David Gilmour's Rattle That Lock: What You Need To Know
For any fans of prog rock legends Pink Floyd, David Gilmour needs no introduction. Since the departure of the group's original creative force Syd Barrett, Gilmour's voice and distinctive guitar licks have been a huge part of the band's sound, right up until last year's swansong, The Endless River, Pink Floyd's final album.
Fans of Gilmour needn't worry though, the veteren guitarist isn't quite done just yet and this week sees the release of his fourth solo album, Rattle That Lock. Here's everything you need to know about it...
A little background...
Having spent much of the last couple of years compiling and creating material The Endless River, which was assembled by Gilmour and Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason from archive recordings featuring the band's late keyboardist Richard Wright, Gilmour began turning his attention to his next project. His inspiration came in the unlikely form of a jingle used by French railway company SNCF, which Gilmour heard and recorded on his phone while on a trip to visit friends. The melody from the jingle forms the centrepiece of the album's title track, with lyrics written by his wife, the author Polly Samson. With the exception of one track, an idea Gilmour originally recorded on piano as a demo 18 years ago, the album features 10 brand new tracks, recorded between Gilmour's own Medina Studio in Hove, his Astoria houseboat studio and London's AIR studios.
Who's producing it?
Production duties on the new album are being handled by Gilmour and former Roxy Music guitarist Phil Manzanera, who has worked with Gilmour previously on his last solo album, 2006's On an Island, as well as on The Endless River.
Any special guests?
Quite a few actually. Mica Paris and Louise Marshall are among those lending their vocal talents to the album, as do The Liberty Choir, while the roll-call of musicians playing on the album includes Jools Holland and Soft Machine's Robert Wyatt, as well as David Crosby and Graham Nash, both of whom provide backing vocals on the album's fourth track, 'A Boat Lies Waiting'.
What does it sound like?
All in all this isn't any kind of radical departure for Gilmour, but there are a breadth of influences at work across the album that take in rock, funk, soul and gospel. Lyrically speaking, Polly Samson has handled the writing for the entire album and the lyrical concepts are based on the second book from John Milton's classic novel Paradise Lost. There are plenty of Gilmour's trademark guitar chops - instantly recognisable right from the opening bars of the album's first track '5AM' - and there's a smooth, pulsating undercurrent to the album, particularly on the title track.
Does it deliver?
If you're a fan of Gilmour's solo work or Pink Floyd's more recent output then you'll find plenty to enjoy about Rattle That Lock. The cast of musicians is impressive and the vocal collaborators are well chosen, plus it has to be said that Gilmour isn't the most prolific of artists, so for any of his fans who will have been waiting around a long time for some new material, we say this: get your fill, because this is as good as anything he's done on his own and who knows when – or if – he might release something new again.