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On An Island

526 customer reviews

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On An Island
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Audio CD, March 7, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

On An Island is the third David Gilmour solo album and his first studio recording since Pink Floyd's 1994 multi-platinum 'The Division Bell'. From the first moments of the sound collage that begins 'On An Island', you know it's a special experience that not only bears comparison with the best of Pink Floyd, but also confirms their lead guitarist and singer as an outstanding solo artist. Here he reveals a personal vision and a breadth of styles - folk, jazz, orchestral and rock - brought together as a unified piece by his lyrical guitar playing and instantly recognisable voice. On An Island is a collection of songs and instrumentals that had its genus in the critically acclaimed 2002 London Festival Hall concerts. Gilmour has stepped out of his super-group to discover he's still at his peak - and he's rightly pleased. 'It's my best and most personal work,' he says. 'Making it with my musician friends has been a positive experience on so many levels.' EMI. 2006.

David Gilmour’s solo career hasn’t exactly been creatively restless; this is but the third album by the Pink Floyd guitarist, and first in 18 years. But that seemingly lackadaisical career ethos hasn’t prevented Gilmour from producing some of his finest work here, an album whose soaring, lyrical guitar lines will be familiar to Floyd fans, yet one also blessed by often surprising nuances and delicate musical textures. Gilmour’s Division Bell collaborator Polly Samson is credited with most of the writing, helping conjure a moody, texturally rich "island" that’s as much musical as it is personally and lyrically metaphorical. "Castellorizon," the impressionistic opening instrumental collage, presages much of what’s to come in subtle ways, with Gilmour’s emotionally-charged guitar lines climbing into realms usually staked out by contemporary Jeff Beck.

Gilmour’s choice of collaborators is equally compelling, from the evocative orchestrations of Polish classical modernist Zbigniew Preisner and expected contributions from Floyd (Richard Wright and proto-Pink mate Rado "Bob" Klose) to a host of guest turns that span both decades and styles: Georgie Fame, Phil Manzanera, Jools Holland, Caroline Dale and Robert Wyatt. The title track is graced by the stately harmonies of David Crosby and Graham Nash while the instrumental "Then I Close My Eyes" spins a hypnotic, bayou-meets-boho ethos where Dale’s gentle cello lines meet the melancholy cornet flourishes of Wyatt to challenge the very notions of genre itself. "This Heaven" finds Gilmour in unexpected R&B territory, weaving playful riffs with ‘60s London scenester Fame’s Hammond organ and finding its lyrical spirituality in simple, personal intimacy, a subtext that wafts through the upbeat airiness of "The Blue" to the spare "Smile," spinning a surprisingly romantic elegy that co! mes satisfyingly full circle on the closing "Where We Start." No man may be an island, but Gilmour has nonetheless crafted a rewarding artistic oasis on this, his finest and most gently personal album. -- Jerry McCulley

Recommended David Gilmour & Pink Floyd

David Gilmour

David Gilmour

About Face

David Gilmour

Dark Side of the Moon

Pink Floyd

Wish You Were Here

Pink Floyd


Pink Floyd

The Wall

Pink Floyd

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
  1. Castellorizon 3:54$0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. On an Island (Album Version) 6:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. The Blue (Album Version) 5:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. Take a Breath 5:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. Red Sky at Night 2:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. This Heaven (Album Version) 4:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. Then I Close My Eyes (Album Version) 5:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. Smile (Album Version) 4:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. A Pocketful of Stones 6:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
10. Where We Start (Album Version) 6:46$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 7, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B000E6UK5K
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (526 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,005 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

236 of 257 people found the following review helpful By Missing Person on March 7, 2006
Format: Audio CD
David Gilmour really deserves credit for his "On An Island" album, released today. The man clearly doesn't give a damn about following any trends, and I say more power to him. The album does indeed sound very Floyd-ish, which Gilmour himself admits, but it's not merely some toothless rehash of past glories, and the production values here are really excellent (the album was produced by Gilmour, Phil Manzanera, and Chris Thomas). And Gilmour's in excellent voice too, sounding as though he's barely aged a day in the past 20 years. You needn't have any worries about this being a "modernized", high-tech disaster--the album sounds more like something that was recorded in 1980 than in the 2000s, and I really mean that as a compliment.

I think it's off the mark and misleading to bluntly say that Gilmour has "gone adult contemporary" with this album--that might get certain people thinking he's chosen a bland synthesizer-heavy approach. Quite the contrary, synthesizer is only used for a light sprinkling of effects on the title track, and synths are nowhere to be heard on songs such as "The Blue" and "Where We Start"--instead, David favors real piano, real electric piano, and especially real Hammond organ (which all three of these have), and that plays a huge role in them sounding so wonderfully organic.

