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David Gilmour - On An Island CD (album) cover


David Gilmour

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4 stars Managed to get my hands on this on a Record Fair, two days before its official release in Europe. Of course I had to give it an immediate listen. I write the following as I hear it for the first time. The first impression is the obvious one: this is no Floyd album. Yet it resembles one more than any other Gilmour solo effort, or for that matter, any other solo album from any of the members, apart from maybe good old Syd. There is an obvious resemblance to The Division Bell, when it comes to music. A little more conventional , though. The words, however, are miles away from the last Floyd albums, and closer to Gilmours albums theirselves, but then again, that's why we have solo records in the first place. The second impression is again an obvious one: this is David Gilmour. Apart from is looks, years don't seem to catch up with him. Same capable voice, without dazzling, same exquisite guitar playing. All positive points here. Third impression on this first listen: this in not very proggy. Not that I would expect it to be, but one always has that secret wish that something will tilt. So here I am judging this album on what it is: an easy-listening, moody and pleasent Prog-Related album. It has a bit of later Floyd sound, but a far greater Gilmour presence.

Ok, a second listen, and this time a song-by-song review.

"Castellorizon" - A 4-minute instrumental opener, at first kind of reminescent of "Signs of Life" from AMLOR, but soon followed by symphonic cut-outs and subtle female chorus. Some more weird sounds, and then Dave kicks in with is Strat, accompanied "only" by orchestra, slightly giving way to the second track.

"On an Island" - On firsts listens, the highlight of the album. Gilmour singing, along with chorus by Crosby and Nash, and Richard Wright's Hammond in the back. The whole lot then pipes down to give way for Dave's first solo of the song, which is one of the best I've heard from him since Animals. Another sung section, in the same mood as the first part, coming up to the second and ending solo of the tune. The soloing in this song resembles bits of his first solo album, as well as some Division Bell ones, if Division Bell was made in the seventies. Fade out with Gilmour still doing it.

"The Blue" - Mellow harmonica-driven tune, after the fantastic work in the second song. Quite faithful to its name (Blue), but with some nice "bursts of colour", like a raise in voice and guitar. Somewhere in the middle, Dave begins one of his "dragged", slow solos, but unlike anything heard in Floyd before. High notes on this one, that makes up for almost half of the song.

"Take a breath" - A somewhat gloomy start, like a lost song from "The Wall", but that's just before David begins singing. A nice riff driven song, accompanied by string section that switches in and out with the guitar. A nice, subtle, high pitched guitar solo in the back, with a "phantasmagorical" sound to it, as is the solo, although not as high pitched. A quiet instrumental passage that reminds me of "Echoes" splits the solo, which returns in full strenght and finishes the tune. A very interesting song, and probably the least mellow one on the album.

"Red sky at night" - A small, instrumental piece, where Dave puts down is guitar (just for a while) and tries out the Sax, again with strings in the back. And does quite well, in this athmospheric sounding bit of the album, that immediaty jumps to the next song.

"This Heaven" - A bluesy entry, simmilar to "Have a Cigar" and "What do you want from me", and then an acoustic riff. Excellent singing from Gimour in this one, building the song around it. The almost compulsory Strat makes short appearences before the solo, accompanied by the acoustic riff and string section in the back. Cool bar sound.

"Then I close my eyes" - Weird, weird, weird. Water, oriental sounding guitar, grand piano, acoustic guitar and this completly unidentifiable sound (for me) in the back. Gentle and subtle instrumental which features Robert Wyatt cornet and, well, not exactly vocals, more like a humming.

"Smile" - This one should be familiar to most, if not all Gilmour fans, as it was played during is concerts in 2001, and presented in the DVD "In Concert". Its a nice acoustic love song, which sounds like some early Floyd (Green is the colour, If, Fat Old Sun, A piow of winds). I wasn't that impressed with the song in the DVD, but this studio version is a great improvement.

"A pocketful of stones" - This one starts again with a reminescense of "Signs of Life". After a minute and a half of that, Gilmour sings accompanied only by piano, interluding with small symphonic parts, that merge towards the end, returning again to voice, piano, and ver subtle backgroud guitar, that jumps to front of the stage to end the song in a quite moody solo, quite similar to Queen member Brian May's solo on "Bijou".

"Where we start" - "is where we end". So the song says, although the music is quite different from the opener. But I'm sure that's not what he meant... However, it does end in the more mellow feel that marks the second half of the album (apart from the bluesy "This Heaven"). Organ, guitar, drums is waht you'll hear here, until the orchestra accompanied solo starts. A gentle song to end an overall gentle album, full of "goodbyes".

Quite frankly, in these first listens I didn't pay much attention to the words. But one can see how personal they are. Ok, my judgement. Take this album as it is, a solo effort from one of Progs great heroes (wether he likes it or not). Not Prog-oriented, but still with the same signature that made Floyd what they were. That why I think it deserves 4 stars. Firstly because its a very strong album, by any standarts. Secondly because it will extremely pleasent for any Prog-Head, Floyd lover or not. Maybe Prog-Related, but still an excellent adition to any prog music collection. It will stay on top of mine for a long time.

Report this review (#71228)
Posted Monday, March 6, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars I am sorry but this cd is worth 2.5 stars.It is for sure not a Pink Floyd album and to be honest there are only 2 tracks (on an island & take a breath) who could make it on a PF album.Dont get me wrong I love Pink Floyd (Genesis,Gentle Giant,Yes,ELP) But this is a David Gilmour project and nothing more,it is to quiet,to slow,to.... It has it's moments but not enough for me to give more stars.So after a few spins I found maybe 5 good songs on 10 and I'm generous.So it is not essential to your collection but a good buy for David Gilmour fans.Hurry up Roger Waters and come- back with Pink Floyd. POTS
Report this review (#71388)
Posted Tuesday, March 7, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is a pleasant surprise. I was expecting it to be good, but not this good.

Firstly, it's really not fair to criticise this album for not being like Floyd, because it isn't, and it doesn't try to be. This is David Gilmour doing his own thing, and doing it well.

From the opening instrumental track you get a feel of what the album will be like: beautiful, mellow and extremely evocative. As it progresses we have the sensual vocals of Gilmour washing over his guitar playing, emotional as always. The first four or five tracks are also guitar solo Heaven, Gilmour unleashing his prowess to wonderful effect.

After this the tracks mellow a little, a bluesy style that truly is beautiful. The lyrics are personal and well-written, keeping you hooked until the very end.

There are a couple of moments that bring back memories of Floyd, but these are brief, showing that there is life after Floyd for Gilmour.

This certainly isn't prog, but that should by no means be held against such a great album as this.

Report this review (#71413)
Posted Wednesday, March 8, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Yes this is a David Gilmour project not Pink Floyd. This is the best solo album by ANY PF member including Waters and he has distanced his music from Pink Floyd enough for it to be able to stand up on its own legs. Anyone expecting to hear Pink Floyd should be hesitant about purchasing this album, but anyone who loves David Gilmour and would relish at the idea of hearing an entire album of his solos should not hesitate to check this one out. Gilmour himself pointed out that this album is very "floydy" which is what I first thought when I heard track one, which is the exception in this album. I'm not sure that he tried purposefully to sound floydy, but this album shows the influence he had on Pink Floyd and the influence Pink Floyd had on him. The first track on an island is absolutely superb and would fit properly into a PF album such as Meddle in quality and form. It also includes the distinctive Crosby and Nash performing backup which is a highlight of the album. Robert Wyatt also is in the mix performing a cornet solo, and Gilmour breaks out the sax himself. If Gilmour was your favorite member of Pink Floyd and if you were turned off by the Final Cut, Amused to Death, Momentary Lapse, and Division Bell, you should check this album out. Just don't expect any rockin out, this album came out on Gilmour's 60th and reflects this stage of his life perfectly. For those more interested in purchasing the album, check it out on which features an exclusive look at the making of the album with interviews of the man himself.
Report this review (#71444)
Posted Wednesday, March 8, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars I've waited for this! The reason why is that I'm very fond of the mature side of D.G. I was curious about how this would sound like, and I'm glad to hear that this has an own identity - quite far away from Floyd. It's very soft and laid-back, for my taste it soon gets a little too soft at times. Track 4 "Take a Breath" is one of the "Floyd-ish" tracks (excuse the bad word) in its mood. Another resemblance to Floyd is the mellow saxophones on top of monotonous atmospheric synths (track 5 "Red Sky at Night"). What's then making this own identity? Well, primarily it's the acoustic parts that's making it mark a new direction, or an "own" direction. The guitar play is more blues than space, and it's quite unpretentious compared to what we've gotten used to through the years. If you're hoping for big and astonishing arrangements, you will probably be disappointed. But the way I see it, this feels real and mature, and that's what I was hoping it would be! I think it's refreshing to hear Gilmour do this mellow and undramatic music.

Report this review (#71446)
Posted Wednesday, March 8, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album obviously shows David's wonderful perception of melody, it's very similar to the rest of his solo work in the way that he tries hard to make a well rounded album and a decent set of individual songs.

The thing with this album is that i tend to feel the lyrics might be a bit dodgey. Alot of the time he's talking about his love life and such, walking by the lake feeding swans?!?!! To be honest i don't really care too much to hear about how wonderful his new love might be, yes, i'm happy for him if that is a relationship which is truely wonderful but it really doesn't seem to add to the emotion of the music atall.

There's alot of expressive and interesting guitar work which shows David's ability to really hone his style, again there's no attempt to sound fast or complex, which doesn't exactly show a massive amount of diversity in his playing.

