David Gilmour - Rattle That Lock

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I’ll never complain that David Gilmour has released something new.  I like his guitar style so much I’ll buy his product unheard.  He delivers that on Rattle That Lock, not in an unsparing way, but in, sadly, too songs that are too subdued and melancholy to be revisited often.  Track by track we’ll go:
“5 A.M.” – a nice way to wake up, but not the ideal mood setter for a CD.  It too closely recalls the recent Endless River coda by Pink Floyd, a lifeless meandering of soothing sounds.

“Rattle That Lock” – I would prefer that he hadn’t taken an 80’s pop approach to this song, particularly the synthesizers, but the tune is decent.  Gilmour’s voice barely manages the strain of the higher notes, but the guitar sees this song through.  In the canon of playlist worthy songs, this one is good for a short season. 

“Faces of Stone” and “A Boat Lies Waiting” – “Faces” has its  moments, but in another era, both of these would be known as album filler.  If anyone listens to the album enough, maybe they’ll become more appreciated.  The tone they set, however, is to deflate any sense of pace.

“Dancing Right in Front of Me” is an offbeat waltz of a song, distinctive stylistically yet finding ample room for his guitar, not quite a gem, but not too far, either.

Gilmour’s guitar salvages “In Any Tongue” which is to say that the solo sounds like it might fit in any of his better songs.  That’s good enough, right?  “Beauty” follows, an instrumental song that might have been borrowed from Floyd’s The Division Bell.  It’s good, though unfortunate that you have to wait for two minutes for the lift.

Although the overall tone of the album is a little too slow and meandering, it does venture into quirky instrumental flashes, if not overall styles.  “The Girl in the Yellow Dress” is a jazzy number that is completely different from anything he’s done before (such as featuring a sax and refraining from a guitar solo), and judged outside of expectations, it’s a real treat…

“Today” continues with visible signs of life.  There’s a lot to like about it, including the tune, backing vocals, and guitar… but there’s nothing to love about it other than it’s not listless.

“And Then…” is a typical Gilmour instrumental – beautiful, showing the craft that his fans have come to love… and requisitely slow enough for his slow slide technique to have its space.

Overall, this is an okay album.  It won’t appeal to fans outside of the Pink Floyd universe, and those, like me, are just thankful to hear something new, even if it isn’t what we hoped for.  The answer isn’t a Roger Waters, but some collaborator with the gumption to remind him that at 69, it’s still okay to rock.  I wonder if he’s met Robin Trower…


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