Power of Metal.dk Review

Paul Gilbert
Style: Shredder
Release date: 15 October, 2012
Playing time: 67:33

That Paul Gilbert was a talented guitarist was plainly obvious from Racer X’s timeless debut 26 years ago. Since then he has taken the art of guitar playing and composing to whole new levels, always striving to sound different while never attempting to relinquish his roots. “Vibrato” is a wide-angle snapshot of Paul’s musical interests and accomplishments. It’s also one of the best guitar-driven albums I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to.


“Vibrato” is hard to pin-down, stylistically speaking. For a start there’s a generous dosage of shredding but also some lethally infectious Funky Jazz (check out the title-track if you dare). Blues is another element which is always hovering around this album, whether as a subtle underlying motif or as a fully-charged-all-guns-blazing number, such as ‘Bivalve Blues’.


Fate has rarely given us guitar icons with a great voice (Yngwie Malmsteen, Uli Jon Roth, Hendrix….they were all devoid of any singing talent) but Paul Gilbert sings in a number of tracks here and pulls it off surprisingly well.


Although “Vibrato” is rich in technique it also has a strongly spontaneous vibe, an impression reinforced by various improvisational passages as well as the inclusion of 3 live tracks. And this, in my view, is what makes the album special, i.e. that it’s superb on both technical and emotional levels. ‘I Want To Be Loved’, a live recording of a Muddy Waters cover, is a perfect example of this: the guitar solos are absolutely furious and yet you get the uncontrollable urge to headbang ‘n’ boogie.


Fantastic musicians, amazing music, a guitar album that stands out from the rest…..what more could this humble reviewer have hoped for?
01. Enemies (In Jail)
02. Rain and Thunder and Lightning
03. Vibrato
04. Put It on the Char
05. Bivalve Blues
06. Blue Rondo A La Turk (Dave Brubeck cover)
07. Atmosphere on the Moon
08. The Pronghorn
09. Roundabout (live – Yes cover)
10. I Want To Be Loved (live - Muddy Waters cover)

11. Go Down (live - AC/DC cover)
Label: Mascot Label Group
Distribution: Target (Denmark)
Reviewed by: Chris Galea
Date: 1 October, 2012
Website: www.paulgilbert.com