There's the old trademark Gilmour rhythms, they work very well with his style... they seem to give me a sort of warm feeling which only he can provide. His work on other instruments is chilled out, again he doesn't really try to excel himself, there's not as as much feeling in the use of other instruments compared to his signing and guitar playing.

I think the more people who buy this album the better, mainly due to the fact that David is such a charitable character. I would like to think that a large amount of the money that he'll make off this album will go to good causes. He's given alot of money to charities before... in my eyes this is a very important thing for a succesful musician (or any "well-off" person) to do. The more people who become priviledge allows a connection to the rest of the world, to experience the vast amount of wonderful creations, such as Pink Floyd's music.

Hope i haven't gone off the point too much, All in all i think this a very nice album, it's relaxing and yet you can listen intentively and hear alot of complementary soundscapes.

Report this review (#71625)
Posted Saturday, March 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Not to criticize anyone's opinion but it seems like if one wanted to hear Pink Floyd they would pick up a Pink Floyd album, and obviously David was not attempting to do anything along the lines of Pink Floyd with this album, even though there are some inescapable similarities like the voice, the solos, and the mellow atmosphere but I really feel as if David is very happy these days and I'm glad for that. But being that he was a key member to Pink Floyd, a typically depressing band, I find it fascinating that he has not lost the ability to create musical a atmosphere that will hypnotize the listener; (when I close my eyes). If anything, he has gotten better. This definetly is not comparable to any Pink Floyd albums, and though I am a huge Floyd fan I feel like that makes this album even more impressive. There is no stunning musicianship here, but there are many emotional performances, and possilbly the best production quality I have ever heard. I give this 4.5 stars. Well worth the purchase.

"I wont go down easy, that's not my style." -David Gilmour

Report this review (#71908)
Posted Tuesday, March 14, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars The music of PINK FLOYD, Roger Waters and David Gilmour has been an intrinsic part of my life. Albums like "Ummagumma", "Dark Side", "The Wall", "Wish You Were Here" and into the solo albums... Waters' "Pros and Cons", "Amused to Death" and into Gilmour's sensational debut album and slightly less filling "About Face" and now comes the 3rd solo album from the aged David Gilmour "On An Island". Joined by an elite class of side musicians including David Crosby, Graham Nash, ex bandsmate Richard Wright, Phil Manzanera, Robert Wyatt, Andy Newmark and Jools Holland contribute to this flawless and easy flowing album. "On an Island" is a pretty tame album which goes down sweet and softly without any abrupt stops or craziness. The album is littered with Gilmour's soft voice, harmonies and some pretty awesome guitar solos. The album is pretty much laid back and ebbs and flows with a high quality and still contains that certain PINK FLOYD flare. Overall a very solid album and nice to hear Gilmour doing his own thing and not the PINK FLOYD all star band... by the way just for the record those later couple of "PINK FLOYD" albums are not FLOYD kids! Immitation at best with some horrid lyrics and re-used FLOYD stuff. This album is much much better!
Report this review (#72091)
Posted Thursday, March 16, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Just got this and I have to say the first 2 tracks had me thinking "Oh great, another classic member of a classic band doing a solo album that may as well be him and his classic band!" In other words, same ole, same ole!

Not exactly so here. As I went further into the album I noticed that Dave, while maintaining a bit of a Floyd sound here and there, gets a bit more "earthy" sounding and emphasizes more on his guitar playing qualities. Dave has always had a reputation of producing some of the most tasteful guitar work. Nothing fast or furious, just good melodic licks. And here he does it to perfection.

As stated earlier, the first 2 tracks Castellorizon and the title track may as well as come off of any latter PF album. But the 3rd track The Blue gives a real showcase of his pedal steel work like you've never heard before. Take A Breath is about the most rocker of tracks here. Down and dirty. Then we go back to Floyd mode on Red Sky At Night with some aural sax work ala Us And Them. Then we go straight into earthy blues with This Heaven with a wisely guest appearance of Rick Wright on the Hammond (the only other Floyder to appear thankfully). Then I Close My Eyes is IMO the standout track of them all. Dave just pulls out all the stops on this one. Banjo, acoustic guitar, slide guitar and even some good old fashion Beatles inspired backward guitar recording with a sweet horn solo added in. Smile is a simple ballad with a little country flavor that Dave has always had a knack for but rarely expresses it. A Pocketful Of Stones is probably the weakest track on the album. It's like Floyd meets Frank Sinatra, try and figure that one out! The closing cut, Where We Start puts us back into full Floyd mode again but Dave just keeps those tastful guitar solos rolling.

In closing, while once a Floyder always a Floyder, Dave was wise to put his guitar talents in the forefront on this project and not just simply use this album as an excuse to show everybody "This is what Floyd would've done if we were still together." No, not at all here. Good one Dave, keep 'em coming!

Report this review (#72094)
Posted Thursday, March 16, 2006 | Review Permalink
Chris S
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Eagerley awaited release from one of the henchmen of Floyd. Musically very clever and as usual has that air of ' no fault found' to it, which is a typical PF characteristic, perfectionists that they are.

There is a mature feel to ' On An Island', carefree notwithstanding a seriousness which has mellowed somewhat with Gilmour's age. Dreamy like with tinges of mellow like Meddle and a meadowy Obscured By Clouds. If you take the passive elements of Floyd, David Gilmour has captured these perfectly on ' On An Island'. My least favourite track is " Castellorizon" only because it sounds like a hybrid of all the other songs on the album. The Title track is a stunner with great harmonies from Crosby & Nash,' The Blue" is mighty fine as well, Blues all round. It is good to see Jools Holland contributing as well as the highly underrated Mr. Richard Wright, The other highlights include the instrumental " When I Close My Eyes' and the closing ' When We Start", a great tribute to life, at least what one can grasp of it simplified by a campfire and good company. As usual Gilmour's guitar work is exceptional and I think it is important that people not get complacent with his artistic integrity and therfore enjoy this album for what it is planned to be...twilight contemplation or childhood's End....... with a simplistic edge. 3.5 stars for an artist who is simply enjoying himself with collaborators.I look at footage of PF in Pompeii and then see this guy in action all these years later and see the same passion for perfection. Check out the guitar work on ' Pocketful Of Stones'

Report this review (#72102)
Posted Friday, March 17, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Welcome to the early 70! This album belongs there, its roots are there. In the glorious days of Pink Floyd and this album is like a remembering of those days. First "side" is pure Pink Floyd material, it would be done after Wish You Were Here and nobody would wonder. Or some songs would belong to Obscured by Clouds -album. Other "side" is something else, takes space to Floyd but not very far. Its more like 60 years old man thinking of life without hurry. Peacefull, beautiful but little dull, too. There is no hurry anywere.

Somehow it seems that Gilmour first was making a Pink Floyd album but then decided make it a solo album. Or he wants to show all that it was not only Waters who was behind Dark Side or Wish You Were Here or Meddle. Gilmour was the voice and the quitar of Pink Floyd but very important composer too. He is little bit unterrated and Waters is overrated of how important they were for Floyd. Waters become a frontman of the band in the Animals album, not before. Till then they made the music together, Wright allso, many forgets him as a composer. Dont forget the man who made the Great Gig in the Sky!

This album has two faces and thats why the clue is a little bit missing. Last songs have not so many hooks and you must concentrade to listen harder. Gilmour lives in the shadows of Pink Floyd, he cant get himself out of there or he dont even want to. This is allmost a Pink Floyd album but not quite. But its more Pink Floyd album than David Gilmours album. Or David Gilmour is and was Pink Floyd! Perhaps that is what he is saying and wants to say to us. And it is more or less, true. Not bad, but this could be better.

Report this review (#72450)
Posted Tuesday, March 21, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars exellent!, an exellent work of mr David Guilmour. If you like The Division Bell, Echoes and Atom Heart Mother, you will like On an Island too. Perfect Sound, awsome compositions and a precious taste in guitar solos makes "On An Island" one of the best albums of 2006. Buy it, take a deep breath, and then push play!
Report this review (#73345)
Posted Tuesday, March 28, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is an unexpected turn of events. I must say that my judgement of this album might be somewhat distorted by the fact that Dave worked on it in collaboration with some Polish musicians (for example Zbigniew Preisner, who conducted the orchestra, or Leszek Mozdzer, an acclaimed Polish jazz piano player) - and as a Pole I could be prone to stating a biased opinion. Forgive me that.

There is, however, an air about the album. Some songs ("Then I Cloes My Eyes", "Smile") have a distinct aura of Dave's bluesy guitar bits that bring us back to Meddle or Atom Heart Mother. The whole record is rather melancholic in its sound and lyrics and Dave's guitar is soloing almost all the time, which adds a certain flavour to the bluesy melodies and rhythms found in almost every song on the album. Moreover, lyrics found on the album bear a mark of Dave's previous achievements and keep pace with them in quality. There is no single average song on it, each and every track bears at least one positive note - excellent guitar play.

I don't find this album particularly fresh or brilliant, but listening to "On An Island" I'm not trying to dig up the old or look on David Gilmour's music through the prism of Pink Floyd. One thing the album is, it's relaxing. I recommend it strongly. It's great to have David back after twenty two years.

