.
This little box is a small but perfectly formed gem. For £19.99 you get a nice sturdy box with 3 cards, a small hardback book and the two discs. The book is nothing more than a "deluxe" presentation of the liner notes and nothing of any great substance. My only recommendation would be that there might have been a small write up from David & Nick on how this album was conceived and a bit of a tribute to Richard. However, it's a nice little read when listening to the work.
But for me, it's the audio content that shines, as expected. From a compositional point of view, there is nothing ground-breaking here, being fairly typical Pink Floyd. If I had heard this "blind", I'd have been in no doubt who this was. That said, the music is very lush and instantly familiar and comfortable. Some neat little surprises and some wonderful soundscapes and the 5.1 mix is subtle yet incredibly sympathetic to the music.
Yet again, a label that doesn't make a huge song and dance about hi-res Blu Ray releases shows Universal and their lacklustre HFPA range how it should be done by delivering not only a hi-res 2.0 and 5.1 mix but also the added content, including the visual stuff. When will UMG realise that people simply won't fall for the trick of taking the standard album and lazily offering nothing more than a (supposedly) hi-res stereo version? And great to see this being released along with all the other formats on day one.
I was imagining that I'd be giving this an 8 at best, thinking that musically this might feel half arsed, but actually, it has been an absolute delight in every respect.