2012 has been a bit of a year for solo albums. I myself have reviewed Mark Tremonti’s and more recently Neal Schon’s and both of those were pretty awesome by anyone’s standards, so I was thinking it rather optimistic of me to hope that Paul Gilbert was going to maintain the 100% record, and make it three from three.
I guess I needn’t have worried though as this is yet another great album produced by a guitar virtuoso. Paul has always been a guitarist’s guitarist, with a lot of people citing him as their inspiration or role model and listening to this it’s easy to hear why. Paul touches on a multitude of genres, from Jazz Funk, to Blues, out and out Rock, and many many more. One thing this album has going for it, is that the instrumental tracks are interspersed with “proper” songs too (with Paul handling vocal duties). I honestly didn’t know he could sing that well, but that’s probably down to my ignorance as much as anything else.
This album shows off Paul’s versatility and mastery of his instrument without delving into the egotistical mentality that some guitarists, and other musicians come to think of it, have a habit of allowing to come through. It’s purely and simply a collection of great tunes played by great musicians, and that’s a formula that is going to work no matter who is doing it.
Also worthy of mention is a version of Yes’ “Roundabout” which has been recorded live. It’s a storming cover, and a great addition to an already very good release.
This is an album that explores the realms of what the possibilities are when it comes to playing a guitar. There is undoubtedly a huge amount of talent on display, but it pushes the boundaries further outward. There are some sounds produced on it, that I honestly thought might not be possible…. but they’re there none the less. It projects musical imagery, and will certainly make you stop whatever you’re doing just so you can listen to it.
There are a great many guitarists in the world, but in all honesty, there are not many great guitarists (although there are a multitude of very good ones), but I would consider Paul Gilbert as one of the best, and certainly one of the most under-rated. This album deserves to be heard, and could quite easily astound and amaze a lot of people.
If you love the sound of a guitar, then you need to get this album, it’s really that simple.