Report this review (#73448)
Posted Wednesday, March 29, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars I am simply adoring this album. Let's make it plain this is not a PF album, and comparisons to PF material a ludicrus. From the first spin tho, I was in love! Melodic, inspiring, passionate, gentle, yet thoughtful. This album is gently jazzy, it has such beautiful melodies that you feel as tho you are bathing in chocolate! Fav tracks are "Smile" which has quite a Neil Young feel, and "A pocketful of Stones" which is a simply stunning track that we are playing over and over and delving deeper and deeper into. Perfect. In Dave's shoes I would sit back and be very content and pleased with this, it's divine!
Report this review (#74590)
Posted Monday, April 10, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Now let's be honest. David Gilmour's solo projects have never been that good. His first "self-titled" album was decent for bluesy rock, but he absolutely lost it all with "About Face" which sounded too much like the "80s." Upon hearing that Gilmour would release a new album I was skeptical as to whether I would pick it up. It's release date came and I got suckered in to picking it up. Little did I know that I was in for a surprise.

The album opened up with "Castellorization" which immediately reminded me of the beginning of "Shine on You Crazy Diamond." Gilmour's guitar comes in so powerfully here and the signature of his guitar sound is more present than ever. This was the perfect open to a Gilmour solo album that I could've imagined. The following song "On an Island" is probably the one that most people have heard. The song immediately reminded me of Floyd with a nice soft and melodic chorus (with the help of David Crosby and Graham Nash.) This song has a great atmosphere and caught my attention right away.

"The Blue" is another calm song with excellent "dreamy" melodies and absolutely fantastic slide guitar. Gilmour plays with so much emotion with the slide that it really creates it's own atmosphere. "Take a Breath" reminds me of a great Pink Floyd song. It more upbeat and it helps the album come alive a little from it's slower pace. Many people will consider this song the albums finest moment.

Gilmour pulls out the saxophone in "Red Sky At Night." This is a pretty good short instrumental that brings us to "This Heaven." The latter reminds me a lot of "Have a Cigar." It is a very powerful bluesy song with a great groove to it. The lyrics are fantastic to this song and you can tell that Gilmour has matured a lot. The line "This Earthly heaven is enough for me" gets stuck in my head for days after listening to it.

"Then I Close My Eyes" has a folk/country type feel to it. It features Robert Wyatt on cornet and adds a different feel to the album that works very well as a transition to the final 3, softer songs. "Smile" is another song that Gilmour busts out the slide guitar. He really knows how to play the slide well and convey the emotion and atmosphere of the song. The following song "A Pocketful of Stones" is the albums finest in my opinion. The harp and the Hammond organ (played by Gilmour) sound fantastic and really make the "dark" feel to this song very strong. "Where we Start" is another soft, slow flowing song. The melodies on this song are slightly weaker than the rest of the album but it is a good closer.

Overall, I was very surprised when hearing "On an Island." I wasn't expecting much and ended up getting an album that I have listened to many times and will continue to listen to more and more. If you are a Pink Floyd fan you must pick this up, but remember, you can hear a lot of Pink Floyd in this album, but it still is David Gilmour, and not Floyd. It shouldn't be compared to another Floyd album but looked at and viewed on it's own. I can't give it 5 stars because it isn't a masterpiece of progressive music but I would consider it a masterpiece of soft and melodic atmospheric rock, barely touching the lines of space rock. I hope Gilmour continues his solo career for years to come.

Report this review (#74650)
Posted Tuesday, April 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars There is no way to expect from ex-Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour the kind of music lushly decorated with high energy, neck-breaking speed guitar solo. Not in the past. Surely not nowadays, where he comfortably reaches 60 years of age, in which he has been in a peaceful life with his second marriage with writer Polly Samson who gave birth to four children, three of them under age 10; and having a life sometimes he enjoys gleefully at his houseboat anchored by the banks of the River Thames, in which he built a studio.

It is by no means a coincidence that his newest solo album, released last month, the first in 22 years, reflects himself and the surrounding environment of the houseboat wonderfully named Astoria. In listening to this album, one might have thought, among others, of seeing garden of bamboo and willows, and watching swans glide on the waters that slip beneath the blue sky -- just about perfectly reflects the place where it was made. Everything's serene. And there's no rush.

"I was just letting it all flow out as naturally as I can," Gilmour said. "There are quite a lot of those melancholy major seventh chords and 3/4 waltz tempos. That must be the mood I'm in."

The opening track, a short guitar instrumental over an orchestral arrangements background titled "Castellorizon", set the tone in a manner Gilmour successfully did with the last two Pink Floyd albums, "A Momentary Lapse of Reason" and "The Division Bell". Here and almost all the way to the end of the disc, thin layers of shimmering sound unfold at a stately pace, and Gilmour use them as a background for his soaring, lyrical guitar solo and that ethereally expressive vocal one might be reminded of "another world". While there are occasional outing into the blues domain and slightly heavy area, for instance "Take a Breath", this album is mostly fit to accompany those who would like to have a great time by the river -- whatever the "great time" and the "river" mean.

For those who like and easily enjoy a laid-back record, this spacey and seductive album is a guarantee of satisfaction.

Report this review (#75534)
Posted Wednesday, April 19, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Even at 60, David Gilmour still shows his amazing talent. While his music has mellowed down quite a bit, he still pours out some powerful stuff. The music, vocals, and lyrics are still awesome

"On an Island" is the standout track, and has arguably the best mellow guitar solo ever, good enough to make your face melt

"Castellorizon" is an excellent way to start and album and "This Heaven" and "Take a Breath" are both cool, catchy tunes

"A Pocketful of Stones" and "Where We Start" are also really slow but still a great listen. An excellent album to relax and fall asleep too.

four stars

Report this review (#79031)
Posted Monday, May 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars I love it... Like every thing he does you really need to let this one grow on you. On an Island is awesome. David doesn't draw pictures in your mind, his music lets you create your own images. You have to be a thinker to get it. I prefer putting on my noise redusing (block out kids) close my eyes and crank it, as I kick back and relax a million miles away.
Report this review (#79922)
Posted Wednesday, May 31, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars 2 3/4 stars

David Gilmour is a guitar player, but sadly not a composer. In this album, you may hear gorgeous guitar playing, but the songwriting is somewhat remarkable throughout the whole album, while a bit better than ths songs he wrote in "Momentary Lapse of Reason". The mood in this album is mellow, laidback, peaceful, and happy. You may see it as a happy Pink Floyd without Roger Water's contributions.

The Pink Floyd sound (especially from Floyd's last album) is obvious in Castellorizon as it seems like the usual atmospheric intro with mellow good guitar playing in the style of Wish you Where Here. After the guitar appears, it sounds very good and is connected to On An Island making both a 10 1/2 minute long epic and the highlight of the album. On An Island has that mellow, content feel which differs from Pink Floyd. I like the melodies very much and the guitar soloing is some of his best in the past 25 years.

That was a good first impression, but unfortunately, the rest does not live up to that standard. The Blue is a standard mellow tune with many layers of sound and the usual good extended solo, but the song is a bit unremarkable, tedious, and doesn't change in its 5 minutes. Take a Breath is a good upbeat tune with a good hard- edged guitar riff that is used throughout most of the song, and good melodies, solo, and a soft interlude. The riff is great, but sometimes I wish the guy could not base a single riff for a 6 minute long song. Red Sky At Night is not really a song, but it has a good laid-back sax solo. If Heaven sounds like This Heaven , I would not wish to go there when I die. This song has a terrible melody played on guitar and vocals for its 4 1/2 minutes. The guitar solos is pretty good, but the song is weak. Fortunately, Then I Close My Eyes is a rare highlight in the album: an folk/country instrumental with a good theme and many instruments including the banjo being played. Smile is an unremarkable track that is saved by some fine slide guitar playing. A pockerful of Stones is a good moody piece but the continuous mellow feel is starting to make me lose interest already. Gilmour songwriting is pretty good here as well as his guitar soloing. Where we Start is a very slow and gentle closer to the album with symphonic touches.

So, the album might be enjoyed a lot for Guitar fanatics or people who enjoy listening to extremely mellow music. I like to hear good guitar playing and there is plenty here to be enjoyed, but the super-mellow mood gets boring in the second half.

Highlights: Castellorizon/On An Island, Then I close My Eyes

Let Downs: The Blue, This Heaven

My Grade : C-

Report this review (#80125)
Posted Friday, June 2, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars It took very little to convince me to buy this album, and so it was with great anticipation that I slotted it into my stereo and prepared myself to be blown away. On first listen, I found it absolutely, mind-shatteringly... nice. In my opinion, this album is nothing special - from a prog point of view or otherwise. It is hard to pinpoint why, however. It has all the right ingredients - jam-packed full of Gilmour special brand guitar solos, drifting melodies, the chillingly soothing (?) vocals. It just leaves me weirdly unsatisfied every time I listen to it - it is just so relentlessly mellow. No matter how hard I try, i can't help but feel my mind drifting onto other things - mindlessly twiddling with the equaliser knobs, wondering whether that little brown spot on my arm is just a spot, or skin cancer... Granted, the guitar solos are top quality and easily the highlights of the album (the first solo in the title track was the only part of the album that really caught my attention), but are sadly too few and far between to maintain the listener's interest.

So to cap off, this will be worth buying for avid Gilmour fans/curious Floyd fans/generally curious people only. Unfortunately Gilmour will not win too many new fans in the year 2006 with this effort.

