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David Gilmour 

On an Island (Columbia)

David Gilmour can do whatever the hell he wants. If he chooses to let sleeping Floyds lie and concentrate on his own music, he's earned the prerogative. This is the guy who pole-vaulted the stratosphere riding the guitar solos on "Comfortably Numb" and "Money," after all. Still, something more captivating than On an Island would be nice. That always-sturdy voice seems uncannily not to have aged at all, but the characteristic Gilmour hit of pure, deep feeling never came via his singing in Pink Floyd — it surged through his sublimely expressive guitar playing. Songs like "The Blue" boast the familiar brushed-nickel tone and impeccable phrasing, yet the emotion here and on the rest of the CD sounds phoned (sleepily) in. Guests like Phil Manzanera and Robert Wyatt barely register, and most of the second half of Island is a snooze. Its languorousness isn't the problem; its lack of compelling songwriting is.

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More by Alex Weir

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