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David Gilmour - On An Island CD (album) cover


David Gilmour


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3.54 | 389 ratings

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3 stars A solid collection from David Gilmour, 'On An Island' is a far more sculpted and finished work than the straight-forward guitar rock of his first record or the commercial sheen of his second. Each track features a slightly different line-up including pianos, cellos, harmonica, organs, percussion and basses. The session also boasts full orchestral arrangements and a huge cast of players such as Phil Manzanera, Richard Wright and Andy Newmark as well as guests Robert Wyatt, Jools Holland, B J Cole, David Crosby, Graham Nash, Chris Stainton and many others. The booming production leaves nothing to complain about either, and Mr. Gilmour's playing is marvelous as usual-- powerful, emotional and elegant.

A volume swell from Dave's ax starts us off with the pulse of an orchestra right behind, leading to an unsettled introduction that patches together different moods before reaching his guitar. Now-- the man can bend a string like no other, and if you're a guitarist you know how hard what Gilmour does with his hands is; it hurts - like someone pushing a cheese slicer into your fingers as hard as they can - but he makes it all work beautifully, a blues master, a technician of the soul. The title cut is pleasant enough with more good soloing and backup vocals from Crosby and Nash. The feeling is one of a lighter Pink Floyd, something with lift and a bit of whimsy rather than just coldness and dark intellect, even vibrating with that band's early 1970s output on numbers such as dreamy 'The Blue' with Dave on a mean slide guitar. Alienated 'Take a Breath' is on edge with an infectious swing and a play for radio appeal, crazy diamonds of 'Red Sky at Night', clunky blues 'This Heaven', lazy beachwalking in 'Then I Close My Eyes' and 'Smile', and breathy 'Where We Start'. Most of the lyrical and photographic content is centered around Gilmour's personal life and reflections... nothing too challenging, but nice.

This is by no means a great album but it is a very good one, well made, sleepy but strong, and a sure treat for Gilmour lovers.

Atavachron | 3/5 |


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