David Gilmour, “Rattle That Lock” (2015): One Track Mind

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If there was a criticism to be made of the last two major projects led by David Gilmour, it’s that his solo album On an Island and Pink Floyd’s finale The Endless River sometimes suffered from a confining sense of quietude.

As gorgeous as these largely meditative albums no doubt were, some might have wished that they occasionally broke free of their steadfast reserve. The title track from Rattle That Lock, David Gilmour’s forthcoming follow up to On an Island, at last breaks that spell.

To confirm it, avoiding peaking at the lyric sheet, at least for now. After all, “Rattle That Lock” boasts a narrative built in part by wife and songwriting partner Polly Samson around Book 2 of Paradise Lost by John Milton. Sure, you’ve got Satan trying to battle past Sin and Death at the gates of Hell, but any references to very old literature — written, of course, in the stoic language of a yellowed age — doesn’t exactly bring to mind rock music’s basic visceralness.

Instead, listen for a found object that David Gilmour brought to the musical side of this composition, something very much in keeping with Pink Floyd’s decades-old quest to make music with every-day items. “Rattle That Lock” is powered along by a recurring chime, recorded on Gilmour’s iPhone in a French train station, that alerts passengers to impending public address announcements. He builds a lithe propulsion from that simple sound, one entirely foreign to the more considered things he’s concerned himself with lately.

By the end, David Gilmour sounds as if he’s just come fully awake. He sings “Rattle That Lock” with a fierce attitude, occasionally going outside his range. He plays with an aggression unheard for some time, too. It’s hard to know, just yet, how this song fits within the larger project — at least, until Rattle That Lock arrives on Sept. 18, 2015 via Columbia Records. But it certainly bodes well for anyone hoping David Gilmour will cut loose a little.

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has written for USA Today, American Songwriter, All About Jazz, and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the U.S. by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Nick is now associate editor of Ultimate Classic Rock.
Nick DeRiso
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