• Rattle That Lock album review

    David Gilmour - Rattle That Lock album review

    The wait is over! David Gilmour’s new solo album, Rattle That Lock, is finally out. The follow up to his last solo effort, On An Island (2006), is an eclectic collection of songs that very much reflects the present state of David as a songwriter and performer. Here’s my review.

    It’s hard to believe that it’s already 9 years ago since David’s last album! The whole experience of On an Island – the anticipation, the album, the tour, all the new gear – left me wanting more and looking forward to the next chapter. As usual, the wait was long.

    I’m not sure what I’d hoped he’d do this time. More of the same? Well, On an Island was great but it’s not an album that I frequently listen to. After hearing Endless River and seeing pictures of David’s new recording studio, with all the vintage gear, I was hoping for something in the lines of his first, self titled solo album, with a more contemporary sound. If anything, Endless River showed that David is still able to experiment and explore new sounds.

    Rattle That Lock has been spinning continuously since its release last Friday and I must be honest and admit that that this is not what I had expected or hoped for. At all.

    Rattle That Lock is not an album that I would have bought if it hadn’t been for David Gilmour. I had hoped it would be but it’s not. That doesn’t mean that I hate it or have lost the faith in David. It just doesn’t appeal to my musical taste. Most of it anyway.

    I’ve seen comments on each end of the scale. Some call it a masterpiece. Really? Is it up there with The Wall, Thriller or Sgt Pepper? Other are hugely disappointed. Why? Did you expect David to make an album dedicated to you? Of course not. He is an artist and artists evolve. Let’s face it. It’s been over 20 years since Division Bell. Surely we can all appreciate that David is a different musician now. A different person.

    My biggest problem with Rattle That Lock is that it’s too eclectic. I’m struggling to see the connection between the songs and I’m also left with a sense that it sounds somewhat unfinished. I know he’s spent years writing, recording demos and mixing but there’s something missing. While On and Island had a nice flow and that familiar conceptual structure, Rattle That Lock seems hurried and, at times, uninspired.

    It’s also strange to hear bits of vocals and guitars that makes you go “ouch…”. David sings like an angel but there are also places where the key is too low and he’s clearly struggling. The man is turning 70 next year, I know, but why not fix a bad recording when he clearly has the voice to pull it off?

    Some of the guitar parts, the solos in particular, sounds as if he just kept the original demo recording and didn’t bother to fix obvious mistakes. Perhaps the idea is to create some sort of an intimate atmosphere but the rest of the album is so well produced, which makes those mistakes very obvious.

    Speaking of guitars. Rattle That Lock is not a guitar album, which is bit of a surprise. On an Island was but this time it seems that David has toned down the long solos and heavy riffs, in favour for stronger melodies, orchestra and production. As a fan, I wouldn’t mind hearing a new On the Turning Away or The Blue but as a musician I appreciate David’s need and urge to do something that doesn’t evolve around the obvious guitar solo wanking.

    Still though, there are definitely moments on this album that touches a nerve deep down. Few have the capability to create something as beautiful and soulful as David. Especially when his voice and guitar is combined. The overall production also sounds fresh and way more dynamic than On an Island.

    There’s a much more uplifting and inspired vibe throughout the album. There’s no doubt that David found writing and recording much easier this time than with On an Island and you can almost feel the relaxed and joyful atmosphere they must have experienced in the studio. Perhaps more so than on anything I’ve heard from David. That tells me that he’s in a good place now and perhaps this won’t be the last we hear from him.

    Let’s go through each song…

    5 A.M.
    A nice little opener, reminiscent of Signs of Life and Cluster One. Beautiful orchestra arrangements by Zbigniew Preisner. It would have been very interesting to hear Richard Wright’s piano on this one – similar to what he did on Cluster One. Not too impressed by David’s guitar tone. Sounds like it was fed directly into the desk preamp, with way too much compression. Nice playing though.

    Rattle That Lock
    I have wanted to like this one ever since I heard the single earlier this summer but it just doesn’t happen. Sorry, this one is right up there with Blue Light and Cruise.

    Faces of Stone
    Not an overly exciting song, and I’ve never been a fan of those French references, with clarinets and horns, but there are some really nice moments here. Beautiful intro with the piano, that leaves me wanting more of that low-key ambient atmosphere.

    The orchestral bridge section is really nice (did I hear John Barry’s You Only Live Twice?) and of course, the tone on that outtro solo is just amazing! It’s strange though, that he didn’t fix the obvious mistakes around 4:40. Did he drop the guitar or hit it against his knee or something?

    A Boat Lies Waiting
    This is a beautiful little piece and I love the fact that they used the original mini disc recording of David playing the piano. It creates haunting and intimate atmosphere that instantly makes you think about something Rick would have done, sitting alone by the piano between takes.

    David’s voice fits Crosby and Nash perfectly. It would be very interesting to hear all three on a full-length collaboration.

    Dancing Right In Front of Me
    This one could very well be a leftover from On an Island. Parts of it is reminiscent of both On an Island, the title track, and Smile. Again, not overly exciting but a nice little piece, with some great sounding vocals and guitar and that slight touch of jazz improv is fitting.

    In Any Tongue
    This is the definitive high point of the album. Powerful arrangements, beautiful vocals and the guitar solo – and the tone – cuts right into your heart. Too bad it’s too short! I love those piano interludes and the dramatic chorus.

    There’s something about the feeling of this song that takes me back to songs like Great Day for Freedom and even High Hopes. If you listen closely, you’ll also hear a Hammond organ that sounds very much like Wright playing (it’s not) and that familiar high-strung acoustic guitar we’ve heard on numerous Floyd songs. A new Gilmour classic!

    This one is interesting and another high point. It sounds very similar to what we heard on Endless River and given that the majority of David’s guitars on that album was recorded in 2013-14, I’m suspecting that this track dates from those sessions.

    This is close to what I’d hoped to hear more of after hearing Endless River and seeing his new studio. Classic Gilmour slides – and the tone is insane! – and a really cool flow to the whole song.

    The sudden fade-out sounds strange though, as if they simply didn’t care to end it properly, which, again, leads me to think that this was originally a short snippet from the Endless River sessions a couple of years back.

    The Girl in the Yellow Dress
    I don’t really know what to say about this one. It sounds oddly out of place on this album. I love that kind of dark, piano bar jazz style but I don’t think it’s neither fitting for the album nor convincing enough. The band sounds terrific but David’s performance is more like “this is something he wants to do but doesn’t quite get”. Bryan Ferry is one of those rock artists that comes to mind who nails these numbers because he has a deeper understanding of the genre.

    This one sounds like a cross between 1980s Peter Gabriel and Level 42, with a dash of Roxy Music and ELO. Nice production, with lots of details and the bridge sections, with Mica Paris on backing vocals works really well but overall – don’t like it.

    And Then…
    A nice way to end the album and to tie it all together. It’s got some of that intimate and down to earth feel, much like Where We Start from On an Island, although the fire at the end doesn’t quite cut it. Not the best tone I’ve heard from David but a nice little piece and some lovely orchestra arrangements.

    So, that’s my brutally honest opinion. I’m sure many of you scratch your heads and think that I’m crazy. Maybe you agree? Please, feel free to use the comments field below and share your thoughts and opinions about Rattle That Lock!


248 Responsesso far.

  1. Cristhian Muñoz says:

    La canción que mas emotiva, definitivamente es “in any tongue”, cuando escuchos los coros y el solo de guitarra, simplemente los suspiros y la gratitud esta obra magnifica de Gilmour, gracias por todo y tanto

  2. Troy says:

    I think that it is likely that those “clams” that DG left on RTL & the contrarian/unorthodox/unexpected use of certain processing effects (that is compared to his oeuvre to date prior to RTL) – specifically the use of higher-gain compression were very much deliberate.

    “Bing Crosby … always said, ‘Leave the clams in, let ’em know I’m human,’” (New York Times, 1991)

    It is safe to say that part of many an advanced musician’s maturing processes is to seek to find means to escape being pigeon-holed.

    Prior to RTL it would have been a lot easier to have (perhaps uncharitably) described DG as “a musical perfectionist – some might say to a fault – till the very end” “whose legacy of lead guitar tones consisted of a miscellany overdriven, distorted & fuzzed out solos”. Now any honest reviewer has to add something along the lines of “late in his career he did indeed start to challenge the preconceptions that both his fans & detractors had of his musical aesthetic”. The same could be said of “Girl in the Yellow Dress”.

    The “higher up the dial” compression of the very clean, “overdrive off” lead guitar tones that greet us early on on RTL combined with the some noted “clams” & an “out of character” song choice make for some pigeon-hole challenging statements that can actually be interpreted as audacious moves to break out of a mould of sorts.

    Whether any of us like any of these moves or not is not as relevant as the fact that DG has chosen to include all three “un-DG” elements on an autumnal album. The fact that he doesn’t make the whole album serve these aesthetic choices (a charge that be reasonably levelled at his appropriately titled “About Dace” album from 1984) but includes them amongst a variety of approaches is also a sign of his having sidestepped mere posturing (that would have been the case if he’d left all of the dirt pedals switched off throughout, had nothing but mega-compressed ultra-clean lead tones, “clams” on every track & ramped up the “genre clash” count) & has made an album that he has based a tour on that has neatly allowed him to land on both feet in territory marked “not as easily predictable as previously expected”.

    “Heavy compression” & “compression pushed lower gain drive” lead guitar tones are definitely worth exploring & DG has done that with some of the RTL album & tour lead tones. I think that he probably relishes keeping himself on his toes too via these methods.

    Yeah there is a method to the “madness”. Ha! :)

    • Bjorn says:

      I see your point and I definitely understand David’s approach. The Floyd albums has been, to some extent, overly produced over the years but he’s very been a guitarist that doesn’t pay too much attention to things being perfect. It’s about capturing the mood and feel of it all. My issue with the “clams” on this album is that they don’t fit in. The album is so well produced, with all the orchestras and a clear approach to making everything sound good and leaving mistakes in that mix just sounds weird to me. Wish You Were Here is a good example of a song where they, quite deliberately, left mistakes in the intro because it gave the impression of someone playing along with the radio. That’s an effect and it’s charming. On RtL it just sounds sloppy… Anyway, my thoughts :)

      • Troy says:

        Thanks for those thoughts Bjorn.

        Alternately maybe he had been listening to free jazz guitarist Sonny Sharrock who brought some deliberately interjected chaos to the order of Herbie Mann’s otherwise over-easy soul-jazz style on the “Memphis Underground” album from 1969 on Atlantic Records.

        One of the most bizarre pairings in the history. recorded music. Although similarly to DG Sharrock has been described as being noted for “bringing out the beauty in emotions rather than technical prowess”

        Speaking of Masonic concepts such as “Ordo Ab Chao” (Order out of chaos) – the motto of the 33rd degree of Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, it is interesting to contemplate just exactly what is the nature of the influence of Polly Samson on DG’s music, not only in lyrics & presentation.

        At the 1:10 mark of this short video interview (where both DG & PS are appropriately dressed in all black) PS elaborates on her inspiration for the lyrics of RTL (the song), the poet John Milton’s take on Lucifer/Satan’s back story “Paradise Lost”:


        & at 3:44 of this interview:


        The following accurate description of the RTL title track’s video is found at Wikipedia:

        “Aubrey Powell of Hipgnosis served as Creative Director for the video. The video depicts the fall of Lucifer from the Kingdom of Heaven and his subsequent journey through Pandæmonium, Purgatory and Chaos to corrupt the virgin Earth and become Satan, as told in the epic poem, Paradise Lost.”

        Manley P Hall (honorary 33rd degree) states in ‘Lost Keys of Freemasonry’ page 48:

        “When the Mason learns that the key to the warrior on the block is the proper application of the dynamo of living power, he has learned the mystery of his craft. The seething energies of Lucifer are in his hands and before he may step onwards and upwards he must prove his ability to properly apply (this) energy.”

        Although perhaps this interest in occultic lore & symbolism extends back many decades

        Noting the Illuminist/Luciferian/Masonic symbolism contained within the front cover art of “Dark Side of the Moon” (fellow Cambridge natives Aubrey Powell & Storm Thorgerson of Hipgnosis were commissioned to do the work) & the controversy of “The Dark Side of the Rainbow” (“the pairing of the 1973 Pink Floyd album The Dark Side of the Moon with the visual portion of the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz” – it is worth reading the whole Wiki article at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_Side_of_the_Rainbow ), then PS’s Eve-like beguilement with Lucifer/Satan & DG’s seemingly Adam-like naivety at going along with her self-admittedly pro-Satanic lyrical subject matter to the degree that it becomes the focus of the album’s art work & title track’s video artwork does lead the questioning mind to ponder if there is in fact another more esoteric level at play that has surfaced at certain times in – relatively speaking – more obvious ways than at others over the decades within the DG’s body of work.

        Yeah it could all be a coincidence – or maybe highly compressed clean lead guitar tones, incongruous “clams” & “The Girl in the Yellow Dress” are actually Satanic! Few might argue otherwise. ;D

        • Bjorn says:

          Interesting… I’ll check it out :)

          • Troy says:

            Do a search for “Cambridge MI6” You might get more than you bargained for! :D It could explain a lot.

            Interesting too that the pre-DG PF album “Piper At the Gates of Dawn” was named after Pan, commonly identified with Lucifer. Which really has symbolic echoes with the Lucifer/Satan theme of RTL that PS admits to.

            The whole psychedelic scene was a CIA-MI6 created & run operation. Sub-orohect 58 of the CIA’s Project MK-Ultra mind control operation.. Searching “Project MK-Ultra sub-project 58” will bering up much of this background based on FOIA requests & historically documented,

            Real rabbit hole stuff! :D

  3. Bray Culpepper says:

    Bjorn, I totally agree. I was very disappointed and just wasn’t moved by this record at all. The first time I heard ‘Rattle That Lock’ , I thought it was a remix of a Bryan Ferry song off of ‘Boys and Girls’! It sounds like a deviation of ‘Don’t Stop The Dance’ and ‘Stone Woman’ slowed down a bit. 5 A.M., with the beautiful guitar line and very melancholic feeland, is the only track I liked.

    For me, the songwriting and sound quality of David’s solo albums (by my rating) are in chronological order, David’s first solo album has been (and will always be) my favorite. It was just a laid back jam album that he put together with his old Joker’s Wild buddies that fit the bill for what it should have been…a David Gilmour GUITAR album with his definitive sound! Regardless, I love all things David Gilmour in his catalog of works, but I guess I’m just too old school.

  4. Craig Horstman says:

    Perhaps Polly’s lyrics steered him in the the wrong direction. If you have the power to put out anything quality always goes unchecked. Poetry is subjective but music is either memorable or forgettable.

  5. Craig Horstman says:

    Five dollars on EBay says it all. After 6 months the verdict is out. This album is lame although worth trying. His voice and guitar are slightly soothing but sound like an AARP soundtrack. Think Bob Dylan sings American Standards.

    • Bjorn says:

      The average lifespan of an album is 3 months. After that, unless you’re Adele, it’s forgotten and the price point lowered each week. That’s just the business and how we consume music these days. But, in any case, it doesn’t seem like the album has reached a top ranking among fans wither.

