RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

David Gilmour - Rattle That Lock (Deluxe Edition)

Rating: C-

This is one of the most painful reviews I have written to date. I keep listening to Rattle That Lock hoping to hear something, anything, I may have missed the last time around. I haven’t discovered it yet. I really, really wanted to like this album. David Gilmour is one of my lifelong idols, so much so that Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side Of The Moon was the first “rock” LP I ever purchased when I was a little kid (and I still have it!). There are very few artists that have had a greater impact upon my musical life than David Gilmour.

Perhaps my expectations were too high. I don’t know; but the Gilmour I have long loved just wasn’t on this album.

It’s hard to know where to begin. To sum it up, I don’t know why this album was written. I’m not feeling the message. It just seemed formulaic in so many ways. There are the typical background verbal loops and the backing singers singing with the same phrasing and attacks used so often before, and so on. I could predict where and when they would arrive the first time around. It has such a plug and play feel to it that it seems like the songwriting was automatic, as opposed to creative.

To be sure, Gilmour is a very good composer, but he is also a spectacular guitarist. There are a lot of nice, well thought out musical compositions on Rattle That Lock, but not a lot of classic Gilmour guitar. I’m sorry, but I really have a problem with that.

When the name David Gilmour enters my mind I immediately think of the immaculate guitar solos in “Money”, “Have A Cigar”, and “Comfortably Numb”. These are the moments when each perfectly expressed note, each soaring string bend, and each well placed rhythm seared into my heart and stopped me in my tracks. I hear his name and also remember those amazingly rich and fulfilling guitar sounds like the opening of “Sorrow”. They’re almost completely absent on this album. What happened? Where’d they go? Those things are Gilmour’s essence; they are what I want to hear! I appreciate his musical ability, but I don’t want to hear him play vamping jazz and old English barroom style tunes. I want his guitar to sing like no other ever has. Sadly, it’s been muted on Rattle That Lock. That leaves me stunned.

Perhaps Gilmour has decided that with the end of Pink Floyd he is free to explore other musical avenues. Perhaps he feels he has faithfully given his loyal fans decades of music and no longer needs to fulfill their desires. Fair enough; he’s earned that right. But seriously, a “Youth Mix” for “Rattle That Lock”? Are you kidding me? Dave, look at yourself and the people who love your work. We’re 147 years old! No sir; your music will never belong in a pretentious Vegas hipster nightclub. Floyd used to sardonically mock stuff like this so deliciously! Now you’re trying to be a part of it? I’m sorry to be so harsh, but I am confident that most of your fans will agree that this is way, way wrong, and this Roman Meal Bakery thought you’d like to know.

If you purchase the Deluxe Edition of Rattle That Lock off iTunes you are also given six videos to go with the album. Four of these are “Barn Jams” that feature Gilmour playing with the late, great, Richard Wright. These are the best pieces of all. This is a classic look at a couple old timers hanging around and jamming. They’re made even more precious with the passing of Wright, one of the most under-appreciated keyboardists of rock music. They seem like a very cool addition to the album until you realize these videos are already available on YouTube. Saddest of all, the more I watch them the more I miss Pink Floyd. I’m certain that was not the intended response.

There are two other videos provided. They are both visually interesting, but one is yet another run through of “Rattle That Lock” - making five cuts in this package of the same tune. The last video is for “The Girl In The Yellow Dress” - which makes three cuts of that same tune in this package.

I will end on a positive note because, all other criticisms aside, there are some moments of tasty music on Rattle That Lock worth mentioning. My favorite piece on the album is “A Boat Lies Waiting”. This is a passionate and emotional piece with lyrics written as a tribute to Richard Wright. It paints a vivid picture and the feelings come through powerfully. “And Then ...” also has beautiful passages of Gilmour doing what he does best. The guitar work is smooth, subtle and expressive. These are the moments I will listen to again on a Floyd/Gilmour playlist some time. I wish there were much more.

Man, I’m tired. This was not fun.

Track Listing:
1. 5 A.M.
2. Rattle That Lock
3. Faces Of Stone
4. A Boat Lies Waiting
5. Dancing Right In Front Of Me
6. In Any Tongue
7. Beauty
8. The Girl In The Yellow Dress
9. Today
10. And Then ...
11. Rattle That Lock (Extended Mix)
12. The Girl In The Yellow Dress (Orchestral Version)
13. Rattle That Lock (Youth Mix - 12” Extended Radio Dub)
14. Rattle That Lock (Radio Edit)
15. Barn Jam 1 (Video)
16. Barn Jam 2 (Video)
17. Barn Jam 3 (Video)
18. Barn Jam 4 (Video)
19. Rattle That Lock Film
20. The Girl In The Yellow Dress Film

Digital Booklet - Rattle That Lock

By Roy Rahl