Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour recently said that band is finally done. If so, it went out meekly with last year's "The Endless River," essentially a tweaked pastiche of tracks recorded 20 years ago. But Gilmour's fourth solo record summons a heady dose of the grandeur he brought to Floyd. His crystalline blues runs feature on several tracks, notably the meditative "And Then. . . " and psychedelic ballad "Faces of Stone" (which suggests "Comfortably Numb"). The album includes three instrumentals, but the vocal tunes, with lyrics from Polly Samson, Gilmour's wife, carry the day. Samson can be overly literary, but Gilmour's calmly emotive voice cuts to the heart of "A Boat Lies Waiting" (a tribute to deceased Floyd pianist Richard Wright, with celestial backing vocals from Graham Nash and David Crosby) and the almost poppy title track. Gilmour experiments with Brian Wilson-like arrangement ("Dancing Right in Front of Me") and jazz-pop feel ("The Girl in the Yellow Dress") but it's the Floyd evocations that should make this album a winner with his audience.
Essential "Faces of Stone"
Steve Morse can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.