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David Gilmour - On an Island CD (album) cover


David Gilmour


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3.56 | 459 ratings

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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.

octopus-4 | 4/5 |


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