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David Gilmour - About Face CD (album) cover


David Gilmour


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2.86 | 300 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars If you are looking for straight, solid rock-and-roll, this is the ticket...but it really isn't prog, and from that standpoint, I only recommend it to PINK FLOYD fans looking to complete their collections. Like its predecessor, David GILMOUR's self-titled album, this album is very much a reflection of the time in which it was crafted. While some consider the 80s factor a detriment, I am not bothered by the mere fact of the time in which it was created.

The listener should expect excellent guitar work up to GILMOUR's usual high standards, with his alternately subtle and flashy stylings. It is clear that GILMOUR is pouring his soul into his guitar, such as in "Let's Get Metaphysical". However, that same song highlights the factor that costs the album...other than in the guitar work, innovation and subtlety are a bit lacking. The orchestra, while pleasant-sounding, does not present any challenge to the listener's ear. The image that comes to mind is of the sort of thing that might be played along with a figure-skating exhibition--pleasant enough, but not the sort of thing that requires you stop everything, close your eyes, and think solely of the music. None of the chord structures or arrangements on this album are at all complex or unexpected--very standard, and there are no departures into the strange aural soundscapes one associates with PINK seems very likely, in light of this, of his own solo output, that this was more the doing of Richard WRIGHT, rather than David GILMOUR. If you're seeking something a bit more avant garde, or musically challenging, that's probably the better way to go--get Broken China and Wet Dream instead.

Some of the album's lyrics are good--of the calibre of GILMOUR's FLOYD compositions "Sorrow" and "Coming Back to Life". Perhaps the best examples are "Near the End", "Out of the Blue", and "Murder". "Blue Light" is also good--in a whimsical sense. However, some other songs in my opinion either don't try enough ("Until We Sleep"--which basically consists of an Epicurean "Live for today, gone tomorrow, that's me!" attitude) or try TOO hard ("Cruise", apparently an ode to an MX nuclear-tipped cruise missile). If you seek something more lyrically challenging, I suggest exploring the works of Roger WATERS. If you want that, and still place a fairly high premium on guitar work, the best choice for you would be Amused to Death, which features Jeff Beck on lead guitar.

As a straight pop-rock album, About Face does stand above most rock productions, given GILMOUR's wonderful guitar talents. This is undeniably a fun listen. However, if you are looking for further substance, either musically or lyrically, you may find that this effort comes up short--and you may do better to explore the work of the RW's. I don't know that this is something that will satisfy a true proghead.

FloydWright | 2/5 |


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