  6. Geneuronios says:

    Someone note differences between the CD and the Blu-ray? I am talking about sound quality and NOT about the music itself !!! Wait for answers !!!

  7. Piotr says:

    Hi, Bjorn! I’ve finally bought this album, just finished listening, hated it and couldn’t wait to jump onto your website to see how you’re defending this music :) Well, you’ve disappointed me with your honest review ;) I really like the main poppy song and there are some nice gems here and there but it’s pretty mediocre overall IMO. I especially hate these “chanson” efforts. bleh

    • DefJef says:

      Don’t feel bad, you’re not the only one. I’m not sure David is really focused on making great music at the moment. He clearly loves playing and probably can’t help picking up the guitar on a regular basis and noodling away. The problem seems to be that others are insisting that these noodles are complete works and will sound just fine if a wash of keyboards is overlaid and a metronomic drummer adds some beat. Sadly they are wrong.

      I have quite enjoyed deconstructing and then learning a kind of segue of “5AM” and “..And Then” which sounds nice enough, almost “Shine On” quality, and would sound better on the album with a creative drummer playing with it.

      David needs a band if he is to actually compose again. But maybe he doesn’t want to.

  8. Listening to “In Any Tongue”, I can’t help but wonder if DG listened to some Airbag… in particular the “Never Coming Home/Light Them All Up/Homesick”… just looking at some of the subject matter, and the construct of the song.

    Do you see any resemblance?

    • Bjorn says:

      Ha ha, yeah well… if anything, Airbag might be a tad inspired by Pink Floyd, which I’m sure shines through in David’s music as well :) But thanks for the compliment!

  9. Mike P says:

    £6.99 on Amazon at the moment

  10. Eric says:

    Hey Bjorn, that was a really refreshing review. I don’t agree with every point but I’m glad you didn’t just blindly say it was awesome. My favorites is the first song guitar solos and the song about Rick.

    Question for you – I love the black strat with the rosewood neck. Check out the :13 second mark of this vid. Do you think that is the rosewood neck he used in the 70s? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPe_Y1Jp8YY

  11. ron says:

    I love this album. The man is a musical genius. Looks to me like most of you just don’t get it.

  12. Woz says:

    This is a bit of a non-sequitur, but I finally got around to purchasing David Crosby’s “Croz” and I’m very impressed. I suppose I mention it because I keep thinking about how Polly could take some lessons from Croz in lyric writing. Croz’s just flow. They smooth the way through the groove. There’s none of those “er…”, “ugh…”, “eek…” moments you get when listening to Polly’s efforts. I think she’s trying so hard to be a good lyricist that she ends up over-trying and the results are clunky. Sometimes she shows great promise, and then there’s “Louder Than Words”. But of course, none of this is about guitar playing and gear…

    • DefJef says:

      I think, perhaps, she’s finding that writing novels is not the same as writing poetry and writing poetry is not the same as writing lyrics. They are quite distinct talents.

      Now, I don’t know whether Polly plays an instrument or gets a chance to sing these words before David does but my hunch is that she does not. If she is only used to seeing her words on a screen or in a notebook, she may feel that they look right and signs them off to David (who may not have the heart to say ‘No’).

      As Roger knows, lyrics written down do not look like poetry but can just fly off the tongue.

  13. Mark T. says:

    Damn, Bjorn!!! This is EXACTLY how I feel about the album. Pretty much RIGHT down to each song. Nicely said. Overall, this isn’t an album that I’ll go back to…at least I don’t think it will be. I think that On An Island, as flawed as it is, is a much more complete and cohesive project both thematically and musically.

  14. ruodi says:

    And then … finally I had to admit that I like Riis´ “Lullabies in a car crash” overall much more than I like Gilmour´s “Rattle that lock”. :-/

    I knew that this would happen some day. – Nevertheless, I will ever love you, Dave!

    (Roger Waters, hope you read this: Bjorn Riis for Bleeding Hearts Band!)

  15. Mario Haussmann says:

    Hi Bjorn, you are not only right in what you are saying, I have now realized that your site is huge and absolutely great!!! Didn’t know that…
    My deepest respect to your work, also to your band, great stuff!!! :-)
    Let’s forget about the last three percent of perfection gearwise, what for you have to pay sooo much more money, David plays in that league of course and so do I (gearwise), and yes, it is difference, but: I had great times with my Highway 1 Strat, a cheap cable and a 10W Park combo with reverb 15 years ago, miced with a cheap Shure PG58 I had a great Pulse tone…
    Its up to the fingers mostly :-)
    Sorry again for being upset with some respectless people, it hit me in the face to be honest, it’s that strong how I feel connected with David Gilmour :-)
    It is so important today to share the positive musical energies with the world, just think about the struggle David has to accept to really go out and push the demons of our times away… this might be a huge part of the “imperfections” during the first shows- I’m sure it’s all about energetical stuff, spiritually spoken… we should thank this man for doing a great and difficult job for so many of us, if not for the whole world!!!
    Peace to everyone, play music for freedom :-)

    Mario, Germany

  16. Mark says:

    Hey Bjorn, quick question. I know your ears are a lot more familiar with the details of David’s tone than my own so you can probably give me a good answer.

    What is the modulation used on his tones in songs like “On Any Tongue?” It’s subtle, but undeniably there. I’m just not sure whether it’s more likely to be a rotary cab, a mild setting on the Electric Mistress, a chorus, etc.


    • Bjorn says:

      Hard to tell for sure. Could be mic’ing but it sounds like there is a very subtle rotary effect on that last solo. Definitely not a Mistress but there are two rotary cabs in the studio, the Yamaha RA200 and a Leslie G27. I’m guessing one of those, mixed lower than the main amp and cabinet.

  17. Mario Haussmann says:

    David Gilmour is a GOD. Period. Saw him live in Oberhausen, his tone is not from this world… I can understand having opinions about everything, so do I, but discussing David’s tone is nothing I can understand- get yourself a ton of spirit and talent, a great guitar, good cables, a few boutique handwired amps, a great (tube) reverb and a great distortion pedal and you’re done… the rest is up to the fingers I guess :-)
    I haven’t heard anyone that comes even close to David in FEEL!!! It was sooo nice to see him being human, making little structural mistakes live… BUT: having a FEELING like that in EVERY single note, there’s nothing that can be wrong!!!
    Please understand that his gear lets everything shine through his whole playing, playing a HANDWIRED MULTIPLE AMP SETUP REALLY LOUD is the thing that makes you being able to play percussive, sustaining, whatever… it’s about playing guitar, bass, drums all at once, plus a heaven of harmonic overtones and even harmonics in the sub bass range… well, words are not suitable for the biggest and most important things on earth- I think David might agree…
    Get yourself the chance to experience playing a REAL setup, it’s got to do with a lot of money, yes, but this is the league David is playing in… not having experienced that makes every statement laughable, sorry…
    It’s all about amps and volume, forget about dozens of stomp boxes… you can only recognize natural amp compression if you have experienced it… room filling sound, felt very loud but soft to the ears at the same time- go boutiqe and you’ll know what I mean :-) this crazy gear porn brings us away from playing the f###ing guitar I think… Heaven sends a beam into the heart, from there it goes to the fingers and is hopefully transmitted multidimensionally and most sensitively to a nice wall of well broken in speakers- this is where the magic lies :-)

    Mario, Germany

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Mario, thanks for sharing! I agree to some extent. Yes, David is unique. But so are all guitarists. You, and we, just happened to like him better than others. Yes, David’s tone is much thanks to his guitar and the loud tube amps. It’s also about the pedals and they way he combines them. If you only consider the gear, it would be impossible to sound exactly like him without an identical rig on the same stage. In that you are right. However, when you claim that without actually having played that gear, one can’t be in the position to talk about his tone. Well, if that’s really what you mean then you’ve missed the point of this site and the community we have here. I also think it’s a bit snobbish.

      • Mario Haussmann says:

        Hi Bjorn, sorry for having sounded a bit snobbish to you and others… that one should go out to the clueless people picking on David and his privacy, but those people don’t understand anyway…
        I also think I was misunderstood… It’s not about the exact gear at all, it’s all about feeling and spirituality that can only shine through the shortest possible signal path with the best cables, handwired effects and the finest possible amps… This is the main component of David’s sound, and that is so mighty that one shouldn’ care about delays and so on before going to explore the main part of the whole thing…
        Sorry again :-)


        • Bjorn says:

          Well then, I apologise if I misunderstood. That wasn’t my intention. You’re right that tone and feel comes down to the very basics: mind, fingers, guitar and amp. That’s also what I’ve been trying to communicate on this site for all these years. I don’t, however, agree that you only need the best of the best to have that shine through. There’s nothing special about David’s current rig and I think it’s also important to realise that it’s far more important to know now to use the gear than to just own a bunch of fancy stuff. Wouldn’t matter much what David used if he did’t know how to set it up and have an idea of what tones he wanted to produce. That goes even if you never use pedals. Know your gear – that’s the number one rule no matter what you use. Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts :)

      • Troy says:

        Poor old Dave! He must pick up his acoustic guitar at home, play a few licks & then put it down in disgust at the non-electrically amplified tone. In the studio he must have always thought “Why bother? It doesn’t sound the same as in a massive auditorium!”

        Seriously though: The hand-wired thing is great for working on amps for repairs & mods but as for tone I’m not convinced it makes any difference. You’d have to play through two amps made at the same time that used all of the same significant components & have one hand-wired & one not to be able to say for certain.

        I used to sell music gear in a store that had a massive floorspace where it was possible (obviously not continuously but often enough) to crank 50 & 100-watt amps have played at high volume. I would often feed the bridge pickup of a top quality Strat (custom shop, or most usually an Eric Johnson signature – amazing guitars, wish that I had one) into a Muff into the front of a very loud clean channel of various amps (Mesa Rectifiers, Road Kings & Stilettos [these Mesas varying between 50 & 150 watts]; Marshall Plexis [50 watts preferably, 100 watts of these are insanely loud unless using an attenuator] & Vintage Moderns [100 watts have a more complex sound & better headroom with these, wattage measured differently to Plexis]; among other makes) as well as using the amps’ own saturation (whether pre-amp, power-amp or sometimes both). All listed had stronger mid-range than any Fender (by the way: using a cranked Fender ’65 Twin Reverb reissue with a Muff necessitates the latter’s tone control to be completely rolled down using a Strat, insanely bright amp at volume).

        None of these have in recent decades been considered “boutique” per se (as far as I understand the term) but all in the right hands (& ears) would deliver the goods – as a high quality, clean base tone to feed drives & Muffs into. If anything choosing the right speakers loaded into a 4 x 12″ cab makes the biggest difference – those with the time & resources to do so, as I did working where I did with the gear at hand, will be stunned if they haven’t matched up different heads with a multitude of cabs loaded with different speakers & with different dimensions, etc.

        Beyond a certain level of quality with high-powered amps with great clean tones you’re talking personal preference & into complete subjective aspects (as contrasted with partial subjectivity & mental tone biases). I haven’t personally tried them (seen some demos & read up about them) but the new Marshall Astorias (green or blue versions) with their two KT66’s, 30 watts & being designed to be great pedal amps by the recently former Marshall amp guru Steve Dawson would likely do the DG thing most excellently (as well as being the name of his houseboat studio) with the right dirt & echo/delay pedals in front.

        If anything hitting that high a peak of the sublime tone zone is about the right combination of guitar, amp & speaker cab (& dirt pedal if used) & knowing how to used the tone & gain/level controls – & most importantly with genuinely heartfelt soulful playing executed with the requisite technique to effectively communicate those feelings & ideas).

  18. DefJef says:

    Talk about a slow burner. I’ve been playing (and adjusting) this album and it’s running order again and again over the weeks and it is now my favourite David Gilmour album. Musically it nears some of my favourite Floyd stuff (I did need to delete a couple of songs and some annoying verses on others). Having created a kind of suite from A Boat Lies Waiting/the choir section from Today/and combining 5AM and And Then… I can now enjoy a kind of Atom Heart Mother meets Wish You Were Here. I’d gladly send it to you, Bjorn, if you like and can tell me how.

    My main observation now is what an underrated and overlooked element of the Floyd sound is Nick Mason. We always hear how Rick Wright is the overlooked one but, despite Nick’s own self deprecating words about his playing and timing and Roger Waters’ sidelining of his input, I can’t help feeling that the drumming on this album is too polite and corporate and anonymous. Does David play any of the drums on here?

  19. nico says:

    oops, sorry, I use “google translate” I then corrects the result, but I missed a correction. I meant the warm voice of David at the beginning of my comment!

    • Troy says:

      “the hot way of David” is way more intriguing than “the warm voice of David”. Far better to keep the mystery!

      DG should put all of his lyrics into his online translation site of choice & translate them from English to French, & then from French back to English again. Now that could sort out any banalities for sure!

  20. Nico says:

    Hello dear Bjorn!

    I appreciate the solo work of David. The Pink Floyd period of 70 years will always remain for me the incomparable “must”, but the past is the past, and I always enjoy finding the hot way of David and his beautiful guitar playing.

    To return to this album, I fully agree with your review of the different songs. I’m not really a fan of the passages “old Parisian waltz” of “faces of stone” … and yet I’m French! But I find the rest of the song pretty nice. “A Boat Lies Waiting” is also a beautiful song. Like you, I am not a fan of either style “ ’80s progressive rock “of Today and jazzy” beauty “(I love jazz that is not the problem but not that one!). However, strangely, I like “Rattle That Lock”. Perhaps is it because, as French, I find it nice to find the jingle of the SNCF (our national railway company). That said, my compatriots who take the train every day should be more annoyed than me by this jingle! This song has an unusual style for David Gilmour, but I did not find it unpleasant!
    However I agree with you, “In Any tongue” is really the masterpiece of this album. And what a masterpiece! It did for me one of the best songs of David, with or without Pink Floyd, somewhere between Confortably numb and High Hopes (I’m not ashamed to say that), and is itself worth buying this album! And I can not wait to listen to a live version! We would like the rest of the album is as beautiful, but there’s still other nice songs in this.

    Finally, sorry for my English. Is this a valid excuse if I say that is because I am… french?
    And thank you for your wonderful website!

  21. inkslingers1 says:

    Now it’s growing on me. I’ve done some judicious pruning of Dancing Right in Front of Me and Yellow Dress. Combined 5 A.M. with And then… and altered the running order to 1. Beauty 2. rattle that Lock 3.Faces of Stone 4. In Any Tongue 5. Boat Lies Waiting 6. Today and 7. 5 A.M/And Then… and now the album plays beautifully.

    I’m wondering if that noise in Faces of Stone isn’t meant to be there. There are a number of odd noises on this album which are meant to be sound effects but are difficult to recognise; a strange squeak in Boat Lies Waiting (is it a bird? Is it a sealion?) and Bjorn says it’s meant to be fire at the end of And Then… but I thought it was a German Shepherd dog running from an owl in the rain. I’m wondering if the deep bump/crunch sound on Faces of Stone isn’t supposed to be fireworks in the night sky because a few more are heard after 4.43.

