DAVID GILMOUR Rattle That Lock
Even though it's been ten years since his last album, David Gilmour has hardly rested on his laurels : 2007 and 2008 saw two live releases from his last tour with Rick Wright, 2010 an album with The Orb, 2011 a huge Pink Floyd reissue programme, and 2014 the final Pink Floyd record “The Endless River”. Less than a year later, and there's another, solo album – his fourth - “Rattle That Lock”.
At 69, you'd understand Gilmour's relatively slow work rate, and “Rattle That Lock” has an urgency that his previous records haven't had : though, unlike some of his other albums, there's a sense of time running out, of maybe this being the last, and every day from here on is a gift, a pleasure ; not an entitlement.
Like most albums Gilmour has made, and that of his former band Pink Floyd, there's a structure, a sense of light and shade, a wonderful sense of timing : it opens with “5 A.M.”, and closes with “And Then...” ; the two feel like two halves of the same whole, prologue and epilogue. Between, Gilmour makes a record that shows exactly how much of his former band was him (quite a lot), and how much of him wasn't in that band (quite a lot as well). Title track, “Rattle That Lock” is a driving rock anthem ; the type Gilmour hasn't released since “One Slip” or his under-rated 1984 album “About Face.” The DNA of Gilmours work, which has run through every record he's made, is present here – the tasteful, elegant tone, the restraint that comes from mastery, and the keening sense of search in a measured, balanced way.
Most unlike his previous work, “Dancing Right In Front Of Me “ and “The Girl In The Yellow Dress” have a loose, jazzy swing, but the rest of the record are the kind of careful, and elegant, considered material that Gilmour excels at, material that has clearly been played and played and played and explored, where the notes are the exact right ones, in the exact right place, for longevity and effect, and each song flows thematically and musically into the next. It's a livelier, and more vibrant record than 2006's somewhat funeral “On An Island”, but still carries with it an air of the passing of time, of finality, of late period reflection, as indeed, any record made by a 69 year old not called Lemmy should have.
“Rattle That Lock” is a strong record ; the equal of any Gilmour solo album and an insight into an artistic dilemma rarely touched – of age and aging, of the passage of time, of the moving through this thing called life, of who we are, and where we sit within it. Recommended.
ADDENDUM : If you like the record, the deluxe edition with the DVD or Blu Ray is the definitive version to own. There are an extra 8 songs (4 barn jams, and alternate versions of “Rattle That Lock” and “The Girl In The Yellow Dress”), and an hour of documentary footage and interviews.