Anyone who takes delight in the singular guitar stylings heard in post-Barrett Pink Floyd, and wishes to eschew the group's heavy lyrical angst, will certainly enjoy David Gilmour's initial solo foray from 1978, the year following PF's Animals. Right off in the initial cut, a simple extended instrumental titled "Mihalis", are heard those marvelous, dream-laden chords put to a simple beat before branching out into a diverse working of Gilmour's signature guitar sound. The following tune, "There's No Way Out of Here", received some extensive radio airplay in certain quarters -- it's certainly a decent enough tune in the Floyd mold replete with female choral backing. "Cry from the Street" develops as a fairly mundane blues, also in the Floyd mold, before jumping headlong into a tasty coda. "So Far Away" is a soaring ballad. In "Short and Sweet", an otherwise unexceptional tune, are first heard those familiar chords so memorably proffered a year later in the refrain of PF's "Run Like Hell" from The Wall. "Raise My Rent" is another dreamy instrumental blues styling. "No Way" is often taken as a statement on the state of Pink Floyd at the time -- I wouldn't know, but it again attaches a dreamy blues and Gilmour's soft-core voice to a Floydian arrangement. In "Deafinitely", Gilmour goes techno in an instrumental dialogue between his guitar and a howling synth. "I Can't Breathe Anymore" begins as a beautiful ballad before the guitar takes flight in bringing the album to a satisfying close. The re-mastered sound is exemplary.
About Face from 1984, co-produced by Bob Ezrin, gives us much more elaborate arrangements and diverse stylings than Gilmour's eponymous first solo outing. The opener "Until We Sleep", a fan favorite on tour, is also a personal favorite along with the funky brass-infused "Blue Light". "Murder" begins as a poignant, movingly sung ballad before exploding into a vocal and guitar workout. "Love on the Air" and "Out of the Blue" are mostly delightful tunes. Gilmour grabs Pete Townshend's lyric in "All Lovers Are Deranged" and gives us a powerfully compact, straight-ahead rocker that displays an edge in his voice rarely heard. Elsewhere, the tunes are mostly variable and the lyrics often inscrutable. The closing tunes, two ballads, are disappointingly innocuous. However, despite some bombast and indulgence, good musical taste often prevails throughout the album. Again, the remastered sound from Columbia is excellent, more vivid than my LP.