    • Bjorn says:

      I’m pretty sure that the thump or low rumble noise at 4:43 is the guitar. You can clearly hear that he’s struggling with those high notes and there’s a very loud thump that sounds like he’s dropping the guitar on his knees or something similar. It’s probably a result of playing very loud and holding the guitar too tight to be able to nail those high notes… which, in my opinion, he does not manage and should have done again.

      • inkslingers1 says:

        I don’t know, Bjorn. You can definitely hear the same sort of sound back in the mix at least two more times after this one at 4.43. I like to think that after all that Cohenesque business about ‘learning all he need to know up on the roof’ and ‘night overflowing’ we can hear the fireworks going off!

        • Bjorn says:

          Eh… I don’t know, I’m pretty sure we’re talking about two separate things, but anyway :)

          • Troy says:

            I’m pretty sure that that sound at 4:43 is of “faces of stone”, “images framed, hung high in the trees” falling to the ground. Alternatively it could be the sound of the falling of “a mask chosen by you”. The mystery remains!

            • Bjorn says:

              Well, I still think it’s the guitar. You can hear a similar sound several times later on in the solo as well. He’s clearly playing loud and struggling with some of the tones. But, doesn’t really matter. It’s a tiny details in an otherwise fine song :)

              • DefJef says:

                Haha. Troy’s imagination is even more wild than mine. All power to those mystery noises. It’s all part of the Floyd mystique!

  22. Lui Sutil says:

    All great comments for a great review… I think most of us agree that even though it’s still quality… We are dissapointed. “On an Island” was a masterpiece for me so to top that would have really required everything to come together nicely… Anyways… It might be one of those albums that grow on you as you keep listening… Even though non of the songs I feel like I meed to hear again I have the free cd they sent me for buying the concert ticket on my car, so I’m always listening to it in the car , and I’ve noticed more than anything how it ends…. Just like 5 A.M it sort of ends abruptly… You feel there’s more to it but it’s actually done. Finished. No more.

    Oh well, the concert review seems like it has some real memorable moments , can’t wait to catch him here in L.A. Next year… Damn…. Feels like forever!!!

  23. KEITH says:

    Hey Bjorn, I was so glad that you ran into Will! I got a blow by blow description of the 3rd show, and a nice photo of Will with you and Asle, and another with Will and Guy Pratt. While, as I’ve said here many times that I’m not crazy about much David, or Pink Floyd have done since ’79, there are a song or two on each album that I like, I couldn’t help but feel a bit bummed that I wasn’t there! I saw Floyd in ’77, probably one of the 3 best shows out of the hundreds of major acts I’ve seen live! I saw them the second time in ’88, which disappointed me a bit, and finally a far, far better show than ’88 in ’94. Seeing the Animals tour in Tampa, and both the MLOR, and The Division Bell shows a RFK stadium in Washington DC. Glad you had a great time, and for the record, I agree 100% on Rattle that lock.

    Hey Mr. Gilmour, 1983 called, and they want RATTLE THAT LOCK back!!!

    Peace all, KEITH

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Keith, yeah it was great running into Will. We didn’t get much time to speak, which I regret. I ran into so many people and there wasn’t enough time. Great show though!

      • KEITH says:

        This was meant to be posted in the article about you attending the shows. I guess I scrolled down a little ti far, haha. Glad you had fun!


  24. Groove Chamber says:

    I am actually pleasantly surprised by how much the album is growing on me with each pass. Definitely not a “10” (or “11”) but quite rich and addictive in it’s simple grace. The album falls a bit short lyrically, but Gilmour has reached a level in his playing where each phrase is so transcendent and a thing of distinct beauty. I can only hope that I am as creative and artistically fluid when I reach his age. Not many artists are. The album is as interesting as On an Island and certainly dwarfs albums like Division Bell and About Face (of which I never successfully listen start to finish). His first solo album will always resist comparison, but Rattle is a fine accomplishment, and I am finding it hard to resist.

  25. Ernest says:

    The album is definitely a different sound for Gilmour but it’s also kind of captivating. Actually, I don’t miss the “huge Gilmour solos”. I love the jazz vibe going on in “The Girl in the Yellow Dress”. Basically, I’ve always liked (jazzy) songs like “Take Five”…
    Anyway, overall, the Album “Rattle that Lock” did receive nice reviews in the “official media”. I believe the focus in this review is too personal or perhaps drowned in individual disappointment?

    • Bjorn says:

      Oh… I’m not sure how to answer that. I’m glad you like it. Good for you! Let me put it this way… The so called official media aren’t fans. I am. The might have a more objective perspective than me… true… however, like you, I am a fan and that means that I’ll be very honest in my opinions. I don’t expect everyone to agree but you can always trust that I’ve done a lot of research and that everything I write is based on my love and dedication towards Gilmour. I know how music critics write their pieces and the majority has only read the bio and skimmed through the album once. Also, if you’ve read my review, you’d notice that I point out that I’m very glad David made this album because it clearly shows that he’s enjoying every minute of it. I can hear that he finally manages to relax and do what he wants to do, rather that trying to follow up on some Floyd formula. But, and I think this is a fair and honest point, the album doesn’t appeal to me. Anyway, thanks for you comment and enjoy the album :)

  26. Giorgio says:

    Points of view, Bjorn.
    It is fair enough what you say, we may like some music style more than other. In my view David Gilmour has given us more about his art with this album, than he could have done in 2015 with any yet another post-Waters sounding guitar hero set of songs. In a way, he has surprised me. This album shows another side of the man, and I am – and many of us are – very glad that he reached us in a new and unexpected way. I am actually pleased, relieved and impressed thet he pulled out this album. And the album is good and refreshing. Personally I find it more positive than many other ‘gilmourish’ sounding classics and for me it is even uplifting, despite the bad cover art, which I agree is bad. Don’t get me wrong, I am a hard core Floyd fan, but for the Floyd sound there is their timeless legacy.
    True artists evolve. And I wish I will be able to make ‘mistakes’ like that with my Strat when I will be 70 years old …

    • Bjorn says:

      Yeah, and I make a point of that too… Although I don’t care much for the album, I’m very glad that he did something new and something that clearly represents the musician and artist he is today. I couldn’t really be happier for him because there’s no doubt when you listen to the album, that is something he really wanted to do and he’s damn proud of it.

  27. Ruud says:

    I had the same feeling about the album when it came out hearing it for the first few times but I must say it is growing day by day. Especially after the concert I’ve seen in RAH.I Like the diversity and the fact that it’s a Gilmour album and no forced PF kinda thing like Endless river. When I drove home last Saturday night in a foggy landscape I even learned to appreciate The girl with the yellow dress. The sax solo at the end is awesome and since than one of my highlights from the album. I am curious how you guys think about this album after a few weeks now?

    • Bjorn says:

      Hasn’t changed much for me other than those few songs I really like, are even better now that I’ve heard them live. Sorry, but the rest of the album just don’t appeal…

  28. Troy says:

    After the Brighton Centre gig, several listens to the Rattle That Lock album & the ultimate Albert Hall on this past Saturday night (October 3) I have unintentionally come to love the new album (as I do The Endless River).

    Unlike some I actually think that it is very guitar-centric & toneful – whether acoustic clean electric rhythm, overdriven rhythm, clean compressed lead & soaring saturated leads.

    There are also many echoes (no pun intended) of Floydian elements in a multitude of aspects that also hint to all decades of DG’s career both within & beyond Floyd – synth mood setting, guitar tones & playing, experimentation & exploration. It is just that the elements are not evocative of all aspects & those which he has focused on are perhaps not those which some may wish that he had. I am alright with that, as those which he has do chime with my own rather eclectic tastes.

    Many melodies & instrumental parts of a large number of the songs I have found myself whistling when not listening to it & it is indeed more rewarding with each play for me. As deliberately pastiche-like as “Girl With The Yellow Dress” is it is actually a strong melodic piece & my initial reservations of it have lessened somewhat – though I do hope that if vocal jazz-inspired/derived offerings are to manifest on any further albums (if the rumour is true that DG is already working on a followup) that the need for such overtly pastiche usage has been already satiated.

    I won’t (for now) list my personal highlights on the album but I will say that it is actually its eclecticness which is part of its appeal to me. This might not always work with albums but for whatever reasons it does with this one for me. I think that whatever preconceptions I had about the album they were not so invested with emotion that they were an issue for me.

    I loved Bjorn’s line above “I have accepted that David has done an album that doesn’t appeal to me” – that was the “correct” response to “Wishful thinking is not helpful. Acceptance is difficult but it is the correct way” – which (possibly unintentionally) evokes “We have ways & means of making you comply!” ;D For me it seems that – unintentionally – “I have accepted that – contrary to my initial feelings – David has done an album that does appeal to me”.

    It is very interesting to read the varied initial feelings about this album – quite the controversy! It would be interesting to hear from people over time to see if the “honeymoon period” passes for the some of its enthusiasts & equally to see if some of its detractors more adverse reactions subside over time.

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks for sharing, Troy! I don’t doubt for a second that people love the album. I can definitely see that. My point is, and I think this is hard for some to accept, is that I don’t need my musical influences to make great things all the time. I’ve been incredibly lucky with Pink Floyd and David. Of everything they’ve done over the years, I love almost everything… This time, Dvaid didn’t hit the mark for me, but that’s all right. It’s nine years since the last album. 20 years since the last Floyd album. People evolve and that’s a good thing. I will always love David’s music and inspiration but that also means that I have no problems admitting to my self that I don’t like everything. As with most things in life, it’s all about place and time. I’m at a different stage in my life and with my relationship with David’s music than many of you, so no wonder that we perceive his music differently. But, what does it really matter? I had the best time at Albert Hall last week and I can still put on WYWH or Animals and feel the magic!

      • Troy says:

        Yes, no doubt these stages aren’t linear either.

        The music refracts through the prisms of our individual mind-spaces throughout time & we perceive the spectrums produced in varying intensities with our own minds-eyes.

        Perhaps that is what the artwork of DSOTM represents? Just a thought …

    • inkslingers1 says:

      Troy. I was dead against getting this album at all (the pessimist that i am said it would be awful) but I’m beginning to reap the rewards of a pessimist and am becoming surprised at how much it is growing on me. The lyrics are shoddy and embarrassing in places but by skipping Yellow Dress and Dancing Right in front of me I’m finding much to like on an equal with On an Island. There are a couple of places where I hear Final Cut and Pros and Cons and Amused to Death and can’t help wondering how those would sound if they were revisited by our two favourite gentlemen.

      • Troy says:

        Interesting points Inkslinger 1.

        Some of the lyrics & the some of the accompanying video work reflecting them that have been used at the shows seemed to me dubious as to their actual intent & also had a cloying aspect to them for me.

        My skepticism of exactly what is intended to be conveyed in the audio (& video) message of certain pieces is possibly the one significant obstacle to my completely embracing the whole “package”.

        I (maybe too) often overlook lyrics. Possibly due to having listened to as much vintage rhythm & blues, soul, funk, etc as rock. In these areas lyrics take second place by some way to the vocal emotion for even much of the best of this music.

        Maybe lyrics become almost as, if not sometimes more important as the actual vocal delivery in what became known as rock music due to the different ranges of nuance & emotive expression.

        Whatever, the lyrics for some of these new DG songs are definitely not completely jibing with me. There seem to be a strong messages in places which are (possibly deliberately) obscured. I detect/observe that there is a difference between this & the overall lyrical usage of metaphor, allegory, etc per se that rock music has often utilised & made available since the 60’s.Maybe this is even being used for a deliberate effect?

        I could go into more detail about the particulars but it doesn’t seem the right time or place.

        The music though – again with some odd bits that I could live without perhaps – does many moves that I find quite agreeable, certainly enough to overlook those that I am more indifferent too.

        • inkslingers1 says:

          Your term, ‘cloying’, is the most apt one that you could have chosen. Many of DG’s songs have this aspect lyrically whereas Waters has only ‘cloyed’ once for me with ‘If’ and even then he just about gets away with it.

          I couldn’t believe the same acoustic guitar riff and almost the same vocal melody on Faces of Stone compared with Water’s ‘Apparently they were travelling abroad..”. It made me wonder who raided who. And then I can’t help wondering if Polly secretly listens to Roger’s stuff and then says to David, “Hey, I’ve got an idea for a lyric about the bravery of being out of range when bombing our enemies far away.” and then clumsily shoves that joystick reference in. It’s all too prosaic and misses the opportunity to play with the term joystick in the way that Waters would do.

          I have slowly edited out the verses and choruses from most of this album and kept the superb guitar playing. Lyric writing is an art form not to be undertaken as lightly as the majority of artists do. I always think, if it’s worth saying then it’s worth saying well for fear of sounding like you don’t mean it. Unfortunately a lot of this album sounds like ideas that would come to mind whilst relaxing over a vino in the Tuscany hills.

          I admire David’s ability to use his voice to deliver these lyrics with any heartfelt emotion at all. The fact that he does is a real credit to him.

          Sadly, I’ll not be able to afford to see the live presentation so will be unable to experience the video dimension to this collection of songs, but I will take it from you that it tends to swerve about on the same olive oily spillage that the lyrics do.

          Now the singing’s gone I really enjoy the album for it’s musicality. I’ve even edited together 5 A.M.; And then… and the choir section from Today (goodness knows why that was tacked onto the front of Today; it seems to have nothing to do with it except in the most tentative of ways) and it now makes a superb piece of the kind of melodic playing that I know Bjorn loves, really showing how Hank Marvin inspired David’s more tune based mind. Dare I say it, it may be almost equal to the Shine On… opening guitar sections. Now that I would love to experience live.

          • Troy says:

            I’d love to hear your edited version of the album.

            A little bit of Hank/Shadows goes a long way I find, but when I do listen to their vintage stuff there is much to marvel over, the echo-fied tone of the Strat being the most obvious. That Hall & Collins Signature Echo that DG used in rehearsals looks very tempting.

            As an aside: Rattle That Lock has some aspects that are reminiscent of some uptempo mid-70’s Isley Brothers numbers (although a little less flashy in the guitar pyrotechnics department).

            Ernie Isley is a long time favourite guitarist of mine & it was his 70’s tones that inspired me to get a vintage EH Big Muff in the first half of the 90’s, quickly followed by a Maestro PS-1A Phase Shifter for that “That Lady” (among others) tone. Around the same time I picked up a vintage Proco Rat & Boss BF-2 Flanger that he had been using from the 80’s on.

            This led to my picking up a bunch of vintage pedals around that time many of which I found out not long after that DG had used (Boss CE-2 Chorus, MXR script Dynacomp, EH Small Stone, Boss CS-2 Compressor, etc) via a classic Guitarist magazine issue that detailed both his earlier 70’s rigs & his then recent PULSE rig.