Report this review (#80261)
Posted Saturday, June 3, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars A long time Pink Floyd fan here, so of course I will pick up this album. Yes, I will admitt, I was a little embarrased buying an album at Target, but it was there when I was picking up a toothbrush and some potting soil. (a joke- altough it may not have worked) This album is what I pictured it to be- relaxing, quiet, with Gilmour quilaity lyrics. I got what I expected, well, perhaps. It was very relaxing- but is it almost too relaxing? You be the judge there- if you want an album to put on while you study, or if you want to listen to something, but NOT REALLY focus- then this is the music for you- so it succeeds in that sence. The album has this sort of haze over it- it just kind of puts me in this mood of laziness, perhaps because of the lack of range on the album. Ok- enough of the negatives- his voice, at 60 still sounds awesome. Some of the guitar work (some) sounds like vintage Floyd. I don't reccomend this album for music fans who only like more upbeat, and faster paced music- but again, if you just want to chill, and listen to some good 'ol lazy on the porch music- get this album. 3.3 stars.
Report this review (#84082)
Posted Tuesday, July 18, 2006 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
2 stars OK, give it another halfstar!!

One hell of a luxurious booklet (digibook) for the latest Floyd-alumni solo album, although I must say that the artwork did make doubt (was I sure this was not a Celine Dion record?) but from the first seconds onwards my doubts were quickly dispelled. Doubts created by hearing on everyday radio the most commercial track around. A very laid-back album this is, though! A little too much for this proghead, even if I love some extremely laid-back and quiet music slices.

So we are a far cry from David's first two albums, but in this one as the previous ones, we can still detect some Floyd traces, but they are the more contemplative side of the mythic group. This album does share one similarity with its predecessor: it is rather uneven! There are some weaker (relative) tracks: the endless The Blue, Take A Breath (which sounds like the meagre period Floyd of MLOR), the boringly beautiful but lazy Then I Close My Eyes and the atrocious Smile. All those are siding up with some more inspired moments such as the title track, the instrumental Red Sky At Night, This Heaven. Musically speaking I think he overuses the slide guitar giving a twangy- countryish feel to the record (and you just know how I feel against that friggin' awful redneck music, right?) and his star-studded cast of guest do not bring much excitement.

David never claimed to be good lyricist (and next to his ex-old foe, he is certainly no match) , but the lyrics are handled by his wife, Polly Samson (who did more than her share on The Division Bell) and them lyrics are more than average, but avoid being bland. Yes, David has done a rather tame (but not lame) and tired album, one that shows and fits his age (the man is over 60), and we all like him to be himself rather than pretending to be some forty years younger dancing and prancing like a peacock, rolling his stones on huge stages. To each and everyone's definition of growing older gracefully, and Dave's definition of this concept is rather interesting. Hardly an essential album, though! Forget the sleeping pills, this should the job. Time to be talking with Roger, Dave!! I said talk, not shout ;-)

Report this review (#84988)
Posted Friday, July 28, 2006 | Review Permalink
Prog Folk Researcher
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.


Report this review (#85498)
Posted Wednesday, August 2, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars I had high expectations for this, which it did and didn't live up to. It's a mellow album, which is good, because mellow is Gilmour's strong suit. The only attempt at a mid-tempo rocker, Take a Breath, is unconvincing, but the rest of the tracks are lovely singer-songwritery tunes puncutated with Gilmour's wonderful, slow-paced, emotive soloing. There's no need to point out individual tracks, since they're all pretty well in the same vein. The instrumentals are atmospheric and also very nice to listen to. The special guests, Wyatt, Cole, Manzanera, Crosby and Nash are not really evident, being more bit players, but their contributions are pleasant as well. This is not a monumental release or an exciting one, but a mature album from an old hand confident enough to know his strengths and to stick with them. It's easily Gilmour's strongest release, better than both A Momentary Lapse, which tried to stick too close to the established Floyd formula, and The Division Bell, which was similar to this album, but not as strong (the phenomenal High Hopes excepted). Good for mellowing out to, and essential for fans of Gilmour's guitar playing.
Report this review (#87538)
Posted Thursday, August 17, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars I regret to admit that "On An Islansd" is very dissapointing album. Fisrt of all: almost all of these tracks are made in the same tune. After the first listening there's not much left in your memory (except the opening track "Castellorizon", great title song and more agressivly "Take A Breath"). Undenyalble thing is that you can find on "OAI" many songs which bring the climate of Pink Floyd music. Some of them are very close to "Obscured By Clouds" sound, but the rest are awful pseudo-coutry-rock songs like "The Blue" (respectable level of this song is held only by great guitar solo at the end of the track) or "Smile" which sounds like a nightmare. More ambicious compositions like "A Pocketful Of Stones" and "Where We Start" seems to have undeveloped concepts. But "OAI" has some advantages. Another great track is "Then I Close My Eyes" - nice mixture od jazz-rock and psychodelic music elements. The voice of David is another advantage. His singing is warm and friendly. It's great thing that it stood the test of time and didn't change at all (like Greg Lake's voice did). He didn't fogret what guitar is for. On this album is some fine guitar solos but it's not enough for his talent. Some of you can say that this is the climate of this album: sleepy and peacful. Maybe, but on "OAI" somethnig is missing. There's is no such thing called "spirit". That's why this album is so dissapointing.
Report this review (#87815)
Posted Monday, August 21, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars So after lot's and lot's of years David Gilmour brings us another solo record and a good one. I'm a huge Pink Floyd fan but I never found myself into Gilmour's solo work. To me, Roger Waters stands as the creative force behind Floyd and Gilmour as their vocalist and mostly guitarist. Gilmour's solo records just didn't grab me, not even the solos on it. But now turning 60 he made his 3rd one and to be quite honest I didn't expect anything good at all but I downloaded and listened to it anyway. The intro was nice but when the actual song started I was immediately hooked. The title song "on a island" with some elite background singers (David Crosby, Graham Nash) and a incredible guitar solo stands as the best song by Floyd or a member since Comfortably Numb.

The rest of the album didn't really took me by surprise as that song at first, but after a few months I saw this records at a used store (so soon?) and I bought it for 5 Euros. I soon discovered the beauty in the record. The tracks are slow and extremely mellow and I'm a more of a metal head than a mellow head so it usually doesn't work on me but somehow these tracks worked. The way David uses his guitar is so much better than anything he did after the Wall. There is some real emotion in it again and some power. He has also learned to play the sax and I've got to say that it makes a nice addition to the album.

Every track has something unique in it, although the album does keep the same pace most of the time. David makes 2 attempts at some speed. The first being Take a Breath which isn't a horrible song by any means but the Chorus is just annoying, the second one is "Smile" which is one of the highlights but he is at his best with the mellow stuff. This album is recommended for people liking Pink Floyd and stuff like Floyd but I wouldn't recommend it to lot's of other people. It's good, but not very essential.


On a island This heaven Smile


Take a Breath

Written for

Report this review (#89447)
Posted Monday, September 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
3 stars 3 stars. Very laidback and calming music from the guitar legend. You can sense his excitement when he discusses this record in the interviews i've seen. At this stage in his career he can call upon just about whoever he wants to participate on his projects. And he can pretty much make whatever type of music he wants to make. He's got nothing left to prove.

I really like the title track with the harmonies of Nash and Crosby and of course Gilmour's guitar playing, seems like a perfect match. Unfortunately they are playing this song to death on FM radio. The music here is almost adult contemporary I guess you could say.

David is getting up there isn't he ? Nice mellow record though.

Report this review (#90533)
Posted Tuesday, September 19, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars People got matured - by age or by way of thinking. Some people have compelling desires - or most people say it as "dreams" to be achieved at certain point of their life. By no exception is David Gilmour - with passage of time he has got matured as individual and by token of age. He had a dream out of many dreams he might have that one day he would live peacefully with his family. For this measure he has been successful as he is now living on river Thames with his family, in privacy. He then created music that would satisfy his needs during this period of time with the help of his wife and close friends.

This album is considered very personal to Mr. Gilmour even though fans of old Pink Floyd would still can hear Floydian guitar work. Right from the opening of the album, "Castellorizon" (3:54) has already given the nuance of Floyd especially on the way guitar solo is played. No one would ever doubt that this is the guitar style of Gilmour! "On an Island" (6:47) follows with a rhythm section that blends the original Pink Floyd sound and the kind like Barclay James Harvest music. For those who like early style of Pink Floyd would definitely love this song especially the melody is nice. Gilmour delivers his singing in clear and transparent voice. I personally love this album title track. The song is also accentuated with light orchestra at the back.

"The Blue" (5:26) is still in the vein of Pink Floyd, performed in pop style. The music of "Take a Breath" (5:45) flows in the vein of "Momentary Lapse Of Reason" style with nice vocal and melody. Gilmour's howling guitar enriches the music textures of this track. The guitar solo reminds me to "High Hopes" of Division Bell album. "Red Sky at Night" (2:51) is an instrumental piece with mellow saxophone solo backed by keyboard in an ambient nuance. It connects seamlessly like a bridge to "This Heaven" (4:24) - a ballad tune with unplugged fashion and typical Floyd's style. This might mean to Gilmour the life he is experiencing now is just like heaven - nice house, happy family, peaceful life. What a dream comes true! For those of you who are longing for Floydian guitar solo - you can get it right here at the end part of the track.

"Then I Close My Eyes" (5:27) is basically a mellow acoustic piece demonstrating guitar with sliding technique. I think Gilmour tries to imagine how he takes a rest in his heaven? Probably. Musically, it's an interesting instrumental piece. The remaining three tracks are all mellow ones with soft guitar work: "Smile" (4:03), "A Pocketful of Stones" (6:17), and "Where We Start" (6:46).

