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David Gilmour - About Face CD (album) cover


David Gilmour


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2.84 | 276 ratings

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2 stars Faceless

Just like The Beatles, the individual members of Pink Floyd would never capture their band magic within the confines of some pretty weak solo albums (in which I include the Waters-less "Floyd" albums.) Gilmour was no exception on "About Face" which is his weakest effort. David Gilmour is a great guitarist and vocalist but he is not a great or prolific composer. He admits to songwriting laziness during the Floyd years which is the reason Waters had to assume the dictatorial role, for the fact is, were the Floyd left to the work habits of the other three, nothing post-Dark Side would ever have been accomplished. Once Pink Floyd ended with the release of The Final Cut, both principal members would release a series of weak solo albums (Pro and Cons, Radio Kaos, About Face, Momentary Lapse, and Division Bell) until finally Dave returned to form somewhat with "On an Island" decades alter.

"About Face" is an album which Gilmour himself is not thrilled with, noting "Looking back on it, it has some great moments on there but the whole flavour of it is too '80s for my current tastes." The period production is one hampering factor but my problem is mostly with the passionless "studio musician" like performances and predictable songwriting. Despite the beautiful simplicity and development in a track like "Murder" there is very little meat on the bone here. Mostly we get things like the dreadful "All Lovers are Deranged" consisting of faceless hard rock and clichéd 80s guitar squeals. It's almost hard to comprehend songs like "Cruise" and "Blue Light" coming from the musical force that contributed to the 70s Floyd albums. No I don't expect Gilmour to repeat himself over and over, but I would expect much more from a legendary musician with his talent and access to studio time. Even the dramatic instrumental "Let's Get Metaphysical" simply bores one to tears with its packaged feel and lack of purpose. If these are the best recordings Waters and Gilmour were capable of in the 1980s, I can understand why the decade gets so little respect. The album fluctuates between the harder rocking tracks and the gentler material like the soothing "Out of the Blue" which ends side one on an up note. But it is striking to hear the fall of artists who made such amazing and provocative music wallowing in these cookie cutter 80s rock tracks from this era, where in God's name did the passion and bite go? Just briefly compare "Dogs" in your head with "All Lovers are Deranged"---that not just an artist changing and growing my friends, that's an artist on autopilot or one with little else to say. As Dave mentions above, there are just enough little moments here and there to earn 2 stars but just barely in my opinion. I can't recommend "About Face" to anyone.

Finnforest | 2/5 |


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