            DG & Ernie Isley are probably the most prominent exponents of Muff guitar tones – absolutely crucial to both of their tones during certain key periods of their careers – in the days before the pedal’s Godzilla-like tonal properties were rediscovered, re-evaluated & (horrible term!) reimagined. :D Ernie practically had a sonic monopoly on the pedal from ’73 for a few years until DG & others (Funkadelic’s Michael Hampton comes to mind) ran with it. Oh, yeah Robert Fripp was using his Foxey Lady crypto-Muff wasn’t he?

            • DefJef says:

              Hi Troy. I’d love to share my restructured RTL with you but don’t know where to post it. It only runs to about 30 minutes with Yellow Dress and Dancing Right in Front removed and some other singing extracted too (off RTL and Today). Beuty seems a fine enough way to start the album and the new conjoined end suite of Boat/Today Choir/5AM and And then… sound masterful.

              Interesting that Ernie Isley and DG sit in your favourites. An unusual grouping but one I can agree with. And not so very mad when you think of how DG always tried to inject some funkiness into the gloomy minor pentatonic world of Pink Floyd.

              • Troy says:

                Maybe post it on a file hosting site? There’s a few free ones.

                As for the Isley & Gilmour influences being mentioned together, it might be interesting to add some more detail. Both were influenced by Hendrix in terms of:

                Fusing elements of intensely wailing blues-rock licks utilising high-gain fuzz & distortion/overdrive boxes (both have used Muffs & Rats) often with modulation effects (both have used phaser, flanger, chorus & vibe either in studio or live in this capacity);

                Both would utilise acoustic rhythm guitar on notable recordings (unusual in soul-type recordings, but check “Summer Breeze” & “Harvest For The World” for the Isleys for the evidence);

                Vintage r’n’b, soul & funk rhythm guitar licks are obviously standard-fare for EI but DG would drop elements of that musical continuum into songs here & there (e.g. sliding sixths licks in “Breathe”, groove-orientated rhythm guitar in “Brick In The Wall” & “Rattle That Lock”, etc) & both players would have emotive lead-work riding on top of these grooves in notable tunes.

                Although a cover version (Seals & Croft), the Isleys 1973 complete renovation & ownership of the song “Summer Breeze” displays guitar elements (wailing Muff lead over acoustic rhythm guitar) that has echoes in “Comfortably Numb”. Go to the 3:52 mark on the full version of “Summer Breeze” for the full guitar solo & then listen straight after to the two solos at 2:04 & more particularly 4:31 on “Comfortably Numb”.

                Sure its not the same guitar style per se (EI often throwing in flurries of double-speed licks), but there are shared stylistic reference points, Hendrix & Santana being two clear antecedents whose sonic shadows are cast over both pieces lead guitar tones & playing.

                Note that all four guitarists (DG, EI, JH, CS) are massively influenced by blues players like Albert King, BB King & Buddy Guy & all four in their own unique ways took this emotion-drenched style of playing & put it into other harmonic contexts & went all out high-gain with the tone.

                There is an excellent book on the music that influenced Hendrix & the music that he influenced that came out around 1989 called “Crosstown Traffic: Jimi Hendrix and Post-war Pop”
                by Charles Shaar Murray. That book opened up a vast number of musical avenues for me & was surely – even at the time – by no means complete in its scope.

  29. Rafael Vantolra says:

    I don’t see the David gilmour we know.
    I love Him, don’t get me wrong.
    Maybe Im realize that finally David Gilmour had edge. And in me I see him in the early years.
    No big solos in this album.
    David makes me cry and feeling those intense solos.
    But not this time.
    I dont see David. All I see its the influence of people arround him.
    And I will see him all dates in California.
    Thanks for all you do Bjorn.

    • Bjorn says:

      Cheers, Rafael!

    • Lorne says:

      I understand how you must be feeling because I went through a similar thing when I realized that The Division Bell was their last album+tour effort, and then with Richard Wright’s death.
      But David Gilmour is very much alive and well, however, he is 69 yrs old. Gilmour has given us fans so much to listen to and listening to those albums is still very joyful for me. At some point, every fan must realize that the Gilmour of today is in a very different age and set of life circumstances, plus he likely is not very pleased with (knowingly) repeating himself…he is trying something different. Celebrate what we have rather than mourn for what you think has been lost. Wishful thinking is not helpful. Acceptance is difficult but it is the correct way.

  30. Peter Mair says:

    Guys, a gentleman named Renato Pezzano has kindly posted a backing track on You tube for ‘In any tongue’ as follows, extended and in the key of F minor as I believe per CD.

  31. Lorne says:

    I like how DG is ambitious enough to take more steps away from the shadow of PF. Searching can sometimes bring big discoveries and sometimes deadends. I think there are equal measures on this album. I have now heard the album about 20x mostly in 5.1 and, overall, more satisfying than OAI.
    In particular the album opening is more tender and sensitive than the bombastic opener to OAI. For me, Five AM is more touching …like what the first guitar part is doing in SOYCD…I prefer it, even though it doesn’t make me want to grab my own P90 Les Paul to jam along with it.
    For all the cr@p out there, I am fine with following DG down a few rough pathways to find some of the flakes of gold along the way…no more goldmines like in the 70s, but I am still happy to chill out to WYWH a couple times a week.

  32. Mark says:

    I’ve gotta say, I’m quite surprised at how negatively this album has been received.

    I just got it yesterday, and I’ve listened to it a few times already. I think it’s quite a good album. I mean, it’s not the David Gilmour of Pink Floyd anymore, but I’m totally OK with that. I love to see an artist grow and change over time, rather than producing the same thing over and over.

    I do miss some of the more extravagant guitar work of David’s yesteryears, but overall, I think the album is wonderful.

    • Bjorn says:

      Well that’s my point as well. I appreciate that he has evolved are doing what he wants to do. Only thing is that I don’t like where he is going…

      • Mark says:

        Fair enough!

        I actually find myself liking this album much more than On an Island, which was also a great one.

        Have a good one, Bjorn :)

  33. Kristian says:

    Thanks for the review. Agree with you mostly but I must admit that I actually found that pure, compressed tone on the first track very fresh. But those early fade outs… even fading in the middle of solos. What a shame. Oh well, I’m digging out my old and battered copy of On an Island again.

  34. Huy Tran says:


    Do you know or think David Gilmour will release a video concert (or a million) of this tour? As always, I’d probably like his stuff live more than I do on the record. And it’ll be nice to see him play again. I unfortunately can’t see him live as I live in Australia and have work commitments and wife. I got my priorities the wrong way around!

    Thank you Bjorn.

    • Bjorn says:

      I’ve no idea but he seems to like live albums so I wouldn’t be surprised if he did film one of the US or South American shows.

      • Luciano says:

        Well, in 2006 David released a DVD/BD of the RAH and another of the biggest venue of the tour (Gdansk).
        This time around, the biggest venue apears to be the Grêmio Arena, in Porto Alegre, Brazil.
        That’s the show I’ll be attending to!!!
        And a good one to shoot a video. ;-)
        Please remember that a lot of artists and bands (Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones and Rush, to name a few) broke records of attendance in Brazil, not realizing, for years, the huge amount of fans they have here.
        In this interview

        , at 10:00min mark, Roger Waters points out the Porto Alegre show as one of the best of his The Wall tour.
        And I was there!!!!
        So… one can only hope… ;)

  35. pickpink says:

    Bjorn, pardon me, but when I see you allow posts with a word “idiot” in them, then I start to think I can use words like “shut up” too, you see. And the guy is really not supposed to talk things about Radio KAOS when he probably has records like About Face and MLOR dusting on his shelf. I don’t like hypocrisy. Roger and Dave both went wrong with their musical directions during the 80’s, but I think they’ve both improved their game with Amused to death and Division Bell afterwards.

    [next paragraph deleted by admin – please keep all discussions civil and respectful.]

    • Bjorn says:

      Well, the number of comments and replies has been overwhelming the last couple of weeks and I was too quick to approve those comments. I’ve edited them now and will do my best to maintain a troll-free site :) Thanks for your help :)

  36. Charles says:

    Great review Bjorn, I think the album had some shining moments but overall I definitely preferred On An Island. It was also mysteriously stripped for guitars.

    You should make a feature ranking your personal favourite (and least favourite) Gilmour/Floyd songs.

  37. HOWARD FORTON says:

    A serious Floyd fan since the early 70s I was disappointed by the endless river. I prefer the final cut which is miles better on so many levels. Not interested in giving this new gilmour album my money. Floyd used to struggle with writing songs. Sadly David can’t write anymore and all the collaborations and manzanera taking doodles and looking for something musical is a sad way to fade out. We all want comfortably numb. The stuff from the glory years was magnificent. He’s not getting any more of my money for this cynical new stuff. Off to play animals. sorry I can’t be more positive 😳

    • Kris says:

      Any particular reason you’re comparing The Endless River to the Final Cut? Seems random and pointless.

      Can’t write anymore? If you haven’t even bothered to check the album out belt up. Go and stick Radio KAOS on and try http://www.rogerwaters.com for something more suited to yourself.

      [next paragraph deleted by admin – please keep all discussions civil and respectful.]

      • pickpink says:

        Hey Bjorn, what’s up with these insults on Gilmourish? Are you going to allow this stuff now? I thought you were talking about mutual respect while sharing different and conflicting opinions.

        [next paragraph deleted by admin – please keep all discussions civil and respectful.]

        • Bjorn says:

          No, I won’t tolerate that. Nor replies like yours. Again, I appreciate the debate and engagement but keep things civil.

          • Kris says:

            Apologies. I have a bit of a short fuse, I find your own review and comments very sincere and respectful Bjorn.

            But sweeping statements like ‘Dave can’t write’ and ‘he’s not getting my money’ from someone who hasn’t even listened to the album and is clearly implying Daves somehow robbing us, well those sorts of comments doing grate on me.

            Ps, you going to give a review of the Albert hall gigs at any point?

  38. Sam says:

    LOTS of rough vocal notes all over the album. I love DG and the album ain’t bad but his vox sound strained in many places

  39. Pako says:

    Hi Bjorn.. I’m also a DG fan from Greece and like Dimitris could’t get a ticket for a concert in Croatia or Italy.. I wonder if anyone here tried to arrange a gig in Greece in one of many ancient theaters..!!
    Anyway, I agree with most aspects of your review especially with the eclectiness and lack of atmosphere… Maybe the problem is that it’s been so many years since the last album that the songs can not be representive to a certain mood or feelling like On An Island.. I mean did you notice that Today’s chorus is exactly the Barn Jam 121 which is recorded before 2008 ??? Liked the song though..!!
    Overall this is a good album with some great moments and maybe DG should record albums more often. This will diminish our eagerness..!!!

  40. Lorenzo says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    totally agree with you, especially the reference to David’s voice where, unwillingly, it seems you quoted my comment on the RTL single..funny. A bad album? No, it isn’t. A good album? Neither. Just good music not strictly guitar related.

  41. What a load of old BS! You have to listen a little bit, it doesn’t come at first hearing. The track that grabs me most is ‘Today’ with its hymnal opening and then sharply into an ‘another brick in the wall’ riff and a great great song. What are you not smoking there boys? Have you heard the remix of ‘Rattle’? It’s really well done. i do believe that in this age you youngsters have no patience, addicted to crappy mp3 ‘recordings’, probably through headphones! Am I being controversial here? Try if you can to hear this lovely collection of songs on a good hifi, listen a few times and you might get it…
    Is it as good as the high points of Pink Floyd? I was there when they first played DSOTM, and the second, live. ‘Shine on’ In its entirety is probably the greatest of all for me. Well, is that relevant? To my mind there are certain points here which do touch that greatness, although I cannot help agreeing that David gives us far too few soaring guitar solos, and some of the tracks fade out too soon, especially the stunningly beautiful Rick Wright tribute ‘A Boat liesWaiting’, and too often just as we might expect that guitar to take off. Well, you can’t have everything.

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks for your comment! I think we all need to respect each others opinion here. Music is a personal and subjective experience. One can argue a point of view but also respect that not everyone share the same taste.

      • Crimson says:

        Btw – taste is not a personal thing. The famos philosopher and sociologist Piere Bourdieu already taught us 1979 (in his scientist bestseller “La distinction. Critique sociale du jugement”) that taste is not a personal characteristic – it depends on the amount of education and socialization somebody received in his life. This means simplified that less educated people tend to favor bad taste and vice versa.

        • Bjorn says:

          Mmmm… yes but you’re simplifying a great deal with that statement. True, taste is a mixture of lots of things: education, knowledge, social status and peer pressure, exposure to advertising and hype etc etc BUT, what is good music and what is crap? Is commercial pop music crap? Is Bob Dylan or Bach good music? How do you measure that and who’s to tell? Anyway, discuss all you want but keep it civil here on my site :) Appreciate the debate and engagement :)

    • pickpink says:

      Audio quality doesn’t change the quality of the music itself. For instance, one could listen to Floyd records in mp3 and it would still sound great. I’ve listened to RTL at least 5 times in high fidelity, but the high fidelity doesn’t seem to help things much. Then I play new Amused to death 5.1 mix from James Guthrie and I couldn’t be happier. It means that quality of music and quality of audio recording should match. Bad albums don’t get better in 32/192 format. They’re still bad.

      • inkslingers1 says:

        Oddly, I tried that Amused to Death album in the 5.1 mix this week in the hope that I would finally get to like the album, having struggled so many times to do so in the past. Sadly it still isn’t for me. Lots of great lyrics but lacking in the musical department for my taste.

        Here at Gilmourish we all know how that could be fixed (!) but no amount of digital tweaking is going to be the answer. I’m sure Polly also knows where some of the blame lies for the lacklustre nature of RTL.

        Hey, Bjorn, you haven’t got Roger’s number have you? I’ve got an idea.

  42. Frans says:

    Hello Bjorn,

    This is not a rock album. It’s an album from a man that knows that he is in the final quarter of his life. How many years to come when you are 70 ? How many more soulmates and friends of his generation (Rick) to loose. Looking back on his life and musical achievements. Was Rick more important than they ever thought he was. Looking for ways to honour him properly. Maybe Davids last album.
    All thoughts that could have crossed Davids mind. Feelings on this album was more important that musical progression.

    Having this album in my posession for a few days now and really listening for it I came to the conclusion that is compareable with former Floyd albums but not so refreshing as former albums.

    5 A.M. Reminds me of ia mix Cluster One and Shine on you…… Nice and still…very David Gilmour like.
    Rattle that lock doesn’t appeal to me. Very breakable voice also.
    Faces of stones is a nice beautiful song with some part of the Division Bell tones, good guitar solo.
    A boat lies waiting: What can I say…very beautifull song and voices with Crosby and Naish just perfect. …and I’m rolling right behind you…..David referres to Rick….says I all.
    Dancing right in front of me: Intro sounds like Michelle from the Beatles. Good song.
    In any tongue: Intro like Comfortably numb, powerfull guitar. Indeed a highlite of the album.
    Beauty: Bits of Clustern One again and further in the song much of the Barn jam sessoins stuff. Indeed an unfinished song and little bit to easy to pick some old Barn jam session stuff.
    The girl…..: Not my cup of tea.
    Today: Funky, discolike song. I can hear a brick in the Wall in the far distance. Not bad.
    And then: Beautiful ending of the album. Very reconizable Gilmour stuff.The music fades out in a campfire. His way to say goodby to his music. Reincarnation ?