Overall, it's quite satisfying record with good composition and performance. There is no complexity in terms of arrangement, so it's quite accessible to many ears. You might consider this as an easy listening album. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Report this review (#94672)
Posted Sunday, October 15, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album is the best solo effort by Gilmour by far. The Floydian influence is undeniable in the instrumental tracks "Castellorizon", "Red Sky At Night" and "Then I Close My Eyes", but also in the amazing title track (the best one on the album) which could have been meant to an album like "The Division Bell", also "Take a Breath" could be taken directly from that release, but in this case the result is not so good. The album is full of touching moments full of intense atmosphere like "A Pocketful Of Stones", maybe dedicated to Syd Barrett? and "Where We Start": a stunning absolutely beautiful piece of music.

A great album for sure!

Report this review (#95246)
Posted Friday, October 20, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars What did you expected? Another Dark Side? Or maybe another Meddle? Well I expected something like Division Bell 2. And basicly I've got it. IMO it's a great chill out album. You can just listen to it and relax. It's very easy to listen, trust me:) So what do we have here on this album? Let's see now... Castellorizon is an 4 minute introduction. After while of strange noise we can listen do David's magical guitar for the first time on this lp. Then the best song on the album. On An Island is an amazing track. Great solos, great melody. David is singing like in good old Floyd times. The Blue is a very gentle song. It's a tune that I think couldn't have been played on any Floyd album. Take A Breath. Well, really there is no time to take a breath here. This is the most powerfukk song on the album with lots of chorus. I didn't like it at first, but when I saw David live in Gdansk... It was just magic. Red Sky At Night is another instrumental track, title is really good in common with the atmosphere. This Heaven is a blusey number with a very good melody. This is another track that I think would not appear of any Floyd album. Then I Close My Eyes is the last instrumental track. David plays on this on on banjo, and on saxophone I think, and it's cool. Smile is another very gentle song. A beautiful ballad. Then we have A Pocketful Of Stones (an answer to A Saucerful Of Secrets?;D). Starting calm, then gets a little bit more rock and a nervous atmospher, then gets calm and so on... Very fine track, sounded great on concert. Where We Start is ironicly the last track. A beautiful ending for a beautiful album. People often expect from David to do somethnig experimental, in the spirit of the old Floyd. I want to tell you this. Gilmour is not Pink Floyd (Waters is not Pink Floyd either). He will record albums for him and for his fans, not Pink Floyd fans. This is an album for people who like beautiful, gentle, but still progressive music. David is great and he always will be. 5 stars it is.
Report this review (#104952)
Posted Saturday, December 30, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars The Pink Floyd name is far too big, and expectations are far too high, for any of their ageing former members to be bothered with cranking up the machine again for another album or tour. So 12 years after "The Division Bell" it's pleasing that Dave Gilmour still has the inclination to make music. This is only his third solo album (unless you count "A Momentary Lapse of Reason"!), but for lovers of his much-imitated searing guitar sound, mellow vocals, and trad-Floyd spacey arrangements, it's pure ear candy.

Recorded on Dave's houseboat studio on the Thames, it's not too far in spirit from the Greek island lazing of his Floyd colleague Rick Wright's "Wet Dream". With Dave's breathy voice, an unrelenting slow, lazy pace and fluffy orchestral padding, it's comfortable music evoking a comfortable lifestyle, with only a gentle melancholy creeping in. The sound is slickly adult, or more precisely, middle-aged, with Dave's casual guitar licks, organ noodling and a liberal dash of strings merging into a pastel-coloured wash. The tunes generally aren't anything to send a postcard home about, but the pick of these is the single "On An Island" itself. "The Blue", with its sighing solo guitar breaks, is so completely relaxed it's starting to sink through the floor. "Smile" is almost the same but with the guitar unplugged. "Take a Breath" is a welcome increase in pace, with some darker harmonies, but he was careful to make this not too exciting.

The opening "Castellano", an atmospheric chaos of orchestra, sound effects and ambience, seems to be a deliberate Floyd pastiche, ending up pretty but predictable. It's the kind of thing that turned many people off about the Division Bell and Momentary Lapse, evoking studios dripping with money. Thankfully Dave eventually announces his presence with that guitar, in the style of a live show. Only the spotlight and cheering crowd are missing. Other musing instrumentals here include "Red Sky At Night" which suffocates a saxophone with orchestral mush. The most pleasing is "Then I Close My Eyes", where he gives the overt Floydisms a rest, and strips down to some gorgeous restrained harmonies, tinged with jazzy trumpet and brush drums.

There's a place for this kind of ear candy which does very little, and this album can be pleasing in that place. Such as on the kind of holiday where you sit on a beach and do very little, or on a long summer drive through a monotonously green English countryside. Don't expect to feel challenged or excited, just forcibly chilled.

Report this review (#108185)
Posted Saturday, January 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars First of all: I'm not a Pink Floyd fan. Second: I'm a Gilmour fan... Weird? I don't think so...

The truth is that I really enjoy Gilmour' solo albums and On An Island didn't disspointed me. I just think why Mr. Gilmour doesn't make more solo albums. All his releases and specially this one sounds very intime, full of emotion, pretty nostalgic most of the time and over all, floating, athmospherical and passionate; a totally different Gilmour of the guy who plays in Pink Floyd...

This album shows the maturity level of Gilmour as a musician and composer. Even when there are a lot of guitar solos full of his classic style, every note is perfectly played at the right time making every song a beautiful and quiet piece. And if you add to Mr. Gilmour talen a bunch of awsome musicians (such as Robert Wyatt, Guy Pratt, Andy Newmark and Phil Manzanera) you had as a result a consistent and poetic album full of high lyrical moments.

Some of my highlights: On an Island, Take a Breath, This Heaven, A Pocketful of Stones and Where We Start.

At last, a confirmation that David Gilmour is not just a legendary musician but a great one. The problem is he grows under de PF inffluence and maybe that's the reason why he doesn't make more solo albums denying to us the possibility to know more about his awsome talent making his personal and sincere music... That's just my opinion of course...

Great addition to any prog colection...

Report this review (#115484)
Posted Sunday, March 18, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars You're bring told not to compare this to a PINK FLOYD album. I'm sorry, but I disagree. This has the feel of PINK FLOYD'S 1970-1972 work. Certainly some of the tunes here compare to the melodic work on Side 1 of 'Meddle', for example, or 'Obscured by Clouds'. But those albums were leavened by the acidic FLOYD sharpness, which is nowhere in evidence here.

'On an Island' doesn't have anything more to offer than cloying sweetness and a faint melancholic nostalgia. I'm really not sure what prompted its release: is this really all DAVID GILMOUR has to say after ten years? There are neither highs nor lows here. Outstanding musicianship and production, but nothing of interest compositionally.

This, then, is the bitter dregs of the WATERS - GILMOUR bust-up. While Roger amuses himself to death with the same album repeated for the umpteenth time - even the vitriol is greying with age - David ambles slowly through open fields, thinking quiet thoughts. These two men were made for each other. What a pity the bitter and the sweet will never come together again.

Lovely guitar work, and excellent vocals. Necessary but, however, not sufficient for a good album.

Report this review (#118248)
Posted Friday, April 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Very good=4 stars!...Yes very good work this album of Gilmour...This is a very personal album ...where he show himself, and also he is succeeding to create a new good sound that it isn't identical than Pink Floyd's sound...the guitar is that but the music it's more intime than pink floyd and also thank to artist like Robert Wyatt; Phil Manzanera etc..THE RESAULT IS PASSION RICHED MUSIC,ATMOSPHERE WITH A NiCE SENSE OF NOSTALGIA.

In the end...the my favourite songs of the album: -On an Island -The blue -This Heaven -Then I close my eyes -Where we start

Report this review (#121819)
Posted Saturday, May 12, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars I'd like to be able to say the spirit of classic PINK FLOYD is alive and well on David Gilmour's latest solo album, his first in over twenty years (since 1984's lackluster "About Face"). But strictly speaking it isn't entirely true, and that's good news, believe or not. Sure, there's enough of the old magic to please even the most diehard fan of the long-dormant group, but more than that it sounds as if Gilmour has finally shaken the PINK FLOYD monkey off his back, liberating himself from the burden of all those expectations, which dragged down his old band like a ten-ton ball and chain.

In its own modest, undemonstrative way it's a stunning achievement, although you may not think so at first exposure. This is the work of a musician comfortable in his middle age and at ease with the world around him, and like an old acquaintance suddenly throwing a welcome arm across your shoulder it can take you happily by surprise. Look at the understated cover art, and consider some of the song titles: "Smile", "This Heaven", "A Pocketful of Stars", "Then I Close My Eyes".all of them sharing an attitude of casual relaxation far removed from the usual rock 'n' roll treadmill.

Only one song ("Take a Breath") can be considered even remotely aggressive; the rest of the album is more comfortable than an old pair of bedroom slippers, marked by some of the warmest guitar work of Gilmour's long career. Listen to "The Blue", a lush but otherwise unassuming ballad played at an almost somnolent tempo, suddenly pierced by the pure white light of a Gilmour slide- guitar solo beamed straight down from Cloud Nine.

Fans looking to unlock the PINK FLOYD connection will find their key in the band's earlier, pre-"Dark Side of the Moon" material. You can draw a straight line from anything here to song's like "Fearless" and "Fat Old Sun" (from the "Meddle" and "Atom Heart Mother" albums, respectively), and even to some of the less misanthropic compositions by the young Roger Waters, an ironic comparison, but one I'm sure a gentleman like Gilmour wouldn't disapprove of (I'm thinking of the early Floyd tracks "Grantchester Meadows" and "If").

