Rattle That Lock
When what’s left of Pink Floyd released The Endless River last year, leftovers from 20 years ago – it killed Floyd. Some were happy to have this final coda, a far-too-late-to-matter postscript. Some were appalled. I just couldn’t be bothered. Some fine playing in places – but just bits and pieces, leftovers. It sounded dated because, well, it was.
David Gilmour then announced the end of Pink Floyd – something that felt akin to announcing the end of summer mid-winter. We all knew. We didn’t need “final confirmation”. And it meant nothing. The world has enough music by Pink Floyd. (There’s plenty to still discover in between 1968-1972).
Now Gilmour releases his first solo album in a decade – and I wish he hadn’t. I’m sure he’ll follow Floyd’s lead and retire after this. Fingers crossed anyway. Not only has Gilmour been stuck in a holding pattern since his first album at the helm of Floyd, nearly 30 years ago now – his wife writes the lyrics with him, said lyrics are fucking terrible, that same lovely liquid guitar tone but it goes nowhere – it now sounds so dated as to feel like this was made before his other solo albums. I feel somewhat embarrassed to be a Pink Floyd fan. Something I’ve never worried about ever.
Gilmour seems a nice chap, you want to be on his side – millionaire rock star sure, but a reluctant public figure, a guy who keeps to himself, who has given the fans their fill of Big Hits/Stadium shows, has done his best to reconnect with the Syd Barrett-era (which was before his time) and has found ways to re-imagine his sound as best he can (that album with The Orb really was his finest “solo” effort). But it always comes back to one thing – the lyrics are fucking embarrassing. Which is really saying something when his competition was Roger Waters.
Rattle That Lock drifts along, passionless, the same as it ever was, awkward and nearly clueless at points. Certainly lacking in any awareness. It’s bookended by a set of lovely guitar-is-the-star solos-as-songs. But they’re just this year’s Marooned, or Mihalis or Signs of Life. Ha, if only there were real signs of life here…the same trick, over and again. And it’s time to hang up that guitar Dave.
I hope he plays a few shows. And dips out surely after. He’s cashed up and clearly done. The evidence is right here.