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David Gilmour - On An Island CD (album) cover


David Gilmour


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3.54 | 388 ratings

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3 stars The first comment on this album has to be that it is certainly not anything like a Pink Floyd record. That's okay, I have a few of Gilmour's solo albums, as well as those of several other current and former members, and none of them have that classic Pink Floyd sound in my opinion, so I wasn't really expecting that anyway. The other disclaimer is that this isn't a progressive album by any stretch of the imagination either. And I suppose that's okay too - most of what Gilmour has done solo should be classified as very good adult contemporary for the most part.

But this one is very contemporary, more so than what I was expecting frankly. There are a few tracks that are quite interesting, particularly "This Heaven" with some classic Gilmour vocals and mellow but well-done Hammond by longtime Van Morrison sidekick Georgie Fame, and the almost jazzy "Then I Close My Eyes" instrumental featuring Robert Wyatt on cornet. For the most part though, this seems to be a quiet and tender collaboration between Gilmour and his spouse Polly Samson, who wrote most of the lyrics. And it shows - the words on the six tracks with lyrics are gentle and reflective, steeped in personal interaction and not much like anything Gilmour has really been known for in the past.

Musically Gilmour acquits himself pretty well, with some technically excellent and expressive guitar work throughout, although certainly far removed in intensity from that of his younger days. He also shows his multiple talents with stints on piano ("On An Island", "The Blue", "A Pocketful of Stones"), saxophone ("Red Sky at Night"), harmonica ("Then I Close My Eyes"), and bass ("A Pocketful of Stones"), plus a plethora of Hammond on several tracks.

The guest artists are plentiful and interesting. David Crosby and Graham Nash make an appearance on "On An Island" and combine with Gilmour and Richard Wright to produce a track that has more than a passing resemblance to a Donald Fagen work ala The Nightfly. Phil Manzanera, who has collaborated with Gilmour before, appears on keyboards for several tracks. Former Sly & The Family Stone drummer Andy Newmark appears here, as do acclaimed keyboardist Chris Thomas, Wright's son-in-law bassist Guy Pratt, and Cochise founder B J Cole. It's a name-dropping who's who of 70s scene survivors, and a real testament to the broad circle of friends Gilmour has gained over the years.

But in the end I have to say that this is basically an easy-listening album for the older generation (of which I am quickly becoming a member). I don't regret buying it, and will undoubtedly carry it with me on long road trips to help pass the time, but I doubt if this album will have much more staying power than any of the dozens of similar twilight- years feelgood recordings of other older artists. This is a good album, but certainly not essential, so three stars it is.


ClemofNazareth | 3/5 |


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