The problem with the final album in any band’s catalog is that it is the band’s final album. Which approach should the band take – try something new and push boundaries, or write classic songs that will please the fans? Pink Floyd seem to have found a balance with their new single “Side 3, Pt. 4: Allons-y (1)” from their album The Endless River.
Like its weird-in-a-cool-manner title suggests, the song is the 4th track from the 3rd section of their album. The title means “let’s go” in French and it is an apt name for the song.The single can be thought of more as a crisp preview to their album as it is just 1 minute 57 seconds long. From the first note onwards, you realize this is a song you will like because you can almost anticipate what it is leading up to. Written in the style of their short instrumentals from The Wall, the song starts off with a muted single note pattern being played over ambient music. As the whole band kicks in, Pink Floyd’s multiple layering of tracks comes to the fore. The song contains mainly solos played over a solid rhythm that is tight yet psychedelic in classic Pink Floyd fashion.
The song has a bluesy solo at the start which then leads up to sliding guitar wails and a string instrument section. It has a very coherent and layered feel to it and you hear something new every time you listen to the track, whether it is a soft harmonic note on the guitar or an intricate drum fill. The song has a driving melody that plays more or less throughout the song. Needless to say, the song is arranged perfectly. The song creates a very space-y/psychedelic atmosphere that has impressive transitions from soothing to soaring to transient. Like always, the instruments are tracked well and the production is good.
The song has no vocals, not even spoken words, with David Gilmour having already revealed that the album would be 95% instrumental. My only problem with the song would be that it is too short, but that just goes to show how well Pink Floyd have done if that is my only problem. Even though the song contains all the elements of a classic Pink Floyd song, it somehow also feels different and that can be attributed to the absence of Roger Waters. It does not make the song better or worse, but does make it different.
As a preview to the album, the song succeeds in giving fans some new music and also serves as a good promo for their album. If the first 2 singles are any indication, the album could turn out be one of the albums of the year. And that would certainly not be a bad way for a band to close out its career.