Yes, this is a VERY low volume album, but for the most part, it's very appealing, not just thanks to the production, but also because the songwriting is generally at a really high level. Frankly, I think you could throw the same kind of praise at much of the Floyd's work--"Wish You Were Here", great album as it is, never rocks very hard at all.
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91 of 105 people found the following review helpful By Wayne Klein HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 7, 2006
Format: Audio CD
"On An Island" features the type of music that Pink Floyd and David Gilmour fans have come to expect from the man--there's lots of moody, atmospheric playing, Gilmour's memorable raspy vocals and some of the best material he's written in years. Collaborating with guitarist/songwriter Phil Manzanera of Roxy Music and veteran producer Chris Thomas (The Pretenders), Gilmour has crafted an atmospheric album full of hazy instrumentals and songs that may not rock out the way fans are used to but are still filled with passion and emotion. By the way, if you decide not to buy this locally some retail outlets are offering a bonus disc that includes an additional song. How does this compare to his other solo albums? Well each one represented a different decade in Gilmour's life so they are all quite different and difficult to compare but the quality of the songwriting is top notch here as on those. This effort is a little more focused than his first ("David Gilmour") and a little less commercial than his second ("About Face").

Written solo and in collaboration with Polly Samson (a journalist and writer who wrote some of the lyrics for "The Division Bell" as well as Mrs. Gilmour)providing words on most of the tracks "On An Island" features a wide variety of memorable guest players (Floyd's Richard Wright, David Crosby & Graham Nash on backing vocals, Jools Holland formerly of Squeeze, Robert Wyatt and--surprisingly--guitarist Phil Manzanera playing keyboards). I'll be the first to admit that Samson isn't Waters as a lyricist but her words are servicable for the songs and occasionally inspired (hence the four stars and not five).
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Tim taylor on February 9, 2007
Format: Audio CD
This is NOT Pink Floyd. David Gilmour doesn't want it to be Pink Floyd. But it is a fantastic album by an amazing artist. It is best appreciated listening undisturbed start to finish with headphones on. David has gone all out in many ways... his web site gave tickets to see him perform on the Jay Leno show (which I was lucky enough to be a part of), he performed the first concert promoting his new album at the Mermaid Theater for lucky fans who won tickets from his web site. Later the Mermaid show appeared on the Big Screen. This cd has been re-released with a DVD of a performance for AOL, a song from his upcoming DVD Remember That Night, as well as a track from a performance he gave at Abbey Road studios for an upcoming tv event (I bought the DVD from his web site as a limited edition stand alone DVD and it is alone worth the price of the CD, but you get both!). His web site has gone all out with a blog and constant updates. Oh yeah- this is a review of the album... the title track is excellent with classic Gilmour guitar solos. The Blue features a guitar solo that gives a whole new meaning to the idea of "bending notes". Take a Breath has an incredible guitar solo at the end (and fares even better in the two(!) live versions on the DVD- and before you ask, yes both versions are worthy of being on the same DVD). I would say the only weak track is Smile, which I didn't care for much on his Meltdown DVD either. Aside from that, this is a really great album! And the more I listen to it the more it seems to just fit like a comfortable old shoe. Terrible imagery, but you know what I'm trying to say- right?
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The question was whether or not it was available on DVD-Audio, not if he's going to have a live DVD of the tour. I'm sure there will be a live DVD to follow, but I'm anxiously looking forward to more Floyd in surround-sound, on DVD-Audio, SACD, or Dual Disc. Any news on Wish You Were Here?
Mar 24, 2006 by Art |  See all 4 posts
On DVD yet?
A week ago I saw the On The Island video in a local movie theater. It included a few interviews witg David prior to the start of the tour, the studio taping of On an Island with Crosby and Nash, and about 10 live songs fromt her opening date of the On the Island Tour. Pretty much what I saw at... Read More
May 21, 2006 by USC Doctor |  See all 2 posts
On an island- david gilmour`s personal best effort
I was trying to decide whether or not to buy this album and after reading this post have decided against buying. I must agree Polly Samson's (that's the wife's name, right?) lyrics are not interesting, not what I would call good. I truly miss Roger Waters' lyrics, especially on all the albums... Read More
Jan 16, 2013 by Another Wench |  See all 2 posts
On an island- david gilmour`s personal best effort
well at least he can spell "lyrics"

but I agree they are not as good as Floyd, but I think some songs are good, others trite, etc.
Apr 6, 2006 by Seano |  See all 4 posts
Pink Floyd. The sum of the parts. Be the first to reply
Japanese Digipak pressing Be the first to reply
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