But make no mistake: Gilmour isn't in any way trading on past glories. The songwriting is too singular and self-assured for this to be considered the best album PINK FLOYD never made (which it otherwise might have been, happily diluting the sour aftertaste left by "The Wall" and its copycat follow-ups). The album was immaculately produced with the help of fellow guitar hero Phil Manzanera, and boasts a sterling cast of supporting players, including Robert Wyatt, David Crosby and Graham Nash, and a host of other familiar names.

Perhaps Gilmour needed a decade away from the limelight for an album this strong to properly gestate. We can only hope another twenty years don't pass before his next effort.

Report this review (#149275)
Posted Tuesday, November 6, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars I was really very disappointed by this album. Being a massive Floyd fan and having thoroughly enjoyed Gilmour's first solo album i was eagerly anticipating more of the same muical quality. Instead, I found this album to be very sluggish and amateur sounding, more like something that a bored dentist in a mid life crisis would produce than a musical virtuoso such as Mr.Gilmour. There are a few good tracks on this album however, such as On an Island, which sounds like 80's Pink Floyd and This Heaven which is very similar to some of the stuff on Gilmour's first and quite frankly far better solo album. I seem to be in the minority here however and it may just be me who thinks that this is a mediocre release at best, but I really am struggling to see the appeal in tracks like The Blue, which just seems like middle of the road blandness to me. 2 stars.
Report this review (#156428)
Posted Sunday, December 23, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A solid collection from David Gilmour, 'On An Island' is a far more sculpted and finished work than the straight-forward guitar rock of his first record or the commercial sheen of his second. Each track features a slightly different line-up including pianos, cellos, harmonica, organs, percussion and basses. The session also boasts full orchestral arrangements and a huge cast of players such as Phil Manzanera, Richard Wright and Andy Newmark as well as guests Robert Wyatt, Jools Holland, B J Cole, David Crosby, Graham Nash, Chris Stainton and many others. The booming production leaves nothing to complain about either, and Mr. Gilmour's playing is marvelous as usual-- powerful, emotional and elegant.

A volume swell from Dave's ax starts us off with the pulse of an orchestra right behind, leading to an unsettled introduction that patches together different moods before reaching his guitar. Now-- the man can bend a string like no other, and if you're a guitarist you know how hard what Gilmour does with his hands is; it hurts - like someone pushing a cheese slicer into your fingers as hard as they can - but he makes it all work beautifully, a blues master, a technician of the soul. The title cut is pleasant enough with more good soloing and backup vocals from Crosby and Nash. The feeling is one of a lighter Pink Floyd, something with lift and a bit of whimsy rather than just coldness and dark intellect, even vibrating with that band's early 1970s output on numbers such as dreamy 'The Blue' with Dave on a mean slide guitar. Alienated 'Take a Breath' is on edge with an infectious swing and a play for radio appeal, crazy diamonds of 'Red Sky at Night', clunky blues 'This Heaven', lazy beachwalking in 'Then I Close My Eyes' and 'Smile', and breathy 'Where We Start'. Most of the lyrical and photographic content is centered around Gilmour's personal life and reflections... nothing too challenging, but nice.

This is by no means a great album but it is a very good one, well made, sleepy but strong, and a sure treat for Gilmour lovers.

Report this review (#157090)
Posted Saturday, December 29, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "this earthly heaven is enough for me"

One thing is clear. David Gilmour is a content individual these days. Who can blame him? He has complete artistic freedom. He has a happy family life by all accounts. Money for what that's worth. And his health, no small detail when one gets to be his age. Conventional wisdom says that this should translate into an awful album. While a huge generalization it is true often enough that tortured artists frequently make great albums, while those who are content, whole, and at peace sometimes release sappy bunk. Given my opinion of Gilmour post-Waters "floyd" albums I was not expecting much from this release. While he will never again compete with his prime 1970s partnership with Roger Waters, he has released a late inning collection with some truly respectable moments.

The album is mellow as all hell so if you are not a fan of the pacing and mood of "A Pillow of Winds" you can stop reading now and definitely skip this album. It floats by on a slow, narcotic cloud that is either irresistible or violence-inducing, depending on how you feel about such peaceful sounds. David's voice has survived remarkably well compared to the likes of Roger Waters, Robert Plant, and other contemporaries. It has the same velvety softness it had on Meddle. His guitar playing is as emotional and lovely as it ever was with slow bent and long held notes that hit the pleasure center of your brain with force. Lyrically David is challenged as ever without having Roger to do that nasty bit of work and the results are mixed. There are some good lines and there are some pretty rough ones. Because his subject matter is more personal and intimate this time most of the songs fare well as he speaks about his life and love. He seems to touch on his reported atheism (or agnosticism.I've seen both mentioned) in "This Heaven." And though this album was written prior to Syd's death my gut feeling is that "A Pocketful of Stones" may have some lines for his old friend. A heavy nostalgia and longing for lost possibilities pervades the album, blended with the previously mentioned contentment and hope. Gone are the squabbles with his nemesis. Zen David has arrived.

Most of the tracks are quite good for the mellow Gilmour fan. "On An Island" and "The Blue" are serene. "Red Sky at Night" features David on saxophone, another instrument he's pretty damn good at. "Then I Close My Eyes" is a delicate, sweet mostly-instrumental featuring the legendary Robert Wyatt. "A Pocketful of Stones" is perhaps the best track, David delivering a chillingly intimate vocal accompanied by his own piano and organ. "Take a Breath" is one of the low points, conjuring bad memories of perhaps his worst track ever, "Dogs of War." But not AS bad as that. The disc comes in a nice booklet with full lyrics and artwork. While this is a respectable album it is also rendered obsolete by the much-superior "Remember That Night" DVD. Pick that up for a few bucks more and you'll get much better versions of this same material along with excellent reworkings of some Floyd material. This is good, the DVD is much better.

Report this review (#166090)
Posted Tuesday, April 8, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars The driving force and the voice of PINK FLOYD (post-Waters) hasn't been very active as a solo artist through the decades, nor have his two previous albums long ago been very worthy. But when you listen to this album, you get the sense that now the man has really found himself and the inner strength and maturity to make exactly the album that probably has slowly grown inside him. A mellow, calm album full of happiness of here-and-now. An album that couldn't have appeared under the name of pink Floyd, thanks for that.

The opener 'Castellorizon' is a quietly eerie instrumental featuring only his innovative guitar sounds. Then comes two lovely slow-tempo songs, 'On An Island' and 'The Blue', which reflect perfectly the spirit of the cover art. More rocking 'Take a Breath' is my least liked track. Another instrumental 'Red Sky at Night' shows that Gilmour can play also saxophone pretty well. Beautiful! The three songs ending the album are also lovely.

The list of guest musicians is long, e.g. Robert Wyatt, Phil Manzanera, Jools Holland, Graham Nash... Most songs Gilmour has written with his wife Polly Samson.

Report this review (#176889)
Posted Tuesday, July 15, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars After a very long hiatus (both as a solo artist or with Floyd), Dave came back in 2006 with the hyped ''On A Island Music''. Reviews from the press were raving and the album had pretty decent sales numbers.

In terms of music, I would say that both the spacey ''On A Island Music'' and the languishing title track have a deep Floyd sound. They could have both easily fit on ''Momentary Lapse'' or ''Division Bell''. Actually, these two numbers are probably the best you can get out of this album.

The problem is that one has to swallow songs as ''The Blue'' as well: it is a melancholic and pretty uninspired track which shines thanks to a fine guitar solo from the master. But after all, isn't a great guitar player more than a song writer?

If needed, he demonstrates it once again during a harder ''Take A Breath''. It is a dual song (one more) of which the repetitive opening part conveys some dullness, but the closing is again very good. As if Dave could only write halves songs!

I like the atmospheric ''Red Sky At Night'' very much. Superb and emotional sax play from dear old Dave himself! This is another good track from this work which alternates between good and average (the heavy bluesy ''This Heaven'') too frequently.

This album has some more weaknesses (''Smile'') and plus points (''A Pocketful Of Stones'', ''Where We Satart'') but I can hardly call this an excellent album. If one would except some great guitar moments, there wouldn't be much to write home about.

A pleasant album but no more. Three stars.

Report this review (#190814)
Posted Saturday, November 29, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars What a pleasant surprise by David Gilmour-I enjoy this all over the album diffused atmosphere of calmness and relaxation-a sense of fullfilled dreams and a life complete despite the combination of difficulties, bad times or good times...the man has found his esoteric balance and this reflects upon his face and especially upon his music. Castellorizon and On An Island could have been easily stand either in DSOT or in Division Bell, the first is a sound retrospection of his last 21 years of music career-all the passages and the melodies are combined harmonically until the break of Gilmour's always excellent guitar play...which leads to On An Island which is another winner-beautiful song with great refrain and vocal harmonies provided by David Crosby and Graham Nash. Take A breath is another highlight of this album-harder at sound and bit darker-to my ears this song comes as an interpretation of some notes taken by Astronomy Domine. Red Sky At Night is an excellent song flavored by nostalgia and melancholy-an atmospheric piece of music with saxophone passages played by David Gilmour himself, another nice surprise of this album. The rest of the songs are just a step downhill but no fillers with A Pocketful Of Stones and Where We Start closing the album decently. Plus, is the excellent production and the musicianship, not to mention the carefully offered package of the album. Above the 3 star rate...
Report this review (#191860)
Posted Friday, December 5, 2008 | Review Permalink
Eclectic Prog Team
4 stars Every time I hear this album, my mind cannot help but be whisked away to the beach; I think of the white sands that lead to the blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico, or the murky calmness of the Atlantic Ocean. While it's scarcely progressive rock, the compositions are tight and, for the most part, much more enjoyable than both A Momentary Lapse of Reason and The Division Bell. It's excellent and peaceful music, and one can clearly see that quite a bit of care and effort went into this mostly personal album.