    All in all not bad. Not monumental but after listening to it more I more and more appreciate it.

  43. D Brown says:

    Rock legend David Gilmour,
    a key supporter of the LIBERTY CHOIR,
    has donated two tickets
    to his sold-out concert at
    Royal Albert Hall on Friday 2 October 2015.

    We’re putting them up for auction
    to raise money for the Liberty Choir.
    Bid here http://www.jumblebee.co.uk/dgticketbid

    David’s recent new single ‘Rattle that Lock’
    features the Liberty Choir on backing vocals!
    Find out about and donate to the Liberty Choir

  44. JohnM says:


    Great review, as usual; really well thought out. My personal tastes lean towards 5AM, In Any Tongue, A Boat Lies Waiting, Beauty, and And Then. There are only 3 tracks that I didn’t really care for. From a purely mathematical perspective on likes vs dislikes, it’s still better than the vast majority of albums being released.

    Here’s hoping that the next one is “for the fans”!

  45. Dimitris says:

    The album hasn’t arrived in Greece yet, so I can’t say anything of it.
    But I wonder about one thing. I learnt about the tour about ten days before the release of the tickets and was making plans to spend my savings and go to see him in Croatia, or even France and Germany. But the first minute of the official release and every ticket service said the concerts were sold out… Any idea, why so?
    Hope you enjoy it, guys, must be a life-time experience! :)

    • Brad Roller says:

      Same thing happened to me man. After they sold out within 5 seconds TWICE I went to another site and bought some from a scalper. They are buying them up then reselling them for more. Just google his tickets and see what comes up. That’s what I did and I was able to get two.

  46. Cameron says:

    Hey Bjorn, I’m in the process of building my David Gilmour black strat and I was wondering if you know a good place I can find a 57′ reissue neck. There are a few on ebay but from what I can tell none of them seem to have gloss on the fretboard. I’m not too worried whether if it’s a V neck I’m going more for the look of gilmours. Please let me know if you know anywhere I can get one (For a decent price)

  47. Kris says:

    By the way. I’m sorry Bjorn didn’t care for it, but I respect his honesty when saying he wouldn’t even give the album a shot if it wasn’t for Dave’s name.

    But for those of you saying it wouldn’t get any attention from anyone if it wasn’t for Dave’s name, speak for yourselves! I already know folk who aren’t Floyd fans who like the album so keep your generalisations to yourselves!

    • Woz says:

      RTL has gone straight to #1 here in New Zealand as well as the UK, so he must have done something right.

      • Bjorn says:

        Well, he is David Gilmour. A big name and surely people will buy the album an mass…

        • inkslingers1 says:

          Steady on Bjorn, I’m beginning to think you’ve gone off Mr G! You might have to change the name of this blogsite. (Quietly, I know what you are saying to be true but…shhhhh….others coming here might get a bit aggressive).

          • Bjorn says:

            Yeah, well… You’ve come to the wrong place if you think this is a Gilmour worship site. I’ll always been and always will be, very honest in my opinions and I welcome a healthy debate any time… as long as there are no trolls around :)

        • Woz says:

          Well, outside of certain circles I wouldn’t have thought David Gilmour was a particularly big name. But I might be wrong. At least it means the buying public doesn’t need the name Pink Floyd in order to buy the man’s music.

  48. Kris says:

    I liked it. I think it’s better than On an island. Girl in the yellow dress doesn’t belong on there and it’s horribly placed on his live sets too, but over all I think it’s a great album. I prefer it to On an island which was I think a bit boring at times.

    I haven’t encountered many who didn’t like it thus far so reading through here is a little bit of a shock. But everybody likes to hear different things though so it’s great that everyone has their own individual taste.

    His vocals sound a little more strained but I think it’s just age, I actually respect that he can still sing in the same key 50 years later, not many can. Today sounds very 80’s, I’m not a massive fan, Dancing right in front of me is a bit dull, and as stated previous yellow dress is just out of place. But aside from that it’s great, I love the 5am intro.

    Funny you mentioned about parts being unfinished, there’s a string buzz and note almost missed in 5am that I was surprised to hear and I thought “surely this album didn’t go right through production with no-one noticing that?!”.

    • Woz says:

      I forget his exact words, but in the “making of” doco on the Blu-Ray Gilmour talks of not being afraid to leave those little imperfections in there, of allowing a slightly less polished feel. He knows they’re there alright. After decades of perfectionism he’s trying to be a little more organic here and there.

      • Bjorn says:

        That’s OK but my problem with that is that while his recorded guitar and vocals are full of imperfections, the rest of the band and orchestra are so well produced and arranged. If that approach were to work, he should have made an album that had more of the intimate On an Island feeling… my opinion at least.

  49. MJ says:

    I`m sad to say, I dont really like this album much…as an album. There are bits of it that are OK.
    The best part for me is the bonus in the barn features with Rick Wright on the bluray.
    I`m sure DG doesnt really care what we think mind you!

  50. Ian says:

    Initially, I had eagerly anticipated the release of this album – after all, it’s a new album by David Gilmour! However, I was a little wary when I heard the first single but thought I’d give it the benefit of the doubt…wish I hadn’t bothered. I don’t like it at all. The guitar work seems really unimaginative and the whole thing lacks the “soul” I’ve come to expect from DG. The vocals sound very strained in parts too. I can’t imagine I’ll even bother ripping this CD to my hard drive.

    The one good thing about the album release is that it means Gilmour is touring again and I’m looking forward to seeing him at the Albert Hall next week – I just hope he doesn’t play too much from this new album.

  51. Thick Rederman says:

    Show some respect you maggots (I mean fans). The man is 70 and still can’t get a break. The music may not satisfy your vintage Gilmour itch, but at least you are still worming into his brain in old school Floyd fashion.

    • Bjorn says:

      Is it disrespectful to share an opinion?

      • Woz says:

        It all goes to show that beauty is in the ear of the beholder, huh?

      • Thick Rederman says:

        You Bjorn are always respectful, but some of the “opinions” here are insulting to Gilmour and his family.

        This site is greatly appreciated. You should contact David if you haven’t already, he’d probably contribute directly.

        • Bjorn says:

          I very much doubt that he cares much for my site or any of the other fan sites. He’s always kept a distance to the fans and if anything, I guess he wonder why we bother :) Anyway, I think it’s important to allow room for different opinions and a discussion. I don’t think anything posted are disrespectful but the temperature has been higher than usual. Mind that I have deleted a lot.

  52. Arya Boustani says:

    And Then… guitar also reminds me of Andy Latimer with one of his works with orchestra accompaniment (later works, don’t remember which one). I loved that guy. Is this a strat neck pickup or a humbucker? Sounds so emotional yet so constraint. I wish the orchestra would bloom with arpeggio strings, etc. and fade it that way. Last night I fell sleep with headphones on my head playing this album (well I guess my subconscious was listening to it), and just woke up when this track started. It felt so great listening to it. I could cry.

    • Bjorn says:

      Pretty sure he’s using the Les Paul Goldtop with P90s on that one.

      • Woz says:

        In the “making of” doco on the deluxe Blu-Ray he’s shown playing either that or 5am on the Goldtop. Not sure which, the two tracks repeat refrains and bookend the album. I’ll have to watch again to be certain but it’s a fair bet it’s the same guitar on both.

    • Alan Day says:

      Andy Latimer always did sound a lot like David. There’s one particular track on “The Snow Goose” (can’t remember the title) that’s VERY Floyd :-)

      • DefJef says:

        Try ‘Ice’ on Camel’s ‘I Can See Your House From Here’, or much of ‘Nude’ and especially the title track on ‘Stationary Traveller’. You’d swear it was from a Gilmour solo album or, dare I say it, a Bjorn Riis one.

        They are always beautifully constructed pieces of music with perhaps just a smidgen less grit and unexpected position shifts on them. Yep, you can’t go much wrong with a Latimer solo when Mr G is not around. I just guess there was never enough room for two Floyds.

  53. Alan Day says:

    I can’t believe you guys! I love this album … so much more than On an Island. Best solo album of the 4 imo. I actually cried the 1st two times I listened to “In any tongue”. Great lyrics from Poly too.

  54. Tito says:

    Bjorn, great and honest review. I’m a fan of Gilmour (and of course, Pink Floyd) work, but i don’t have that engineering ear to notice things that seems obvious. I notice something strange in “A boat lies waiting”. Around minute 1:17 the “new” recording and the “old” mixes in the song. I understand that piano part was recorded 18 years ago but i feel that the transition sounds forced. Is that one of the “mistakes” that you are referring to? Thanks!

  55. James Herring says:

    Not something I would buy. Hell, I just turned 60 and I still prefer the Floyd from yesteryear. Give me the edgy stuff anyday.

  56. Nathan says:

    I thought Today was my favorite song on the whole album. But then again I love 80’s Peter Gabriel. Overall I thought it, like On An Island, was very pleasant from start to finish, but, also like On An Island, it doesn’t really stand out or have any blow you away moments.

  57. Gábor Goldschmidt says:

    About re-recorded solos: i am happy, that he did not do that. This way the whole album is more personal. Very close to me. As he was playing right next to me :-)
    About the song: this is how he feels now. I like it.

  58. Hi,
    It’s not my favorite ablum, but I truly like it !
    For us, french people, the only french reference in the album is the four notes at the beginning of the single : “Rattle That Lock”. If you don’t know, theses notes are from a jingle used by the railways company called SNCF.
    SNCF is a company with very very bad reputation. The jingle is used before any notification in all railways stations in France. It’s always to announce us some bad news (trains late,cancel, strike…)
    So, in France, each time we hear “Rattle that lock”, we become nervous.
    During concert in Orange, we all start grinding our teeths when the intro came (and do some bad jokes)….

  59. Brian says:

    After 2 listens, all I can give it is a 5/10 and that’s being generous because I adore the man’s career so much. It starts off and ends on high notes but the middle is a mucky mess. His voice is noticeably straining on half the songs and of course the guitars have taken a back seat to lyrical and orchestral content. Some cool solos but they’re few and far between. The title track has finally started growing on me so that’s a positive but I guess I was really wanting a continuation of his On a Island sound. Like you said Bjorn, I feel he was working on this at the same time as Endless River and he didn’t give either one full attention.

  60. Jeff says:

    Well…..I like it. However, I don’t think David made this for us. I think this is what he is into now. He learned the sax because he loves jazz and by that I mean traditional jazz. I am 55 years old and my tastes have changed as well. As you age you become more nostalgic. I am listening to old blues albums and not as much prog. It’s not that I don’t love prog or Floyd, I do, but I have slowed down and I’m a grandfather now. Things are not the same. Wine changes as it ages and becomes a different flavor….more mellow if you will. Rock and roll and good smoke turns to a fine single malt scotch and an good cigar. I think rattle that lock is a nice single malt scotch of an album. Very pleasant.
    Thanks Bjorn hope you enjoyed the show at Royal Albert hall. Saw the post on face book a couple of hours ago. Nashville says hello. Need a new Airbag album please….

  61. pickpink says:

    Now I clearly see why Floyd reunion is impossible. Let alone Rick’s death, if Dave ever comes up with chansons, disco pop songs and jazzy numbers in the same studio as Waters, the latter, a well-known mad dog, old bugger Roger, will chase him across the room with his Precision in hand, with a strong intention to smash it on Dave’s head)))))) I can literally see the picture xD Well, I’m done with David for good. Four freaking solo albums since the bloody 1978 and not even one that would stick with me. Maybe a song or two in each, but no big deal, really. And the pauses he takes to make them, good God! No thanks, I’ll take my Amused to death anytime. A great classic Waters concept album with Jeff Beck’s guitar wizardry. Now available in 5.1 mix from James Guthrie. Look, did anyone notice In any tongue sounds a bit familiar in the beginning? And even more so if you replace the starting lyrics with “Hello? Is there anybody in there?” Um… no?

    • Bonovski says:

      I was at the Pula concert and for parts of the night the band sounded a bit, insecure?
      Especially in the first half David had quite a few problems, the solo on Blue where his expression pedal didn’t seem to work, oh boy… and a few other bits here and there.
      The second half was much better, however Guy at one time seemed to furiously wave at the drummer “Come on!” and I think it was High hopes where they just didn’t gel at all. Sorrow on the other hand was the most powerful performance of the evening and after that Comfortably numb.

      It was surprising in a way because they have been playing together for so long, so I was maybe expecting too much but after all, hey I saw Gilmour live and for 80% of the night it was superb.

    • Kris says:

      Oh look Roger posts on here. How you doing Roger? What happened when you made Radio KAOS? Did you lose a bet?

      Sorry I couldn’t resist. I do like Amused to death though, the only good thing Roger’s done since The Wall in 1979.

      • pickpink says:

        Dave, please, you’re not the one to open your mouth, really. You did it before I did it. You’re the biggest sell-out. What happened to you when you made that About Face record? You lost all your Floyd fortune in casino? At least Roger had balls to admit he messed Radio KAOS up with all that 80’s pop thing. But Dave would never admit he messed up both About Face and MLOR with 80’s stuff. MLOR was not Pink Floyd record at all, let alone Roger’s critics, Rick Wright himself said it. Period.

      • pickpink says:

        The only good thing Roger’s done since 1979? You’ve missed two good ones, buddy. While I may not be a big fan of Pros and Cons mostly because of Clapton, The Final Cut really is an underrated record. Though I should admit that it doesn’t come easy. It’s grown on me and since it did, I listen to it a lot. Some great solos there as well. And guitar tone is my favorite along with Dave’s 1980-81 live tone.

  62. Bjorn, thank you for your review. He is honest and good as ever. I agree with some things and disagree with others. When I know about this release, I tried to reduce my own expectations, but that’s always difficult. In general I must say I quite liked the album, although it pass me the idea of ​​being a collection of separate tracks, not tracks from the same work.

    I think as fans of David Gilmour, there is always an expectation that it is eternal and ever brighter. However, he is a man who is getting old and should be going through many changes. Someone said here that Gilmour seems disoriented.

    In fact, I see it as if he were now realizing the changes that occur both physically and psychologically. So I think as fans we follow the life of this guitar, you may need to see this record as another stage in which he seeks a pathway to himself, yet without defining it keeps playing, to produce professionally, or still producing… When I hear this record, I can understand all these things fighting for a slice of the essence of the master Gilmour.

    Certainly not is the best job of it as a whole, I prefer the previous album 2006 (OAI), and even the “Endless River” surprised me positively. But I really liked that album because I think he speaks of the best efforts that David Gilmour could have done to say who he is as a person, without being tied to the Pink Floyd ghost.

  63. Oz says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    First, kudos on this awesome website. I’m in my 40’s and just recently picked up the guitar for the first time. I already know what direction I want to take in learning to play the guitar, and you are most certainly illuminating the path. Thank you.

    I’d just like to add my perspective in response to some of the more frequent criticisms of this album that I’ve read. If I painted a picture of a can of soup, certainly nobody would buy it. Point being, the artist and the context of his or her work is an important lens through which to view it if we’re going to critique it beyond a simple thumbs up or thumbs down of personal preference.

