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David Gilmour - About Face  CD (album) cover

ABOUT FACE

David Gilmour

 

Prog Related

2.81 | 182 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Which one's Pink?

An enjoyable if unremarkable solo outing by Gilmour. Although released in 1984, this was the second and last (to date) album to bear his name alone. When the album was recorded, Pink Floyd looked like a spent force, "The final cut" had been out for some time, and Waters had departed. "A momentary lapse of reason" was not even a glimpse in Gilmour's eye, so the reasonable assumption was that "About face" indicated the future for Gilmour was in a solo career.

It is slightly disappointing therefore to find that he remains largely within his Floydian comfort zone. Many of the sounds and styles which distinguished Pink Floyd from the pack are rehashed in one form or other, but with the material being generally weaker the album has the feel of an inferior work by the band. Given the magnificence of their product, that still leaves plenty of latitude for this album to please, and many of the tracks do so.

There's a tendency to over use the quiet intro, building middle, and big sounding instrumental ending. The up side is that Gilmour's guitar work is allowed more space than he latterly got with PF. The use of a brass section on "Blue light" is for me misguided, offering worrying hints of Gilmour heading down a Phil Collins path. He also explores a pop feel on "All lovers are deranged", perhaps in part due to the Pete Townsend penned lyrics.

The closing section of the album is the highlight. "Let's get metaphysical" is a sort of cross between "Atom heart mother" and "Shine on you crazy diamond", complete with the National Philharmonic Orchestra. It passes seamlessly into "Near the end", in fact the two tracks could easily have been combined into a single 10 minute masterpiece.

The guest list on the album reflects Gilmour's stature, as it includes Jon Lord, Bob Ezrin, Steve Winwood, and Roy Harper ("Have a cigar!").

An album well worth exploring for Pink Floyd and Gilmour fans, as long as you don't set your expectations too high.

(Gilmour's recent live DVD release which focuses almost entirely on reworkings of Pink Floyd material, is highly recommended.)

Easy Livin | 3/5 |

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