Monday, March 19, 2007

David Gilmour - 'David Gilmour'

Rating: 6/C

When I reviewed David Gilmour's 2006 album, 'On An Island', I identified a sense of calmness as the defining element of the album. It seems as if Gilmour was an equally calm bloke some 28 years before 'On An Island', which probably explains a thing or two along the line, especially why all the attempts at Water-y darkness on those last two Pink Floyd albums never sat that well.

Gilmour's distinctive guitar tone and his gorgeous, soaring solos are all over this album, as is his rather nifty and soothing voice. That's the good news. On the other hand, the album fails to deliver any really incisive moments or hooks, instead serving as a sort of very high-grade aural candy. From the ethereal opening instrumental, 'Mihalis', through 'Cry From The Street', which has some tasty blues-rock licks and a more organic and bluesy solo than is usually the case in Pink Floyd, the somewhat hard-rockish opening of 'Short And Sweet', the sinuous-and-sinewy licks on 'Raise My Rent', the somewhat intent and hypnotic pulse of 'No Way', which transforms briefly into something rather huge and a trifle noisy, the shivery, tricky playing on 'Deafinitely' to the closing song, the wistful 'I Can't Breathe Anymore', nothing here is less than immaculately arranged and played, or much more than professional and just a little dull.

The Eiderdown Stuffing-Bottomline:
Gilmour explores more straightforward soundscapes and rocking guitar lines than is the norm with Floyd, but his sound is so much a part of the later Floyd eithos that the association is hard to shake off. The album comes across as background music, but it's a gorgeous, quality backdrop with the inspiring soloing and high standards of general execution and production one associates with Gilmour.


Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

One day I'll check this out. I've heard so many people rip on the newer one he released, but I keep thinking this earlier stuff probably has some of the trippy nuances of Floyd at this period of time.

JP said...

Not really. The self-titled album is very much a simpler, more rock n' roll sound than Floyd at the time, just drums, bass, guitar, some keyboard, but mostly just chordal stuff on an electric organ or tinkly piano notes toadd the general prettiness, although some of the feel and of course the guitar work is similar. About Face is more determinedly non-Floydian, and winds up sounding like a prototype for Momentary Lapse (not a high recommendation, and About Face is THE Gilmour solo album to avoid). Strangely, it's On An Island, released at a time when Floyd finally seems to be laid to rest that's Gilmour's most Floydian album.

I rate both albums (self-titled and On An Island) about the same - very pleasant stuff, great guitar solos, lots of melody but little that grabs me the way Floyd at their best could.