Paul Gilbert

Paul Gilbert

King of Clubs

Mayhem

This is the first solo album from Paul Gilbert, guitarist for Mr. Big, a successful late Eighties band. Having known Paul Gilbert for his guitar-shredding tendencies, I expected this album to be a major guitar trip, but Gilbert has tried and kept it under control, refraining from playing too many notes (at least, for most of the album). As I listen to this album, it seems to me as if Gilbert is torn between two sides: one side wanting to make a technically merited guitar album in the styles of Vai and Satriani, and the other side leaning towards making it, at least partly, a mainstream record. What has turned out is a power-pop album with impressive guitar pieces sewn in with taste and care.

Generally the songs are catchy and upbeat, with PG filling up spots with speedy solos and merry melodies. The tracks that appealed the most to me are the two instrumentals, “The Jig” and the last track, “The Jam.” “The Jig” is a beautiful acoustic classical instrumental that stands real tall for its merits and technicals. “The Jam,” featuring PG’s band-mate in Racer X, Bruce Bouillet, is a twenty-minute-long literal jam — an exercise in self indulgence?

Oh, this guy has some serious addiction to women and vinyl-clad girls – a good portion of this album is about them… Guitars and women, good combination, eh?

King of Clubs is produced, recorded, and mixed by PG and Bruce Bouillet. Mayhem Records, 285 W. Broadway, Suite 300, New York, NY 10013

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