"Castellorizon" Like the two Gilmour-led Pink Floyd albums, this one begins with an atmospheric instrumental, one that eventually gets around to showing off Gilmour's soulful playing on his signature Fender Stratocaster.

"On an Island" The instrumental goes right into the title track, which is one of the best songs here. The melody is elegant and a key reason this song is so wonderful. About time spent in Greece, these lyrics paint a portrait and are some of the most captivating Gilmour has ever sung. The distinctive voices of David Crosby and Graham Nash are pleasing additions to the harmony. There's some extensive guitar soloing, but every note has its place in the song.

"The Blue" This song never fails to calm me. Subtle harmonica and layers of vocals, along with the mellowest guitar and bass, make this song one of the most placid things I've ever heard. The lyrics describe the vast expanse of the sea. Gilmour uses a slide for the lengthy solo at the end, and is one of the best moments of the album.

"Take a Breath" This is about as grungy as it gets on this album. The rhythm guitars are crunchy and Gilmour's singing has a little bit more of an edge. The slide guitar solo in the middle simply goes up and down the scale for the most part. The segment directly after the guitar solo is gloomy, a bit reminiscent of the interlude in "Poles Apart" from Pink Floyd's The Division Bell. The song returns to the main riff and finishes up with another guitar solo.

"Red Sky at Night" Gilmour plays the saxophone over a darkly magnificent string arrangement.

"This Heaven" Coming directly on the heels of the prior instrumental, this jangling number is fairly straightforward but does have a capable main riff. Gilmour solos at the end and the song fades out. Not the best track, but a decent enough one.

"Then I Close My Eyes" This instrumental has one of the most captivating introductions, which sounds like a man sitting on his front porch by the sea, playing a cmbş and humming as the sun sets. The sound of a ship's horn brings in the actual piece, which is played as lazily as possible. Like "The Blue," this is an audio sedative; it is nearly impossible to stay stressed while listening to this.

"Smile" Gentle acoustic guitar, some slide, and Gilmour's serene voice make up this peaceful song, which is almost a lullaby. It's a song I've sung to my son before as he's going to sleep. When the bass and drums enter midway through, there are strings and feminine voices, giving this song more force but retaining its cottony texture.

"A Pocketful of Stones" After a spacey introduction, Gilmour sings over little music. At times, it's a beautiful song; at other times, it's haunting. I really like the melody in certain parts, and despite it being a good piece, it's somewhat uneven and probably my least favorite on the album.

"Where We Start" The final song is similar in feel to "Smile," except with clean electric guitar hovering over the acoustic. The lyrics are exquisite and sung in Gilmour's trademark tranquil voice. The guitar solo is tasteful and does not commandeer the rest of the music. What a lovely way to end such a soothing and relaxing album.

Report this review (#191899)
Posted Friday, December 5, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars 'On an Island' is a very lonely and sentimental album... it captures the feeling of longing for absent love and reflecting on the best days of one's life that are lost and gone forever. A feeling of bittersweet nostalgia for special moments that drifted away too fast... this is very emotional material.

'The Blue' is gentle and depressive... it flows by in soothing, yet downcast, slow-motion waves similar to 'Us and Them'.

'Take a Breath' is the most aggressive song on the album and reminds me a bit of 'Dogs of War' from 'A Momentary Lapse of Reason'. It's good but doesn't hold up after repeated listens as well as the more delicate songs that surround it.

'Smile' is my favorite song on the album. It has some great bluesy acoustic-slide playing; quite Meddle-esque (think 'A Pillow of Winds'). This is yet another very tender and melancholic track... this album could be the perfect companion for a solitary rainy day spent indoors. It has a very introverted and isolated atmosphere of sadness and sleepy yearning.

It is all a bit gloomy and very 'blue', but i like that sort of thing. This album is as emotional and affecting as anything Pink Floyd ever recorded, but not nearly as sophisticated, weird, or dark. I recommend this to all fans of Pink Floyd's most delicate songs. The few all-instrumental songs are quite boring though... and the album as a whole drags on too long. I can only give this 3.5 stars.

Report this review (#202095)
Posted Sunday, February 8, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars OK, long waited Gilmour third solo album-what to expect? From last PF albums (actually almost Gilmour solo project) yuo can imagine, what is Gilmour music and sound.So, what we have here right now?

First of all - it is not Pink Floyd (any version), and even isn't something similar. Just different kind of music. Main diffrence - another verve, another atmosphere. Gilmour's music here brings you in old leather chear long warm summer evening somewhere in Bahamas. Slow, very melodic, little bit melancholic, but very balanced , well rounded and mature-happy music.

Perfect team of musicians, good recorded, with few Gilmour guitar solos. If you are rock-star (not prog-star) in your sixtees, have everything you wanted to have ( stardom during your young life, family , children, good yacht, very safe savings, serious name in music business) and are talented enough just to play nice, laid-back music - it is this!

OK, to be honest, you will hear plenty of small but recognisable Pink Floyd signs in that album's music. But again, they are important part of this Havana Rum Coctail: generaly music is based on another rules and traditions. Strong pop-rock sometimes with bluesy roots, sultry arrangements, very safe and too fast and loud for oldering PF fans , at least that their part with good pension. Pink Floydian signs are here just as "Coca Cola"sign on your pub entrance: you will pay for your usual bear, but pub door without "Coca" 's logo will looks a little bit ... unusal, even revolutionary!

Between 3 and 4, or 3,55 :)

Report this review (#235148)
Posted Wednesday, August 26, 2009 | Review Permalink
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars This is a very nice album. I think if Gilmour, with Richard Wright and Nick Mason, had released something more like this when they were trying to continue Pink Floyd, the response would have been much better. In fact, this album is far superior to any of Roger Waters' solo output.

The first half of the album is very Floyd-like. With lush orchestrations, and lead by Gilmour's tasteful guitar and soothing vocals, the album often resembles the early nineteen seventies Pink Floyd (their best period). And while not bad, the second have tends to tail away, both in energy and in arrangements, with the songs getting more and more relaxed toward the end. This may be by design, as the album is called On An Island, and Gilmour may be going toward a sense of deepening relaxation as the album goes on.

I like it.

Report this review (#259826)
Posted Thursday, January 7, 2010 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
4 stars 'On An Island' - David Gilmour (7/10)

Famous for his work as the lead guitarist and part-time vocalist of world class rock act Pink Floyd, David Gilmour treats his league of fans to another dose of his music, years after the band itself has split. Going their own separate ways, David Gilmour seems to still have the style that drew listeners to him in the first place, but without the other members of the Floyd, it's foolish to expect something of the same quality as a typical band masterpiece. For what it is however, Gilmour has made a spacy album that resonates with his more lucrative years, and should please the majority of the fans that have followed his music through the 70's.

'On An Island' has the glory of having a Grammy-nominated track on it; 'Castellorizon.' While the Grammies certainly shouldn't be regarded as being the 'end-all' opinion on music, the instrumental works as a great overture to the rest of the album. However, I am firm in the belief that the track could have been so much more if the concepts and musical nuances in it had been developed on more, instead of just cycling through a bunch of promising sounds and ending with a solo. However, it does segue into the memorable single and title track very well. 'On An Island' is very much a perfect example of what the album is all about; relaxation and nostalgia. Sounding like it wouldn't be much out of place on 'Dark Side Of The Moon,' 'On An Island' is a great song to check out to see if the album whose name it shares is worth your time.

The rest of the album shares the general feel of the title track, with a few exceptions in which Gilmour will delve into some typical blues, and even a folky passage that sounds like it is the soundtrack to a dingy longshoreman's dock.

As always, the music is intelligently arranged, giving some extra meat to the bones of the already-good songwriting. Some symphonic string sections give an air of class to the music, as well as some beautifully effective keyboard work. A large host of guest musicians are brought on board, including some famous singers such as Graham Nash. However, things are mixed in such a way that you wouldn't know that anyone else had done much with the album besides Gilmour himself, unless you had taken a look at the liner notes.

'On An Island' is a laid back album that's perfect for relaxation. While there's not a great deal of variety to the sound here or many parts that take a break from being merely mood music and really grab your attention, David Gilmour has certainly crafted a work that is competent, and proof that a great album has the potential to be made, regardless of the artists age or length of his career.

Report this review (#290375)
Posted Wednesday, July 14, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars I was very suprised with this album.

This is actually my dad's cd, and even after he heard it, he said it was pure Pink Floyd, and in a way he was right, Dave (who has the same first name as my dad, ironically) on this album was able to capture the atmosphere of Pink Floyd, and it was really the atmosphere of the band that I was attracted to.

The songs are also extremely well written and are very mature.

Hoepfully, Dave'll see sense and another album like this, being it is his most successful solo effort.

