Former Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour is not prolific. Rattle That Lock is only his fourth solo studio album (though it follows his late band's final album, The Endless River, by only ten months). Gilmour recorded some 35 songs for this set, some dating back 18 years. Trimming them to ten couldn't have been easy. Titled for John Milton's second book in Paradise Lost, Rattle That Lock is structured as an informal song cycle to reflect the sometimes random, sometimes weightier thought processes of a typical person in a single day. It begins, appropriately, with the instrumental "5 A.M.." Orchestrated by Zbigniew Preisner, Gilmour's signature slow, bluesy, Stratocaster sting enters just 30 seconds in, followed by fingerpicked acoustic guitars, gentle synths, and electric piano amid chamber strings to announce the title-track single. It's the first of five songs co-written with novelist Polly Samson, Gilmour's wife.
Writer-director Guy Ritchie's street-tough look at London's decrepit underworld and the unsavory dealings of four best friends whose cockiness is undercut by some serious trouble features a soundtrack of quick dialogue sound clips, a smattering of classic rock, pop, and reggae, and a few current submissions as well. Junior Murvin's "Police and Thieves," known most to rock audiences by the Clash cover, is a great piece of political resistance and laidback dub groove. James Brown's "The Payback" and "The Boss" and Iggy and the Stooges' "I Wanna Be Your Dog" stake out the sharp end, while the late Dusty Springfield paints the softer corner with "Spooky." Ocean Colour Scene delivers the backwards guitar driven "100 Mile High City," and Stretch's "Why Did You Do It?" is a great recreation of early '70s soul.