Paul Gilbert made up my early years listening to heavy metal, and so would be the case with a whole lot of you reading this review. Be it Mr. Big, Racer X, his solo work or something out of a whole lot of other records, Paul Gilbert’s work has been instrumental in nurturing the love for guitar-noodling in all of us. I was excited about ‘I Can Destroy’, the latest offering by Gilbert; I’d jump for this album anticipating all the crazy stuff that the album would feature. It feels great when patience is rewarded, and with this new album, the rewards are monumental.
The album starts off with some sound advice about everyday living with “Everybody Use Your Goddamn Turn Signal”. This is where the trip starts with all the Gilbert magic that we always yearned to hear. The rhythm sections and leads are stunning. Apart from all the work on the instruments, the lyrics are fabulous. This is one hell of a start for the album, but I’m uber-excited for what follows now. The album features 12 songs and each with its own unique sound.
The title track “I Can Destroy” is pure destruction. The riffs, the thumping bass and the lively percussions make it one mad song. Again, I’ve got to highlight the fact that the lyrics are brilliant. Anyone would soon be singing along to the chorus in no time. The song has a lot of modernity to it, but yet has an odd feeling of old-school heavy metal, and this actually comes with some great results!
The Paul Gilbert we all know is more prominent with songs such as “One Woman Too Many”, “Woman Stop”, “I’m Not The One (Who Wants To Be With You) and “Make It (If We Try). There are a lot of newer approaches to these songs, but they still retain a better-known sound among listeners. The jovial arrangements of these songs will strike all the right chords with anyone who comes by it.
A really special song on this record is “Blues Just Saving My Life”, which just has to be in your list of essentials. The blues here is definitely a lifesaver, and a great one at that. The solo sections on this song are simply fantabulous; we all need that one tune that is going to be there with us always. For the sake of trivia, I do wonder how many of us could relate to these lyrics. “I Will Be Remembered” has a really chilled-out feel to it, and would be enjoyable in a live setting. “Adventure and Trouble” follows the same mood, but is actually a fine way to end a pretty crazy album.
The production quality on this album is as sweet as his tone and guitar licks. The energy in the music and fun in the lyrics not only make the album simply mesmerising, but also absolutely entertaining. One can’t argue that the album lacks musical complexity; this is Paul Gilbert and Co. we’re talking about. His love and relationship with shred and speed is older and stronger than most human relationships, and it is not getting old anytime soon! This album too stands testimony for this relationship that we are all lost in admiration for. How do you do it, Paul?
A rocking album in every sense, Paul Gilbert once again flabbergasts us with ‘I Can Destroy’. This album is every reason why anyone would love this man and his music. With a host of both nostalgic and contemporary tones, the album is the epitome of musical finesse. It is fascinating that Paul Gilbert’s music has never had a dull moment or has never sounded old. Perhaps his music will always be timeless in its finer parts. While listening to the music, you could literally visualise that smile and weird expressions of Paul that one would notice seeing him playing live. The composition of the music features good weightage on all the instruments and nothing seems to be underperformed here.
Top marks for Paul Gilbert for ‘I Can Destroy’. This album is a treat for listeners and an inspiration for musicians.