“This earthly heaven is enough for me…”
I know it’s a little late to do a review on this one, but since David Gilmour’s music is undoubtedly timeless, I guess I can be excused.
With his trademark guitar tone and his naturally aged voice that articulates his wisdom, David Gilmour seems to keep the soul of Pink Floyd alive in every song that he composes, and the tracks on On an Island are no exceptions.
The opening piece, named ‘Castellorizon’ sets a very deep, dark, psychedelic mood with samples of sound flying about until it reaches a peak where Gilmour’s guitar enters with a scream. Beautiful. This track leads into the title track, ‘On an Island’, which is an absolute classic. The calmness in David’s voice, backed by the melody and the guitar solos, gives this track an epic feel that runs throughout. The song is richly layered in backing vocals, and is an awesome piece of work.
Gilmour then digs deeper into serenity with ‘The Blue’, which is a very slow-paced mellow tune that relies on sustained notes to carry it through. The album then enters ‘Take a Breath’, where Gilmour unleashes a more rock-style distorted guitar sound. This track has a sense of assertiveness thus making it heavier than the other tracks.
After this, Gilmour breaks into a saxophone solo backed by strings, in a song named ‘Red Sky at Night’. I suppose the track title alone would tell you what to expect from this one. Magical.
David then brings things back up with ‘This Heaven’, which has a bluesy touch combined with strings that create a very unique musical experience. The track ends off jam-style with an improvised solo fading out.
The next track, ‘Then I Close My Eyes’, brings serenity back. Gilmour plays a host of instruments here. It is interesting to see how he uses different elements in the right proportion to create a meaningful unified sound.
This is followed by the last two tracks of the album, ‘A Pocket Full of Stones’ and ‘Where We Start’ which ease into a mellow mood again.
Overall, the album is a pleasant journey, beautifully laid out with with a set of songs that really make you feel like you’re on an island. 🙂