    First, the vocal performance is no doubt underwhelming, I would agree. His age is definitely showing. But have you heard Paul McCartney sing recently? Oh man, awful. His aging voice is the very incarnation of “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” I do find it interesting that I think David’s best vocals by far are on the two songs whose lyrics he penned, along with “A Boat Lies Waiting.” I suspect that he’s best able to sing the lyrics that are the most personal and closest to the heart.

    Second, I think everyone’s disappointment stems largely from the un-granted wish for a new Gilmour anthem. Another “Comfortably Numb” or “Sorrow” or “High Hopes.” But given the fact that Rattle That Lock is likely David Gilmour’s coda, it’s no surprise that it’s not forward looking. The inspiration here clearly comes from a retrospective state of mind, and all those pieces of music and seeds of songs that never quite made the cut suddenly have run up against Father Time. I think there must have been quite a bit of the “it’s now or never” force that shaped this album, at the very least at a subconscious level.

    Lastly, to address the criticisms of the lack of cohesion of the album as a whole, David himself anticipated this reaction and vindicates himself wonderfully: “I sometimes think, should there be a more consistent flavor of music throughout an album, or is it okay to just take things that are sort of radically different to other things that they sit right next to? I figure that my voice and my guitar playing style creates the cohesion for an album, and I don’t need to worry about that sort of thing at all.” He is certainly one of the very few who is esteemed enough to have earned this artistic license.
    [Quote from Rattle That Lock Album EPK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-myA5PtYZ0A%5D

    I have tickets to see David play in Los Angeles in March in what is likely to be his swan song as far as concert tours go. Expectations will be high, but I will also try to remember that I’m watching a 70 year old man in the twilight of his career. I can’t wait!


  64. Sheila says:

    Hi Björn !

    What I really love about this album is the man didn’t make any compromise to please or seduce someone. It seems to me he really enjoyed the writing and the recording of this album with friends and relatives and that’s by far the most important thing in life.
    This old black strat only shines (or not !) through the songs he plays and after all, guitars are just a part of it, nothing more, nothing less…


  65. Randall says:

    I have to thank you, Bjorn. I had really high expectations for this album, and while I’m still waiting to get my hard copy, I read you review, which actually lowered my expectations. “Take it for what it is, and enjoy what you find that speaks to you” is how I went into this album. I got a hold of the tracks yesterday because I’m impatient, and it surprised me. Not David’s finest work, but a great representation of where he is right now as a musician. It has it’s shining moments (In Any Tongue, Rattle That Lock extended solo, and Faces of Stone, for me personally), and it has a few bits that are a drastic shift from what I’m used to hearing from him (Yellow Dress, particularly, which still isn’t bad). Overall, I feel it’s in no way a terrible album, and maybe David will have some more tricks up his sleeve live to make those songs pop a little more.

    If you go into this album expecting it to sound like any of his previous work, prepare to be disappointed by a few tracks. If you go into it with an open mind and don’t look for Pink Floyd in the mix, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

  66. lapelcelery says:

    Hi Bjorn, great, honest review. Agree with pretty well everything you’ve said. I’d maybe go further with In any Tongue and say it’s maybe the best collaboration between David and Polly to date.
    But as a side note, I wonder, did you catch sight of the gold Strat David’s been keeping in his studio? To my knowledge it didn’t appear in any of the Endless River photos, but it’s visible in a lot of the RTL making of footage. It’s a fairly unusual colour, so could be a very interesting talking point.

  67. Matthias says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    Totally agree about In any Tongue. It gave me the chills hearing it live in Orange. A classic for me now. Looking forward to hearing it again with the old classics in London.The rest of the album is sometimes pleasing (apart from RTL and Today I don’t like) but didn’t move me that much.

  68. Bjorn, I was at Verona and live it is amazing. About the recorde, a diferent album. But close to about face to on an island. I think about guitar he is new and fresh. That mistakes, I heard like raw guitar, keeping us warm and safe. He does the same in live performance. But, it is base on telecaster and les paul with p90, make in less “fat” , maybe this is not a sound what we looking for a Gilmour’s work.

  69. ruodi says:

    First of all, I LOVE “Blue Light” and “Cruise” and so the whole “About Face” album. I don´t like “A Great Day For Freedom” at all and did never understand the hype about “High Hopes”, though it was backed by a great surrealistic video, for sure.

    Gilmour´s singing on “Rattle That Lock” is awful, and Gilmour himself says: Well, my singing voice has becomes better through the years. (Even better yet than on the Wall album?!) Whenever I think by myself, this is crap, Gilmour says: That´s so beautiful! That´s the best I have made in my whole life as a musician!

    There is no connection between Gilmour and the “real” fans any more. This man lives in his superior society, where everybody´s happy, everybody´s laughing. Gilmour has his own “royal suite”, likeable buddies, admirers. Squealers not welcome!

    Oh, David, you´re so graceful!

    Anyway, I´ve made my peace with Pink Floyd. I´ve made my peace with the H***s Angels goon squad marshals at `my´ “Momentary Lapse” show who brutally knocked down `the bootleg vendor right in front of me´, just a few minutes after the show has been dramatically finished with “Run like Hell”. I´ve made my peace with the Golf `Pink Floyd´ (and I´m looking forward to the Leopard 2 `Rick Wright´ and the Fuck-the-clima SUV `Syd Barrett´). I´ve made my peace with a megalomaniac do-gooder Roger Waters in his time bubble and his sloshed male but original background singers during the Wall Live Show at Potsdamer Platz, and I´ve made my peace with the subsequent “Live album”, which had not much to do with the audio recording of the concert itself.

    I´ve made my peace with a Gilmour who says, no, Pink Floyd are dead since Rick Wright is dead! Pink Floyd works great without Roger, but could never exist without Rick! … Is this still the same person who pushed the b(r)and name “Pink Floyd” and a crappy record only with Nick Mason as a b(r)andmate (Just the drummer: No frontman -> no responsibility, Gilmour 2015)?

    This man changes his point of view from time to time just like Mother Earth changes its polarity. And it seems to me as if he would like us to take no notice from that.

    And that´s why I´m happy that I´m not rich! – Couldn´t bear these all-time grinding and toast-raising persons around me!

    I still have my problems with the quality of most of the songs on “Momentary Lapse” and the whole wish-wash production called “The Division Bell” (nice guitar on “Marooned”, though). I have no problems with “Endless River”, which is only a gainful making use of leftovers nor with the graceful relaxation tape “On An Island – How The Rich Greek Amuse Themselves”.

    “Rattle That Lock” is okay for me (hey, the man is 69 years old, nice to still hear ANYTHING from him but the news of his death!).

    I´ve instantly expected “Rattle That Lock” to be one of the rather weak songs of the upcoming album. Yet I was gladly surprised that I like “A Boat Lies Waiting”, “In Any Tongue”, “Today” as much as I do! – These three songs were “love at first sight”, and I´m very happy about that: Three new starlets for my own personal Pink Floyd canopy! That´s a pretty good value for an album manufactured by an anabiotic Pink Floyd musician!

    The instrumentals are nice but average fillers. As I said, I just like these three mentioned songs very much. This earthly heaven is enough for me! ;-)

    Songwriting (for me) was surprisingly good on the whole album – except for the title track, possibly. Thumbs up, Polly and Dave!

  70. Mateusz says:

    For me the biggest problem of RTL is that the songs don’t work as a whole album. When listen to them individually they are pretty good songs, some of them even great. It all sounds very honest, authentic and emotional. We should remember that David is not only a guitarist – he is a musican in general. And as a composer he doesn’t have to have only a guitar in his mind. I have impression of him being now more interested in other instruments, orchestrations etc. For me, as a David’s fan, the album lacks great guitar moments but, after all, it’s his album, not mine. It won’t be my favourite David Gilmour’s album but it also won’t be forgotten and lost in the abyss of my closet.

  71. Woz says:

    The first thing I noticed about the album was the lack of emphasis on the guitar. This was always going to rattle a bunch of guitar-heads like us. But although I miss the solos of old, I’m liking RTL more and more with each listen. There aren’t any huge lyrical clunks (such as those in Louder Than Words), so I don’t squirm when listening to it. That’s a start. And slowly it grows on you. It’s a lovely album really. I’m quite enjoying the direction David’s taking us in here, even though it’s not the guitar-soaked solo-fest we might have hoped for. And hey! it’s heading for a UK #1, so he’s done something right!

  72. Aaron says:

    Bjorn, I agree with you with the comments on In Any Tongue. I enjoyed the solo a lot especially the heavy flanger effect. It feels like going back to Animals-The Wall period.

    • Bjorn says:

      Not sure if that’s a flanger. Doesn’t sound like one. Rather a short delay, room reverb or ambient mic placement :) Still, great tone!

  73. Luciano says:

    Hi, Bjorn.
    Just want to say that you nailed it.
    I agree with almost everything you said.
    If it was not Gilmour’s, nobody would care less for this album.
    I’m really surprised that David said it could be his best work – ever.
    My favorite song is On Any Tongue, the most Floydian of them all, with that first chord that really sounds like CNumb and the “Waters-ish” anti-war lyrics.
    Dancing Right In Front Of Me was a really positive surprise. I liked it a lot, but hated the piano solo – I like jazz, but I thought it was completelly unnecessary and out of context, and with a terrible muffled tone, sounding like it was recorded from a 78rpm disc being played on a basement…
    I liked the solos on Faces Of Stone (didn’t hear the mistake you have mentioned) but disliked the Leonard-Cohen-style vocal and the french accordion. Touching, considering the theme, though.
    The Girl In The Yellow Dress would fit nicelly on a Film Noir pastiche, but sounded dislocated and forced, IMO.
    A Boat Lies Waiting should be a touching tribute to Rick, but did not achieve too much (again, IMHO). :(
    The bookends instrumentals are nice, like Cluster One or Signs of Life, but there is no Marooned (nor even a Castellorizon or Terminal Frost for that matter). Beauty has some moments, but feels pointless, like the collaboration with The Orb on Metallic Spheres.
    But I really think Today is the worst song on the record. What’s the point in that initial choir? And those heinous “semi-spoken” bridges, with atrocious vocals? It’s probably even worse than Blue Light. Much worse than RTL (which got a major upgrade on the extended version, with the longer and nice solo, and sticks in the head). As I said before, RTL reminds me of David Bowie with SRV. Not so good, but not that bad.
    But the most egregious, abominable thing in David’s whole canon is Youth’s Mix for RTL. Just AWFUL!!! What’s the point in doing that? Is David expecting to play in dance clubs and gyms? OMG?!
    None of the songs have great lyrics, either, and it’s not a guitar album, as you pointed out.
    I really hope it will grow on me, but I doubt it.
    In fact, I had a bad feeling about this album, after hearing the not so inspiring The Endless River and specially the dreadful The Sound Of Blue, by Phil Manzanera.
    As someone said before, I think Phil and Polly are not the best advisors on David’s work.
    I haven’t heard the Barn Jams on the special editions yet, but those give me high hopes (pun intended).
    On the other hand, I think OAI was a great album and has stood the test of time.
    Anyway, I can’t wait to see David in Brazil, finally, though the setlist is a bit disappointing: only one great new song (On Any Tongue), and no surprising gems, like he did on 2006, playing Echoes, Wots… Uh The Deal, Fat Old Sun (I know he plays it still, but it’s no longer a rediscovery of a relic) and Wearing The Inside Out (an absolute favorite of mine). Wouldn’t it be great to hear things like Childhood’s End, A Pillow Of Winds, Green In The Colour, something from Animals and the first solo album?
    Well, if I can hear the man, live, playing SOYCD, Time and CN, for the first time, I must not complain… A few days ago I just thought it would never happen.
    Sorry for the long post.

    • Bjorn says:

      Thanks for sharing, Luciano!

    • Woz says:

      I’m interested to see more than one person mention Leonard Cohen – my first thought on hearing “Faces of Stone” was “this is David’s attempt at an LC song!” Of course David could never hope to match Leonard’s lyrics, but Leonard can’t play guitar like David. It all balances out. And we know DG is a big fan of LC. I recall him saying that LC’s “The Future” is his favourite album of the 90s. It’s certainly one of mine, but don’t go there looking for guitars.

      • Luciano says:

        Exactly, Woz.
        We know that David is a big LC fan.
        I like LC too, quite a lot.
        Just don’t think this singing style and song structure suits David.
        But then again, David knows better what suits him, doesn’t he? :)
        It’s a good song, after all, but, to my taste, not THAT good.
        I thought the theme (David’s relation with his mother), lyrics (which are David’s, not Polly’s) and guitar solos really moving, though.

  74. Parpa says:

    Kinda shocked to see so many disappointed with the new album. I think it’s lovely.

  75. Brad Roller says:

    Not being a kiss ass by any means and I know we are allowed to share our opinions but if some of you want to be neggative towards Bjorn over his opinion and time he put into this, you need to go to another free website dedicated solely to David Gilmour and his gear. While some of you complain why dont you remember why you have a decent guitar tone or understanding of what goes into tone. Some of us really appreciate this site. Sorry Bjorn, not creating drama, Im just throwing this out there. I appreciate the time you take out of your schedule to do this stuff.

  76. Sean says:

    Hi, Bjorn.

    I always enjoy your reviews (both gear and albums) because of your honesty. However, I have to disagree with you on this one (I’m sorry!). I thought OAI was good, you can’t beat “The Blue”. But I like RTL even more. “Faces of Stone” really stands out for me. The piano was moody and unique with a wonderful bridge and the outtro was beautiful with amazing tone. I feel it could have been a single. “A Boat Lies Waiting” brings tears to my eyes every time I listen to it. And “5 A.M.” & “And Then…” are quintessential Gilmour. I was really pleased with the album. And according to Tom Doyle of MOJO Magazine (OCT 2015), Mr. Gilmour is already underway with another album. I can’t wait!

  77. alamikam says:

    Pertinent analysis Bjorn, just some thoughts.
    I don’t know why but Today reminds me Chris Deburgh High on emotion .
    And agree that In any tongue is the album’s masterpiece and here again i don’t know why i feel rick wright presence, this song is typical wright vocal style.
    All in all this album has some good moments .
    I attended the Orange show, I was lucky to be in the first row , first time i saw David live. Very impressing , to me the culmination of the show was the tone at the ending of Sorrow, the way he mastered tube saturation, sustain and larsen effects was spectacular and the tone was stratospheric and not from this earth .
    Can’t wait to read your review of the show !

  78. Arya Boustani says:

    I think that was a good analysis. I also liked In Any Tongue as the highlight of the album. I found I had to shift my expectations to connect to this album in a slightly different way, perhaps more emotional and less analytical. It may be inevitable leveling off experience that at some age start to show its tendency in our lives, but emotions keep carrying forward.

  79. Sarah says:

    Hi Bjorn!

    Thank you for this review, which is quite lucid and respectful I think.
    I am afraid I agree that David Gilmour, for whom I’ve been a diehard fan for 30 years now, has missed the point with guitar playing and vocals (!) on many songs of this new solo album. I have the same impression of this lack of continuity of it all.

