David Gilmour
On An Island


3.5
great

Review

by Thomas Bambaataa Ghidrah Towers USER (67 Reviews)
March 6th, 2006 | 49 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist


“Tell me, sonny, what d’you want fer yer birthday?"

“I want to release a solo album and then go on a bitchin’ tour!"

“You crazy boy, don’t let me catch you talking like that again or you’ll get a smack upside d’head!"

Little did Grandpa Gilmour know, that “sonny" would get to release an album on his birthday- his 60th that is. Little did he also know that he is British and shouldn’t be talking like a southern African-American. Yes, March 6th marks On an Island’s [UK] release and Gilmour’s date of birth. It’ll probably never happen again, Gilmour has released only three solo albums in a span of twenty-nine years, what he did to keep himself busy in between the solo albums, I can‘t imagine...

Like his consistency with solo works, On an Island is laid back. The type of album one would put on and let flow to play some golf, slug back a couple of brews, or go fishing, preferably with the solitude of an island. But unlike the cover suggests, no man is an island. David got a lot of help for his project, and from all the right places- the old folks’ home. The most noticeable being David Crosby and Graham Nash’s harmonies with Gilmour’s adding a textural airiness leading the heavily orchestrated arrays of instruments, but still as relaxing and minimal as the rest of the album, as in the title track and The Blue. The songs are enriched greatly with upcoming tour mate Richard Wright’s Hammond organ and the serene arrangements of Zbigniew Preisner, adding an epical backing sound to the contemplative trio. The songs could easily fall flat as boring, rather than mesmerising. The instrumentals Castellorizon and Red Sky at Night also incorporate grandiose, yet ambient, orchestrations, but in a formless way, reminiscent of the spacey introductions of Pink Floyd’s Shine On You Crazy Diamond. Damn it! I promised myself I would not make Floyd comparisons!

Also like Shine On..., even in the album’s most pompously orchestrated moments, there is still room for a trademark Gilmour Solo. But even if it the David Gilmour, his solos fall flat on occasion in the album, some of them going nowhere and sounding like the guitar version of a senile old man telling a tedious story that goes nowhere. Sometimes the songs themselves sound like this too. Other times, his signature Stratocaster tone takes the tune soaring to new heights. And unlike new Santana albums, Gilmour doesn’t just stand around playing little guitar fills then the obligatory solo, Big Dave stretches his fingers in other styles too. On an Island is roughly split between the big fancy pants songs mentioned, and more stripped down songs, where Dave dominates with the guitar, and the orchestrations are more restrained, and subtle. These songs are also more interesting, and with stronger, more assertive melodies, from the raunchy R&B stylized This Heaven, to the blues rocker Take a Breath. The latter combines the polished orchestra sound and raw bluesy distortion in a gripping way in the outro, the both assimilating in a tense way to make an over-the-top coda. Despite the blues influence, David keeps his voice smooth and calm in the song, and throughout the whole album, not using the gruffness heard in songs like Money and Young Lust.

On an Island, though I may have given the impression that it is by describing the orchestration, is not a extravagant album. It’s soothing, introspective, and plays it safe the whole way, but isn‘t boring. It’s not ambitious, but it’s sophisticated enough to avoid being like the poppy rock trash of his second album, About Face. Where his former band mate Roger Waters usually strives for pretentious, self-indulgent albums, Gilmour is on the other side of the spectrum- just sticking to what he‘s always done, in a modest way. And this time, David Gilmour pulled it off very well, possibly the best thing he’s done in a very long time. No one should expect something big, or groundbreaking, but rather an intelligently crafted, placid album featuring one (and on occasions, two) of the best musical forces of the 70s.



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Gilmour puts you to sleep. In a good way....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Riva
March 6th 2006


61 Comments


I really want to get this soon, but I doubt my local CD stores will have it in.

Great review.

204409
Emeritus
March 6th 2006


3998 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think the whole catchy opening section is getting absurd. "[S]outhern African American?" What the fuck are you trying to do with that intro?

