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David Gilmour - David Gilmour CD (album) cover


David Gilmour


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3.49 | 303 ratings

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3 stars After Pink Floyd had finished flogging their mammoth Animals tour around North America in 1977, each member went off to 'do their own thing' - while waiting for Roger Waters to come up with the group's next blockbuster both Gilmour and Wright recorded debut solo albums. Gilmour's eponymous effort was recorded in February 1978 at Super Bear Studios (Nice, France) and released in May the same year. For a core band he went back to his past, to two people who had played with him in his mid-60s band Jokers Wild: Rick Wills (bass) and Willie Wilson (drums). Gilmour handled all other instrumentation except for some piano on one track by Mick Weaver.

This is instantly recognizable as a David Gilmour album - it simply couldn't be anything else. His silky vocal chords and fluid guitar ooze out of every bar, smothering the album in a warm glow. Unlike his most recent solo album [On An Island], this is very much a rock setting, contemporary with his classic material on The Wall. It has much the same overall sound and feel - smooth and mellow but with a good solid rhythm section. Indeed, these guys sound as if they belong together, which makes you wonder "what if ...."

Two things let the side down a little. There is not enough variety or contrast - songs are generally mid paced, easy on the ear, easy-going, laid-back .... you get the idea! It flows along in the same mood all the way through and really needs some other front-person [eg a strong keyboard player] to provide a counter-point, something to jolt the listener from time to time. Perhaps, too, to add some textures alien to Gilmour's natural relaxed tendencies.

The other complaint has to be the song-writing. Sadly, this is an area where Gilmour does not excel. Five of these songs are written by Gilmour (two in collaboration) and none would win any prizes: Short And Sweet and I Can't Breathe Anymore are quite good, but the other three are saved by arrangements and guitar playing. Of course, some might argue that this album is all about The Guitar, and it is true his unique guitar work is its main voice. Aside from three instrumentals, you generally get the feeling that songs are there solely to provide a foundation for the next guitar solo.

By far the best song on the album, by a large margin, is There's No Way Out Of Here, written by Ken Baker of Unicorn, which has all the hallmarks of a classic Floyd song including some nice organ touches. That would be an automatic choice for a home-made compilation. Of the others, Short And Sweet is also quite Floydian with some great guitar work and I like the way his chorus-guitar follows the vocal. No Way and Cry From The Street are slowish bluesy numbers with excellent arrangements but average songs. So Far Away is an underwhelming soft rock number with a welcome lift into a chorus, while I Can't Breathe Anymore is a slow song blessed with a noisy guitar workout in the coda. The remaining three tracks are instrumentals.

You may have noticed I am not glowing with enthusiasm for this album and it is true I find it too heavily dependant on That Guitar. While I love his guitar style, I prefer my music to be more structured. For me then, this album is one excellent song amidst an otherwise pleasant easy-listening experience in a soft-rock idiom - clearly 3 stars. BUT .... for Gilmour loving guitar buffs I would suggest this album is absolutely essential.

Joolz | 3/5 |


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