    I have been trying to understand and reproduce his playing for many, many years now (btw thanks so much for your dedication and wonderful helpful tips and solutions!). Even though I knew that Pink Floyd is long gone now, I’d recognised myself in all of David’s music, even on some few inspired moments in the disappointing album The Endless River. Now I should be reassured and happy that he’s not stuck to his past and that he’s finding new paths and style and pleasure in what he’s doing!

    But here I’m feeling highly confused and disoriented…

    Anyway we can assume that Gilmour is not complaining in his great achievements!! And I might need some more listenings, some reflection and time. Maybe a good Live DVD production will help.

    Long live to our Old Chap!


    Sarah from Switzerland

  80. Raphaël says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Just a Quick question: what do you mean by “french references ” ?

    • Bjorn says:

      I’m sure I’ll be arrested for that comment but while I have nothing against French music in general, I don’t like clarinets and horns in the way they’re played on Faces of Stone. To me that sounds typical French… something out a movie scene from Paris.

      • Brad Roller says:

        No I agree with you on that too. Id love it more had he left the “circus music” as my gf put it, out of the song. I dont hate it though!

  81. Buster Albek says:

    Hey Bjørn – and others!

    To be honest, I actually like this album.

    I know, that it’s not a album that I will put one very often, as I do with Animals, The Greatest Show on Earth, All rights Removed, Division Bell, and so on! The list is long…

    But I really think that it’s good.
    And as said above, it’s a very honest album – and so was On An Island.

    And my favorit is Faces Of Stone. There is a bit of “Pirate”-theme in the song that I like..

    Butbut. I miss the guitar a bit more, and musical parts. It’s a very poporientatet album..

    It will get to my heart..

    It took me some years to get a love relationship to On An Island…

    My opinion..

  82. Bjorn, by the way, could you point the mistakes in David’s guitar exactly, please? It is interresting, but I haven’t catched the ones for the first view…

    • Bjorn says:

      I don’t have the album in front of me but there is a couple of odd things on the solo on Faces of Stone and I also think that there’s too much of that overly casual playing, with the pick hitting the strings between notes, string scratching and fingers that touch the strings when they’re not supposed to. It makes his playing sound sloppy and uninspired. To me, at least. I’ve actually never heard those kinds of things being recorded by any other guitarist.

      • DefJef says:

        Hey, Bjorn. You must remember those two odd noises after two bends on one of the Shine On solos (I think it’s the third one around 8:15). There’s much debate all over YouTube about whether to include them when doing note for note copies! I love them and have always loved that kind of dirty approach to playing that David pulls off. I’m encouraged to rake more often after hearing 5AM (is it still a rake when you are using your fingers? Anyway….).

        • Bjorn says:

          True. Actually, there are lots of “mistakes” from David all over the Floyd catalogue. It would make an interesting topic for a later feature. There is a fine line between feel and a bad take. I love the fact that David’s never been too anal about his playing, always trying to get everything perfect. If you manage to capture a certain feel and atmosphere but still do a couple of mistakes, then that take might be worth holding on to over a sterile and perfect one.

          • DefJef says:

            So right. Ever spent ages failing to capture the essence of your demo? It’s happening to me at the moment. I just want to keep the demo guitars despite my coproducer and songwriting partner telling me they are too noisy! (I think he means hum or hiss, not ‘shut the **** up’). Talking of hiss, there’s a lot of it on Boat Lies Waiting that seems to have been attempted to to be disguised by all that creaking and mystery squeaking. Forget it Phil, we can still hear it.

            • Bjorn says:

              David used a lot of his own demo recordings on this album and he might not have been as careful with mic’ing and noise issues as a technician would. There are no rules when it comes to recording and mixing an album. My philosophy has always been that I want a good take but also one with the right feel. I don’t like obvious mistakes but I don’t mind noise or strange harmonics or overtones if that’s part of the magic :)

  83. 1st of all, here is a totally free and legal on-line version of an albumn: https://music.yandex.ru/album/2962483

    I dislike it. Some lind of music for McDonald’s or a wc in an airport, really. No new ideas, seems, there is really nothing to say for David… The sound is also about nothing and sometimes very digital.
    I really can’t get why couldn’t they record all these just into Logic with a MacbookPro?

    In Any Tongue – the only track that I can listen from the very beginning till the end with no yawning.

  84. Andy says:

    Well, for what it’s worth I really like this album and it will get played often along with OAI. It seems to me that David is finally free of the Pink Floyd baggage (as he possibly sees it?) and can do whatever he wants; if that includes jazzier or more cinematic songs, so be it. David says somewhere in an interview that RTL is diverse/eclectic, but it has obviously got his vocal, guitar and melodic sense stamped all over it and therefore it is him, like it or not.

    I’m a bit surprised by some of the comments here, but when all is said and done we all have our opinions and musical likes and dislikes. Just shows you that expectations can be dangerous!

  85. Joby Hook says:

    A spot on review Bjorn.I love some bits but a lot feels a bit unfinished and dis jointed as a whole but hey i like it.

  86. Wox says:

    Just because DG is the hero of mine regarding anything about guitars, I must admit now, that Roger was truly THE Songwriter in Pink Floyd. That’s plain to see. ‘Amused to death’ is by far the most sounding PF solo effort from any PF member.
    David was the voice and guitar of PF, but his song writing abilitiy is quite mediocre, that’s what RTL is really displaying. The production is very good and it sounds lush, but most of his song ideas sound dull or unfinished.
    And what about his guitar playing ability? Besides the solos in ‘Any given tongue’ and the title song nothing seems to be of much creativity.
    Maybe it’s true, that he is too old now to deliver a ‘rock’ album with a bite and all PF Fans have to hope for Roger’s next effort.
    It’s hard to admit it, but I’m quite disappointed.
    But I’m eager to hear how the new songs will fit in his set live on thursday.

  87. Freddy says:

    I somewhat agree,the album feels more like a collection of leftovers from previous albums and thus incoherent and a bit sloppy at times. Although not a great track I like some of the funky stuff in ‘Today’, I miss a lot of the great funky stuff from 70’s Pink Floyd that they seldom get credit for.

  88. Pete says:

    Personally I think this is by far his best solo work, love it from start to end, had the pleasure of seeing him perform some of the tracks at Brighton, production is also superb, just goes to show how diverse his talent is.

  89. Tobias says:

    I agree with almost everything you said, i think it’s a bit messy, but everytime i listen to it i like it a bit more, the only 2 tracks i cannot really listen are “today” and “the girl in the yellow dres”

  90. Renan says:

    It’s interesting how people get attached to a certain album/period/tone and seem to expect to hear everytime David plays. I mean, this is NOT a Floyd concept album, we are NOT in the 1970’s and David is NOT in his 30’s. Why do people insist in demanding something that is over?

    I know reviews are personal states of opinion and it’s natural that you express your own, Bjorn. But you let me down because, like me, you’re a musician. You could have had a bit of more of sensitivity to see what’s behind David’s inner intentions with this album. You could have used a bit more of your gilmourish expertise not to limit your comment to the superficiality of short descriptions of the songs.

    Rattle that Lock isn’t my favourite Gilmour’s album either, but even I was able to see (and feel) through the arrangements, choices of chords, vocals, instruments. It’s a beautiful work of art, the kind only decades of different life and musical experience can render.

    When you and other nostalgic Floyd fans understand Gilmour is nor Pink Floyd, maybe you’ll be able to feel what I felt when I finished listening to Rattle That Lock.

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Renan! Thanks for your comment! First of all, this is a review of the album and I’ve gone into the details that I see fitting. I’ll have other features up soon, discussing the guitar playing, tone etc.

      Second, if you read my review again, you’ll see that I have pointed out just the things you mention. I don’t think this is a bad record and, as a musician I fully appreciate that he obviously recorded the album he wanted to make. I also point out the fact that it’s 20 years since Division Bell, which I love, and that this is not Floyd.

      BUT, this is not an album that I like nor one that I would buy if it hadn’t been David Gilmour on it. I think that’s a pretty fair and honest point. I can’t force my self to like something that I don’t simply because it’s David.

      I have absolutely no problem with understanding that this album will appeal to a huge part of his fan base and maybe even win over some new fans. I’m open for lots of things and although I’d hoped for something in the lines of his first album, given the return to vintage gear etc, I could have been happy with lots of things. However, David Gilmour has made an album that doesn’t appeal to me. I’m glad you like it but this is my blog and I’m sure you’d rather want to hear an honest opinion from me, than just some pointless raving. Cheers!

      • inkslingers1 says:

        You have defended yourself well here, Bjorn. No reason to apologise for a very fair review. Same happened to me each time I bought a Roger Waters album (especially Radio KAOS), I’d sit through it and go, ‘hmm, OK, would I even listen to this if it wasn’t Roger Waters.’

        I don’t think I can even bear to buy Rattle That Lock. It feels as though I already know how disappointed I’m going to be.

        I’m not sure Phil Manzanera or Polly have been awfully helpful to the current sound of David Gilmour but they sure seem to have made his life more comfortable. We can be happy for that.

      • Almost 3 years later, and here I’ve come to reply (although I’ve been an assiduous visitor to your blog). I must admit my original comment was written in the heat of the moment when I’d just finished digesting Rattle That Lock. It seems a bit odd to me to see you, someone I regard as one of the greatest fans of David Gilmour The Guitarist, being rather harsh in his critic and expression of his personal dissatisfaction.

        Although I still hold my own personal view that Rattle That Lock is a quite good album (very similar to The Division Bell in many ways), I appreciate the points you made in your review. Now, with the benefit of hindsight, I should say I agree with you that David was a bit careless with mistakes in the final takes. This is quite unusual if we take into account that he’d always been a perfectionist. And I also agree that he might have used a bit too much of compression. Who knows? Perhaps his tired and old ears deceived his perception.

        Anyway, I keep visiting your website for reference, and I must thank you for all the incredible amount of effort in creating such a detailed database on Gilmour’s tone and playing. I’d also like to apologise for my quick-tempered words back in 2015.


        • Bjorn says:

          Ha ha, no worries and thanks for stopping by! I still consider myself a huge fan of Gilmour, his playing, tones and the work he’s done but that doesn’t mean that I uncritically like everything. I’m glad he’s still out there but I stand by what I wrote about RTL. Cheers!

    • Arne says:

      I agree with this post. I actually enjoyed this album a lot more than On an Island, which had much too much aimless Pink Floyd-ish sound effects breaks. I think it’s refreshing to hear him concentrate more on songs rather than soundscapes and endless guitar wankery. He’s not there to demo his gear for you (general you) .

    • Huy Tran says:

      “I know reviews are personal states of opinion and it’s natural that you express your own, Bjorn. But you let me down because, like me, you’re a musician. ” (Quote)

      So Renan, you are saying no one should be disappointed with David Gilmour because we shouldn’t expect or demand something from an artist. Yet you are feeling disappointed and let down because a fellow artist doesn’t share your view?

      It is amazing how anyone can feel let down by another person’s point of view on art. And to try to justify that by saying “like me, you’re a musician”; a non sequitur. You feeling let down by Bjorn has nothing to do with you or him being musicians. It is more fundamental than that.

  91. Carlos - Brazil says:

    Yep! I didn’t liked this new album at all. Just “In Any Tongue”. And… Enjoying only one or two songs on an album is a very bad sign – is far from a good work as a whole (it seems to me very similar to some Alan Parson’s Project albums – a guitarist and vocals and rest of the band to accompany his short solos). The so-called “Endless River” was also a bad acquisition (and this Dave’s album seems to follow the same path) full of passages that look like the soundtrack of a movie. Being a fan does not make us “fanatics” to any artist to the point of enjoying anything he makes available on the market…
    The few I saw on YouTube of the recent tour live shows also feature very little inspired performances of great Pink Floyd success…. Far away from the high level performances of “Remember That Night – Royal Albert Hall” DVDs/Blue-rays. Perhaps, the new “Royal Albert Hall version” will be prepared as a super-production (with a much more extensive setlist…) for Live DVD recordings as happened on Dave’s last tour in comparison with “Gdansk Version”.

  92. Crimson says:

    Hm, yes, I agree in 95 %. The missing 5 % are that i don’t like the part of Crosby and Nash.

  93. KEITH says:

    Haven’t heard the whole album, 3 tracks pre this past weekend, and a couple of starts, and stops of others yesterday. I agree wholeheartedly with most of your review. As a songwriter with some regional, and National success, I realize that David doesn’t write for my tastes, and at this point in his life, I’d say he’s doung exactly what makes hom happy. But there is a disjointed quality between the other musicians tracking, and Davids playing, and singing almost like you said,an “unfinished” quality. But it also sounds at times, and once again I haven’t heard the full album, and couldn’t make it through some tracks without changing to the next song, but to me it sounds at times like he’s just going through the motions, and I just don’t hear the deeply emotional, and ethereal guitar solos I associate with all things Gilmour. Several songs, especially the title track remind me of one hit ’80s bands like The Fixx, and that is my least favorite decade for music. I’ve gone on too long, but to sum up, I won’t be buying the record, and really hope he has one more album full of the soulful, emotionally stimulating style he created, but he’s given me a lotbof joy, and as long as he’s happy, that’s all I can ask for, or expect.

    Peace Y’all, KEITH

  94. Hey Bjorn,
    I both agree and disagree with you. I actually discovered most of this album live during the Orange show (Best show of my life by the way, deeper than the 2006 tour in my opinion!) and I’ve been really impressed by this crazy need to play different things. But just like you said, the joy on Dave’s face was really obvious! As well as Guy and Phil’s face by the way!

    I actually kept this image of his face when I sat down to listen this new album and I told myself : “yes, this is not really what I would have loved but, hey, David seemed to perfecly fit in these songs”. And when I overcame what I was wanting after 9 long years, the magic worked… and I loved it!

    I really hope seeing these new songs in live will give your heart a second chance :)

    By the way, where are you going to see him ?
    If you attend the London shows, may I ask you to look if there’s some cameras that could announce a future DVD?

    Thanks in advance ;)

  95. Angelo says:

    I’m afraid i have to agree with your impressions on the album. There are some nice ideas sparse here and there, some good songwriting, some semi decent soloing, but at the end all of them lead to a modest result.

  96. Anders Misfeldt says:

    Hi Bjørn,
    Great review. I just listened through the album a couple of times myself and I’m a bit torn. I like a lot of the songs, but like you wonder why the “mistakes” are still in there. And as you mentioned, I’m missing a connection throughout the album. A lot of fine individual songs, but not a typical “complete” Gilmour/Floyd album.
    My biggest annoyance is the fact that all numbers fade out!

    Am I correct in saying, that we hear Richard Wright speak a sentence around 2.15 in A Boat Lies Waiting?

