One thing about Gilmour’s compositions is that there’s an instantly recognizable format to them, one could say a sameness. Each song begins with a minimalistic yet drawn-out musical intro, followed by a guitar bridge to bring you into the formulaically structured lyrics. Polly Samson continues to step to the fore with a full writing credit; aside from Faces of Stone and Dancing Right in Front of Me, she handles all the lyrics on this one… which is neither impressive nor lacking. It simply is what it is. The main difference here is that the songs are cutting off and fading out while you’re thinking there’s more on the way. Best example is on A Boat Lies Waiting- the tribute to the late Richard Wright- the sudden ending almost catches you by surprise.
Other than Rattle That Lock- which is based upon Lucifer’s fall from Heaven in Paradise Lost II- Samson states the lyrics are inspired by the thoughts a person might have over the course of a single day, and they sound just like that. Dancing Right in Front of Me is the only song that really does its job- portraying the comic tragedy of a prosaic life falling to pieces. Just imagine trying to make an album’s worth of songs out of a typical day in your life.
Musically, it’s kinda interesting as Gilmour explores some of his creative impulses. Although bookended by two instrumentals- 5 AM (which will definitely appeal to diehard fans) and And Then…- there’s really not a lot to sink your teeth into here. Faces of Stone, both written and composed by him, employs an accordion to give it the atmosphere of an Italian romantic movie, like watching a Frederico Fellini black & white film. The second instrumental, Beauty, on the other hand, should be considered an exercise in banality; you’ll recognize quite a few reused chords and notes from as far back as ‘Shine On…’ in this one. The sum is definitely weaker than the parts.
Overall, Rattle That Lock is a very pedestrian effort, only notable for the cache of the name on the cover. Which should tell you what to expect from it. 3/5 stars.
2- Rattle That Lock
3- Faces of Stone
4- A Boat Lies Waiting (tribute to Richard Wright)
5- Dancing Right in Front of Me
6- In Any Tongue
8- The Girl in the Yellow Dress
10- And Then...