Thor
March 6th 2006


10244 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I can't wait for this album. David Gilmour is one of my favorite guitarists of all time.

pulseczar
March 6th 2006


2385 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm not trying to do a single thing DFelon, I just see people messing around with intros all the time, so whatever, I don't give a sh[font=verdana]it[/font].

Zebra
Moderator
March 6th 2006


2647 Comments


This was an entertaining review, and a good one also. I wont be listening to this unless I have plans to go on an island, because I just cant get into Gilmours solo stuff.

Med57
Moderator
March 6th 2006


1002 Comments


Yeah, I like this review too. I heard a couple of songs from this and liked it so it's probably going to be in the shopping basket whenever I go and get some CDs next. His solo career is underrated by a lot of people.

robo2448
March 6th 2006


132 Comments


I'll probably do get this soon. Good review. I have to agree that "catchy" intros to reviews can get kind of repetitive and boring but I thought this one was well done and funny.

Jawaharal
March 6th 2006


1832 Comments


Sounds like something I might put effort into downloading.

rawkin review dawg

pulseczar
March 6th 2006


2385 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think his first solo album is underrated, simply because it was released still in Floyd's prime, but Rick Wright's solo work deserves more praise.



I wouldn't do this kind of intro unless I thought it had its own twist, which I believe it does, no matter how stupid. Too many people try and rip off Scruples or something like that and just make the review look drab.

Zebra
Moderator
March 6th 2006


2647 Comments


I like entertaining intros, even if they dont really pretain to the review. I don't know why, but it makes me want to keep on reading even if it is sort of dumb.

Kingofdudes
March 6th 2006


294 Comments


This was an entertaining review, and a good one also. I wont be listening to this unless I have plans to go on an island, because I just cant get into Gilmours solo stuff.

From what I heard, this nothing like his other solo work.
Great review but
poppy rock trash

There is nothing wrong with pop rock.This Message Edited On 03.06.06

CausticVodka
March 7th 2006


11 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Just got this today. I like it, particularly This Heaven and On an Island. Gilmour's guitar work, vocals and the recurring theme of water combine to create a smooth, relaxing atmosphere. It's not perfect, but its still good stuff; easy to listen to, and easy to get into.

sadisticmonkey
March 7th 2006


107 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

the best track is "smile"



its like any other Pink Floyd CD...which isn't bad....but isn't entirely excellent either...





Ephemeral
March 9th 2006


144 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cool album. Has lots of very interesting sound scapes.

pulseczar
March 9th 2006


2385 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

There is nothing wrong with pop rock.




I know, I was actually just saying that About Face was a terrible album, not pop rock. Came out wrong, I guess.



This is in the 2006 rankings, neat.

Kyle
March 10th 2006


667 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

My Mum randomly bought this for me the other day, I have never properlly listened to Pink Floyd or Gilmours solo work, so I was a bit bewildered to say the least. I was however pleasantly suprised, this is a really great ablum to chill out to, great background or headphones music.

Thor
March 10th 2006


10244 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hopefully I'll get this weekend. I'm really excited to hear this.

Jim
March 11th 2006


5110 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Me toosies. Some of the laid back stuff has to grow on you, and I predict this album to be the same. Smile is the only track I've heard and it's textbook Gilmour. Good stuff none-the-less.

Spectrum
March 13th 2006


347 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This material is very familiar, especially if you've heard any two or three Floyd songs from the Gilmour era. It is nearly impossible to do this review without making Floyd comparisons/references, because the material is so typical of what Gilmour wrote and recorded in that era. That being said, this CD sounds like a hybrid of WYWH and DSOTM. There. I said it.



That being said, I was quite happy with the listening to this CD. Laid back, as a million people have said, and incredibly chill, chill music for hanging out. The music is usually fairly minimal, but somehow, it works. This is music that I personally really like to listen to - there's enough subtlety in it to keep me interested. Good review.This Message Edited On 03.13.06

Med57
Moderator
March 19th 2006


1002 Comments


I've heard this now. Pretty good stuff...probably my favourite solo album by him yet. Now to get into his tour somehow. :- It is very much in the vein of Floyd's more mellow stuff as well, which is great as we get to see just how much Gilmour contributed to their best work,



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