    Can’t wait to see him live this Friday though :-)

  97. Gilmourishhh71 says:

    hi Bjorn,
    Generally you are not very excited about the album ? For me 5AM sounds very great. I love the sound of the LP with P90. Like you, I’m surprised about mistakes in Faces of Stones. A boat lies waiting and In any thong are two pieces with a lot of emotion and the sound of guitar solo is very impressive but it’s not a surprise, Gilmour is the King of tone ^^.
    I’m very happy Gilmour realease an album after 9 years and it’s probably why I have a less critical eye than you. I hope you can do backing tracks for a few pieces, including 5AM ^^

    Good job and cya !

  98. gatmanu says:

    It’s nice to see a objective die-hard fan. God knows you’re someone that truly loved,studied and shared David Gimour’s work. But I agree it’s a huge letdown, especially after the endless river.
    The album has very good moments like the vocal harmony on “a boat lies waiting” that gave me shivers but most of the time, it’s dull and not exiting at all. And I HATE the album sleeve : does anybody wants that get a vinyl of that and hang it on the wall ? really ?
    David’s work has been in my DNA since 1979 and will ever be, but not this one. He has the right to record anything he likes but no thrills for me, compared to the true masterpieces he produced. Like you said, too many directions and styles.
    (and as a french trains user, the sampled melody of “rattle that lock” reminds me of train delays and strikes, not a invitation to dance and have fun)

  99. Rick says:

    I think that’s a very fair and accurate description of the album Bjorn.Im not sure what I was expecting but it doesn’t feel very Gilmourish to my ears.

  100. Gábor says:

    I have got the same feeling after the Pula concert.. The album is not consistent it is eclectic indeed. David can let the things happen, he does not need to meet former requirement and frames of ‘Floydish’ style. Generally I am impressed, he is our almost 70 years old hero, who just simply plays and sings. We should enjoy it, and accept that things are changing..

  101. Svenni says:

    Hey, I have listen to the album several times now and it`s getting bigger every time (who is a good sign) I agree With you that is not a masterpiece but over all it an quality album in good Gilmour spirits.
    And as you mention, and what I like is that David is an artist who still develops and not lock himself into old habits.
    Anyway I’m looking forward to see him in Royal Albert Hall this Friday.
    Ceep up the good work.

    Svenni, Norway

  102. Juan Moreno says:

    Totally and absolutely agree. Also not an album for me. I bought it because after so many years hearing all the stuff from Pink Floyd and David, buying his guitars and pedals, then well… You do want to see to where is he evolving. But not for me…

    The sophistication of other albums is not there, appears more to me like a in-between recording sessions. Interesting though but not at the standards David had ourselves accustomed to.

  103. swedeman says:

    Nice review, the way I see it the album has one good song IAT and the rest seems to be leftovers that PM thought could be made into something. But then of course the live versions would be much better.

  104. Carlos Z. says:

    Hello Bjorn,

    I appreciate and respect your honesty. I’m kind of in the same boat. I’m not sure what I was expecting and while the album is entertaining, it isn’t the instant classic I was hoping for. Perhaps when I see him next Spring, I’ll have different feelings for the album. The few solos that are included in this album are not sticking with me. I can remember listening to On an Island the first time and the solo was just playing over and over in my mind. I think my favorite track is A Boat Lies Waiting. Beautiful song. Nice tribute to Rick.

    At the end of the day, I am a huge Gilmour fan and I’d be a fan of just about anything he would come up with. It would be nice to have Rick Wright playing on this album and even Roger Waters sprinkling his brilliance over the album. But those days are gone. No worries though. I never tire of listening to Pink Floyd and the awesome collection of “Great Dance Songs” they have left us.


  105. Kevin says:

    Not a guitar album? Seriously…?

    I’m a bit relieved we didn’t get another On An Island with this latest release. And I liked On an Island. A few great cuts on there. But as an album just not terribly compelling. I listen occasionally to a few tracks from the record (the title track, This Heaven, Smile, the Blue). I really like that David is experimenting a bit on this new one. It’s so refreshing—-about as refreshing you’d even hope to hear from a 70-year old man. I think this record will age better than OAI too. It IS varied and eclectic. That’s a strength to my ear. A few tunes don’t grab you upon first listen–but this is a very (very) nuanced album. It’s a heavy album too. As was OAI. But RTL is dark even. So much allusion to death and loss–but in a bit darker, more tragic way than OAI.

    And the guitar-playing… what can be said? His tone…and attack, so incredibly expressive. Sharper edges to his sound here–in fact in places, he sounds almost as angry and frenetic as he did back on The Wall and Final Cut.

    Not sure if it’s the tone he dials up — or the seething-yet-controlled rage with which he plays. But yes, I absolutely love his playing on this record.

    I will say, the songs all sound better with repeated listening. I’m finding something to like in each and every song. Dancing Right in Front of Me at first reminded me of For The Benefit of Mr. Kite — with that big riff (almost Zappa-esque). Never thought I’d hear Dave pull a song like this. Not my favorite–but really unique and different. And great outro guitar. It has personality.

    Love it. Hope he gives us another one some day. I’d still love to hear him do a stripped down (4 pc) live-sounding, blues/country/folk (traditional) sort of sounding project. That’s my 02…


    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Kevin! Thanks for sharinG! No I don’t think it’s a guitar album. Not in the same vein as Animals, Division Bell or On an Island. There are a couple of nice solos here and layers of guitar bits and pieces but it doesn’t stand out as a guitar oriented album. As I said, I feel that he focused more on his vocals and orchestra arrangements this time, rather than playing those long solos.

  106. I think you’re being overly harsh with preconceived expectations. David said a while ago that this album was somewhat of a departure for him. Personally I applaud him for still being experimental at his age but in a different way. At this point in his life it’s as much for his pleasure as it is for us fans. And while a agree that there are a couple of cringe moments with vocals overall I like the jazzy tone of the record and can’t wait to see the show!

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Jeff! Thanks for sharing! Maybe I do had higher expectations than I though but I also point out that as a musician myself, I truly appreciate the fact that he has so clearly made the album that he wanted to record and not what the fans expected. I think it would have sounded a lot less personal if it had been a new Floyd album (a proper one – not Endless River). My issues with this album basically boils down to two things. One – it’s not my kind of music (which I think is a fair and honest point). Two – there are too many mistakes and strange decisions on it.

      • Strange decisions indeed. I’m glad to see you mention all the early fades, Bjorn — I thought maybe I was crazy for harping in them in my own review, but they are so odd. Nice catch in that mistake where he seems to have banged the guitar. Did no one hear the error or comprehend how abrupt many of the fadeouts are?

  107. Adam Duarte says:

    Hey Bjorn! Great to hear your thoughts. As a fellow Gilmour diehard, I’ve been listening to RTL a lot this weekend and wondering what your thoughts have been.

    I agree that the collection of songs is eclectic, but after watching/listening to the numerous interviews he gave leading up to the album’s release, I’m not altogether surprised by that. In fact, I really enjoy seeing him exploring new territory while still reminding us that he’s the master of beautiful, gut-wrenching guitar solos and emotional compositions. The solo at the end of In Any Tongue is, without a doubt, the album’s guitar highlight. The tone and playing are reminiscent of the title track from The Final Cut, which has always been one of my favorite short-but-powerful Gilmour solos.

    A Boat Lies Waiting is heartbreaking in its beauty and longing. You can really feel how much he must miss Rick. Crosby and Nash’s voices are the perfect icing on the cake of the elegiac farewell to Wright.

    I really must say, I do enjoy upbeat numbers like Rattle That Lock and Today. I know they’ve gotten a lukewarm response from fans, but sometimes it’s really nice to hear David just rocking out and having a good time. Not as memorable as numbers like High Hopes or On The Turning Away, but still fun. And as unconventional for Gilmour as it is, I really think The Girl In The Yellow Dress might be one of my favorite tracks off the album. So, so dark and melodic.

    5AM/And Then… are wonderful bookends to the album, using the same chord progression and feeling to give the album a sense of completion. If the album is to truly be a loose narrative of a man’s day, it seems fitting that he’d be arriving at the same place he started; his home, wherever that may be. And I’m with you on Beauty–I wish it had a little bit more time to feel complete! It also reminds me of the collaboration he did with The Orb a few years back. Classic Gilmour slides indeed.

  108. bryan mears says:

    Hi Bjorn
    Great review as usual. I am a die hard fan who has been waiting for david’s latest effort. So i am sorry to say overall RTL is differant to my expectations. My feeling is that a number of the songs are either unfinished or snippets of earlier undeveloped work. My clear favourites are Faces of Stone-great song though i feel it misses its full potential. A Boat Lies Waiting-the standout for me, too short though. In Any Tongue-the tone and the solo are wonderful. Showcases david’s guitar mastery. Would love to see david live though i don’t think he will be coming down under any time soon.
    Finally excellent work from you including my favourite of yours “Lullabies”

  109. Dominic Cordisco says:

    If it wasn’t Gilmour, it wouldn’t even merit discussion. It’s only interesting in the context of his past work. Thank you Bjorn for your review.

  110. pickpink says:

    Hi Bjorn! To be honest, I hated it with passion for the most part. Those chanson and jazzy references bored me to death, they made me wanna scream: DAVE!!! YOU BLOODY WERE BORN ENGLISH ROCKER GODDAMN IT! YOU REMEMBER THAT, YOU OLD GEEZER?! PLUG INTO YOUR HIWATT AND STRIKE A CHORD FFS! >:( This is too retro, too obsolete, feels like some old film noir my grandma likes to watch. Only little pieces I liked here was outro solo in Faces of stone (could be extended though, it feels unfinished), In any tongue (I liked Brighton live version with female vocals better). Hated Today, nice Wurlitzer licks though, it reminded me of Rick. And nice opener, yes. That’s about it. Guitar tone? Easy with compressors, David xD

  111. Jean-Pierre says:

    Hi Bjorn, I think the sound quality of this new album is different, is this due with the numéric technology used at Medina Studio (analogic at Astoria Studio was better) it sound sharp?…
    Then I saw Gilmour’s show In Orange really beautiful and I think he has an alteration of his hearing, some solo were very high, sharp, aggressive.
    I preferred the Tour 2006 tone.
    This album is different, all albums are differents, Gilmour performed some new experiences and I love it except the sound quality.

  112. Brad Roller says:

    Good review! Some people think Im a sucker and I just love everything David does because David done it. Thats not true. I genuinely like this album. But I can barely listen to About Face. Theres only a few songs I like on that album. On this album, do the songs sound out of place or too different from each other? Yeah, but David even admitted to that. But I personally like it. I view Davids whole career as a transformation. Of course thats most musicians, but David more so. He does something different with every album, this one being more drastic and I like that. I will say out of all the songs on Rattle That Lock, Today is my least favorite. It sounds WAY out of place to me. I dont hate it. Its just different sounding. I feel the song, in any tongue should have been longer. Its my favorite song right now but it would have been awesome if he had split the solo at around 5:34 and sang the first chorus again! Or a new chorus. Then went back to a second longer solo! Thats just me though:) over all, I love the album. Btw is that some ra-200 I hear on the solo on in any tongue?

    • Bjorn says:

      Yes, I think it is. It’s all over the album but mixed very low. I wish he’d made more room for rotary sounds, like on Endless River.

  113. Clay jenkins says:

    Haven’t heard it yet . Sounds disappointing.

  114. Lui Sutil says:

    My thoughts exactly! I thought in an island was great… Never been a fan of his older solo projects… But as fans we have to admit that this album is just not good.
    Phil Manzanera might have something to do with it… That song today… Omg… Awful stuff… And Phill apparently convinced David that it was great stuff..
    The only track I feel like playing again is the Jazz one… It’s kind of fun… But man, I’ve always known that David is not the best songwriter… It has been obvious to me… I think Roger Waters was the musical genius in Pink Floyd I don’t care if you hate him or not … But David’s 70’s almost disco style it’s not my cup o’ tea…. We’ll see if live sounds better… Hope he records something again, and it doesn’t take him 9 years to do so.

  115. Fernando says:

    I think the album missed that “guitar hero” approach, so much present in OAI.
    I’d like some tracks, but for me the continuity between “And then…” and “5 A.M.” is the highest point of the whole album, talking about concepts. Even after years following David’s artwork, he is still able to thrill me, but I’m still digesting the whole album.

    But to be honest, I’m much more excited to see a David’s show for the first time here in Brazil! :)

    2015/12/12 I will be there, in Allianz Park, São Paulo!

  116. m ja says:

    i totally agree with you , the first time i heard rattle that lock and even saw the video clip , the first came to me , it sounds luciferian , so i was waiting for the album come to light thinking it would be an album on this topic of the falling angel , but it wasnt , the album is just not arranged and not built in harmony between the songs , its like cuts , and i think its because the more involving of his wife in writing , i dont have anything against ,but it must be subjective and when you make an album after 9 years , it must be a concept album rather than unfinished and un arranged and very distant between the songs , it can be better if they work on it and it can be amazing if it was a concept album, unfortunately its not , BUT at least we have more music from this legend , that bring joy on all , thankfully
    mentioning On An Island , this album was involves Rick Wright , you would think i’m crazy if i say Rick Wright is the basic sheet of Pink Floyd , it came to me thinking this way when i listen to his album Wet Dream , when you put each musician alone and let them make their own album they will show you their real faces !!!

  117. Darran Moore says:

    Almost mirrors the comments I have shared, especially the points on what did we expect, David to give us what we want. I respect that he has made something that he wanted to make and not he thought we wanted. A little disappointing but fair play to the guy, still incredibly excited for Friday at Royal Albert Hall. On that note, from early set lists it looks like DG won’t playing album in its entirety like he did with On An Island, a format of gig I enjoy.

  118. Jon Brook says:

    sorry ..i can now hear it 4m 43 to be precise

  119. Chad from Dallas says:

    I unfortunately have to say Bjorn, that I agree with you. I was very excited about the release of this album. I honestly didn’t have any expectations, because I do know that artists change as the age and he is definately in a different place now. I applaud him for making what he wants and not what he thinks we want. There are moments on the album that create that excitement, but they never last and all and all my overall feeling is that it is just missing….something, in many spots. The constant fading out of songs does feel as if it isn’t finished.
    I am still very excited about the tour however. I am going to see him at MSG with 4th row seats. My cousin scored us the tickets at face value! I have never seen Floyd or Gilmour live, so I couldn’t be happier about a tour! Lastly, I wish you or your band Airbag would come pla in the states as well!!!

    Chad from Dallas

  120. Jason Thompson says:

    I actually agree wholeheartedly. I felt the same way with The Endless River as well. I know a lot of it was Division Bell leftovers, but it mostly sounded unfinished and non-directional. This one has high points, but overall is a disappointment from one of my all time favorite musicians.

  121. Jon Brook says:

    I love the album …and i really cant hear that mistake on faces..

  122. Roger Sartori says:

    Bjorn, it seem we’re connected and you put on words everything I felt for this new album… maybe I won’t say it’s a crapy album, but maybe it is… nothing I expected from him. Perhaps it’s just because we are fans of the GUITAR PLAYER Gilmour… and there is pratically nothing on this album to explore in terms of guitar tone… but yet I’m crazy to see him on Brazil next december. I wouldn’t pay to see him playing songs from this album exclusively although… old stuff is what matters now. Cheers.

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