On An Island
Styles: adult contemporary, psych-rock-lite
Others: Pink Floyd, Roger Waters, Phil Collins
My parents love to talk about comfort food. Both of them praise beans, home fried potatoes, meat loaf, and cottage cheese. But I never really understood what they mean. It's not a favorite food or even a preferred snack. To my knowledge, I don't have any comfort foods; nothing captures the feeling they can't quite express in directly descriptive words, resorting instead to poetically tangential concepts. Gee, I'm talking about a classic rocker's middle age album and prefacing it with talks of comfort food. It's kinda unclear where I'm heading with it, eh? Anyhow, I was (still am) a huge Pink Floyd fan from about 6th grade, but I don't recall the last time I listened to one of their albums. It's almost a pure nostalgia trip, akin to a favorite food that's always very satisfying, but never quite the transcendent experience that you remember. But (DUH), upon listening to On An Island, I finally understood comfort food. It would've been hard for dapper Dave to have made something more reminiscent of Pink Floyd than this album. He lifts whole passages from albums ranging from Meddle to Momentary Lapse of Reason to his baby, The Division Bell. The album starts with an absolute cop of "Dogs of War." Couldn't have been more blatant. But, I'll be damned if it wasn't fun, nay, comforting to hear those exact sounds slightly updated for consumption anew.
I've heard this album called "classy" and "elegant," and I guess it is. And what more do you expect from a 60-year-old (!) bona fide rock god? He's not going to slam into new territory as he did on his rise to divinity. Dude has a new wife (who co-wrote six of ten songs) and kids (I think). He's gonna make something that befits his status and lifestyle. But, luckily, dude is still one of the greatest, most distinct guitarists of all time. Am I wrong, or has anyone else ever sounded like him? Wouldn't it just be embarrassing to try and pull that off? One major boon to this inevitability is that he's not trying to do way more than he's capable of with his voice. He sounds like he's cooing to his children, or his wife, throughout the album.
This is not an album that is gonna cement your status as having cool taste. Hell, playing something like this for friends could be devastatingly damaging socially. DG doesn't care. It's clear he just wanted to make music again, something he probably loves doing. Maybe it's for money, but I think proceeds from the album are going to charity. After all, he once sold his mansion and gave all the money to charity. But, moreover, I don't care either. This album hits the spot perfectly. Total comfort food.
2. On An Island
3. The Blue
4. Take A Breath
5. Red Sky at Night
6. This Heaven
7. Then I Close My Eyes
9. A Pocketful Of Stones
10. Where We Start