1. Casterllorizon - Collection of themes from the album, along with some lovely guitar work. Pretty interesting. 9/10

2. On An Island - Very Pink Floyd. Beautiful vocal melodies and harmonies. Amazing chorus, but the vocal harmonies really make this song what it is, amazing. 10/10

3. The Blue - Beautiful arrangment. Love the vocals and the guitar work. 9/10

4. Take A Breath - Pure Floyd. Quite dramatic. Great instrumental work. 9/10

5. Red Sky At Night - Beautiful saxaphone work by Dave. Great atmosphere. 9/10

6. This Heaven - Love the acoustic guitar riffs. The melody of the chorus is great. 10/10

7. Then I Close My Eyes - Nice instrumental. Beautiful arrangment.Very soothing. 9/10

8. Smile - A beautiful acoustic ballad. Amazing composition. 10/10

9. A Pocketfull Of Stones - Quite odd arrangement. The orchestration is amazing. Very eerie, but melancholic. 10/10

10. Where We Start - Nice ending. Nice lyrics. Great guitar work. 8/10

CONCLUSION: Just an amazing album. Very beautiful and incredibly soothing on the soul (there is no such thing as a soul, just play along)

Report this review (#295123)
Posted Wednesday, August 18, 2010 | Review Permalink
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars For the first couple of minutes we can hear a collection of sounds. Starting with a bass note of what may be a bass harmonica wich sounds like a sitar, through some electronic noises and a strings orchestra to a country banjo, then bells as in high hopes, keyboards and gimmicks in a Waters' style. Then the guitar comes and "Castellorizon" starts.

Gilmour is used to open his and Pink Floyd's albums with a short instrumental of this kind since A Momentary Leapse Of Reason, so that at the end of this track one could expect something like "Learning to Fly".

What comes after is "Remember That Night" instead. A great Floydian song with just a bit of west-coast flavour in the background vocals of the Crosby&Nash duo. Nothing to say about the guitar solo. It's Gilmour, what else? It's incredible what a man close to the age of retirement is able to do. Does anybody remember when mr. Lydon was calling him dynosaur? Does anybody remember mr Lydon at all? Back tp music, the second solo is even better than the first as in Comfortably Numb...and as in the studio version the solo is unfortunately faded out.

"The Blue" sends me back to the early 70s, between Fat Old Sun and Burning Bridges (even if this one was written by Wright). It's an example of an alternative way that Pink Floyd may have taken in a parallel world. A great slide guitar solo, but this is a thing that one can expect from Sir David.

The rock side of Gilmour comes with "Take A Breath". This is one of the darkest songs ever written by Gilmour. The live version is harder, specially on the Gdans DVD. It's there where I have really appreciated it.

Typical Pink Floyd sound for the minor keyboard's chord which opens the short "Red Sky At Night", but surprise! Gilmour plays a sax solo on this song. It sounds like the flugelhorn in Blade Runner Blues. Can you see Harrison Ford injured under the rain while the replicant lays dead on the road?

Then comes the blues..."This Heaven" has drums and dobro guitar and Gilmour's voice is fantastic on these chords. The guitar solo is exactly as one can think it is.

An unusual banjo (or dobro) intro leaves room to loops, then acoustic again. "Then I Close My Eyes" is a suggestion other than a title. It's like a Meddle's missing track. To be listened to with your eyes closed.

"Smile" is the song that I like less, even if it hasn't anything really bad. Just not my pot. It's like that French song that he sings on the "In Concert" DVD. However the middle instrumental part is very good and reminds to the Atom Heart Mother and Meddle period.

"A Pocketful Of Stones". A title like this inspires curiosity, but it seems to be another, maybe the last, tribute to the memory of Syd Barrett when the lyrics say:

"Out of touch he'll live in wonder Won't lose sleep he'll just pretend In his world he won't go under Turns without him until the end"

Rivers run dry but there's no line on his brow Says he doesn't care who's saved"

"Where We Start" comes fromthe early 70s as many of this album's songs and an excellent closer.

This is one album that can spin on my driver more than one time in a day. Not enough to be considered a masterpiece, but it's more than a 4 stars album. It's surprisingly one of the best solo things produced by a Pink Floyd member.

Report this review (#401422)
Posted Wednesday, February 16, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars Thank God for Gilmour releasing this album, because if he left this Earth with his final contribution to the musical world being "The Division Bell" it would be a sad ending to a wonderful career indeed. But as it stands, he didn't end with that, and this is really a very good album. It's mellower than anything Mr. Gilmour has ever released before, but at the same time very atmospheric, and musically it's quite good. The overall sound can best be expressed by the title of the album "On an Island", which in itself describes pretty much what this album is all about. Imagine nighttime on an island on a mellow night and that's what you get here. "Castellorizon" is my favorite song here and excellent album opener, which is an instrumental that basically takes all the elements of the album and shoves them into one quite psychedelic and pretty song. The rest of the album is great, though occasionally it might be a bit too mellow for it's own good, but nonetheless, this is the type of album Floyd should have released as their final album. I'd give it a "B".
Report this review (#457998)
Posted Tuesday, June 7, 2011 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
3 stars I approached this CD with caution, since it seems that all David Gilmour solo stuff is quite diffferent from his works in his main band. So much so that I didnt really lik his previous one (About Face of 1984). However, since PF is now history after the passing of the great keyboards player Rick Wright (who also plays on a couple of tracks here) I decided to give it a try. Somehow I felt this album would sound like a mix of both Pulse era Floyd and a proper solo work. I was right.

I remember when this much hyped CD came out in 2006. Im glad I didnt hear it then, for I guess I would be a little disappointed with it. Dont get me wrong, I like On An Island, but for so much praising, this is not what I expected for. Its a good prog/rock/pop album, with a very laid back feel on it and few surprises. I guess David Gilmour has nothing more to prove after his long and productive years with Pink Floyd. He was always seem to be more confortable as a player than a songwriter and this CD confirms tha premise. Not that the songs here are bad, not at all, they are quite good. But few tracks do remind us of his main band (Take A breath is one).

Its all very well done and performed of course, with several beautiful and distincitve solos that reminds us of the talented and grounbreaking guitarrist Gilmour always was. His voice might not be as strong as in the past, but it is still pleasant. The real interesting thing about this CD is the fact that he manages to play a saxophone solo on the instrumental Red Sky At Night and he does it very well! He is over 60 years old and still surprises us with his musical gifts! Still much of the great musicians that play on this record are underused, specially the David Crosby/Graham Nash harmonies on the title track, for instance. They really dont make that much differentece, which is a pity. That goes for much of the other guests here. The one exception to this rule is Robert Wyatts beautiful cornet solo on the instrumental Then I close My Eyes (one of the highlights of this album).

The production, as expected from such perfeccionist as Gilmour, is spotless.

Conclusion: a nice CD. If you like the PFs quiet moments, without much experimentalism, youll probably love this album. In the end, although not up to the prasing it got when came out., I found On An Island to be very good. I sounds like it was indeed written on a tropical island, under star filled night skies and sunny beaches. Not much prog here, ok, but good anyway. 3 stars.

Report this review (#458885)
Posted Friday, June 10, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars An album to relax ...

The third and no less impressive album of the best guitarist of all time.

I was really surprised by the quality above average "On an Island ", the third solo album by David Gilmour, my favorite guitarist.Although i have not heard their other albums ("David Gilmour" and "About Face "), I think the time must have matured this man, because that's what he does to people (or not).

The music is heavily influenced by Pink Floyd, but there are many emotions and blues here.Are peaceful, relaxed songs-the only exception is the frightening "Take a Breathe" , which seems to have come from "The Wall ".

Among 10 wonderful songs on this album found (are actually 9 because "Then I Close My Eyes" is somewhat boring), the best are the title track (with great vocal harmonies and excellent guitar solo), "The Blue "(with the best guitar solo of the album) " This Heaven " (which was the first track on the album and is fantastic) and the closer "Where we Start".

4 stars.Great!

Report this review (#459391)
Posted Sunday, June 12, 2011 | Review Permalink
2 stars I really don't know what I was expecting from David Gilmour's first solo album in 22 years. I guess sort of a combination of Division Bell and his 1984 solo effort, About Face. Well that guess was wrong. And when you think about it a little, why would it sound anything like those two albums? One was from 1984 and the other from 1994.

What David gives us are some well crafted songs, much on the mellow side of things, but sorely lacking in punch. The only highlight for me seemed to be "Take a Breath" which was very reminiscent of some of his older stuff, but with a much more darker, brooding sound. This song is in stark contrast with most of the rest of the album which reminds me of a never- ending sleepy lullaby. I don't know, is Dave getting softer as he gets older? Is this going to happen to me when I turn 60? Nap time music??

Really, the songs are thoughtful, performed well and executed nicely. They just need a good kick in the pants. And the prog rock meter registers really low, too (though I doubt many of us were expecting any prog rock; just some cool guitar work). For die-hard fans only.

Report this review (#859102)
Posted Wednesday, November 14, 2012 | Review Permalink
2 stars Couple of Gems, but otherwise mediocre.

This albums starts off really great with first a cool introductory instrumental (Castellorizon), and the the title track. Unfortunately, the title track is the high point of the album, after which for the most part you just end up wishing to get back to that first tune. I have listened to this many times, and most of the other tunes lose interest after just a couple of listens. Some OK songs include "The Blue" (continuing with the blue themes of his other solo albums), and the closer "Where We Start". But I don't think even those two live up to their potential. By now the only tunes I bother with are the title track, and "Smile", which is a very nice song worthy of Gilmour's legacy. So, with only two really good songs, and the rest all quite mediocre, I can't give this more than 2 PA stars. I give this album 4.8 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to 2 stars. Really, other than those two tunes, this album is for fans only.

Report this review (#1698247)
Posted Friday, March 3, 2017 | Review Permalink

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