On an Island – David Gilmour | CD review

(Columbia) 3.5 stars

If the  2005 Live 8 concert reunion was a one-off, David Gilmour’s atmospheric third solo CD is as close as we’ll get to a new Pink Floyd recording.

That’s not such a bad compromise, since Gilmour and his Fender Stratocaster, with that melodic vibrato and heroic sound, have been at the Floyd’s musical heart since Roger Waters’ 1985 departure.

Once past its flashy solo instrumental prelude, `Castellorizon’, `On An Island’ is girt by calm seas.

The tempo lifts briefly for the rocking `Take a Breath, but otherwise the mood throughout is languid, reflecting Gilmour’s relaxed playing and double-tracked vocal style, with drawn-out chords and measured, rhythmic progressions, while most of songs were collaborations with his wife, writer Polly Samson.

Gilmour produced with Chris Thomas and Phil Manzanera (whose keyboards feature along with those of Richard Wright), while other notable guests include Robert Wyatt, B.J. Cole, Georgie Fame, Jools Holland, David Crosby and Graham Nash.

This is music for warm summer idylls, perfect for northern latitudes … or antipodeans with imagination.

- Mike Daly

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