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David Gilmour

Rattle That Lock

Review by Gary Hill

Rattle That Lock is the fourth solo studio album from David Gilmour. It was released in 2015. I have to confess to being a big fan of Gilmour. As such, you'd expect me to like this album a lot, and I do. Some of it, as you might guess, is a lot like Pink Floyd. Gilmour was always responsible for a lot of the Pink Floyd sound, and that shines through here. There are things other than Floydian textures, though. Overall, this is a strong and varied release. It features quite a few guest musicians, but some of the notables for me include David Crosby and Graham Nash, Jools Holland, Phil Manzanera and Robert Wyatt.

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Track by Track Review
5 A.M.
The sound of nature are on display as this opening instrumental gets underway. Lush keyboard textures make up the first instrumentation, but the guitar rises upward from there This has both intricate acoustic and expressive electric in the mix. It creates a sound that feels somewhere between fusion and Pink Floyd.
Rattle That Lock
There is a tentative opening vibe. Then a funky sort of groove emerges with a rubbery bass line. This isn't the proggiest thing you will hear, but it is a great rocker with some killer vocal hooks and a lot of great energy. There is a dropped back section, but overall this is a straight-ahead rocker that has a group vocal chorus. It also has some trademark Gilmour guitar soloing in the later parts of the tune.
Faces of Stone
Tentative piano parts bring this number into being. For some reason, it makes me think of "Echoes" just a little. It grows very slowly and gradually. Acoustic guitar rises up after a time, and we're taken into a rock groove from there. This really does feel like something that would have fit on a Pink Floyd album. There are hints of cafe music in the mix at times. The number gets more powered up as it continues to move forward. As more bombastic world elements emerge later, I'm reminded a little of The Wall. Gilmour gives up another expressive guitar solo, and then the tune works out to more soaring, proggy stuff from there. It drops to another mellower movement, and we get a longer guitar solo section after that part winds through. The cut eventually fades down as the guitar continues to weave its spell.
A Boat Lies Waiting
Piano also starts this track, but less tentatively. The piano is at the heart of this, but other things are heard over the top as it moves forward, including some sound bites that are decidedly Pink Floyd-like. The vocals come in over the top of this piano arrangement. This is another that definitely feels like it would fit well on an actual Floyd album. This doesn't get far from its roots, but when it's this good, that's not a bad thing.
Dancing Right in Front of Me
The guitar starts this with some hints of jazz in the mix. The arrangement has a mix of cafe music, jazz and blues in the opening. Then a blast of Pink Floyd-like rocking emerges It drops to the earlier mellower section for the entrance of the vocals. This song works through a number of changes as it evolves. There are plenty of jazzy things at play on the tune. There is a shift to some pure jazz zones later in the tune. This is another with some decidedly Floyd-like moments.
In Any Tongue
Some whistling is heard at the beginning of this track. Textural music rises upward from there before the guitar brings in the more rocking sounds. This is on the slow side. It's also rich, powerful and Pink Floyd-like in its moody arrangement. There is a drop to a piano-dominated movement. Then it fires back out into some Floydian bombast from there. Eventually it drops back to another mellower, piano-led break before coming back out with style and energy. This continues to evolve and is such a powerful piece of music.
Ambient elements start things here. Keyboard textures and guitar rise up to get this moody and mellow instrumental underway. This is another that feels very much like Pink Floyd. Around the halfway mark, it turns more rocking as an insistent groove takes over. It has more of a serious progressive rock angle as it does, too. We get some trademark Gilmour guitar work in the mix. This really becomes quite a rocking groove before it's over. It ultimately fades down to end.
The Girl in the Yellow Dress
Bass brings this in. They take us into a cool jazz groove. It feels like you ought to be sitting in a smoky old jazz club. This tune is not proggy. Other than Gilmour's voice, it's also not Pink Floyd like. It is, however, a killer jazz tune with a real traditional vibe to it. It has some great instrumental work all the way around.
As this starts it feels very much like church music with a keyboard-based arrangement covered with a minor sea of voices. After that winds through, we're taken into a killer funky rocking jam. There are hints of The Beatles on this and some particularly proggy twists and turns. This thing is so cool. It's a big change, but it's also really effective. There are some Floyd-like moments at times on this, but that's not the predominate element. I think this might be my favorite song on the album.
And Then...
Another that feels more Floyd-like, this has some killer Gilmour guitar-soloing in an cool, mid-tempo arrangement. This instrumental is classy and does a great job of grounding the album to end.
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