ARTIST:

PAUL GILBERT

(UNITED STATES)
TITLE:

WEREWOLVES OF PORTLAND

(2021)
LABEL:

AUTRE LABEL

GENRE:

GUITAR HERO

TAGS:
Fusion, Groovy, Guitar-Hero, Instrumental, Technical
""Werewolves Of Portland" is more like a stylistic exercise of a technician experimenting his guitar expressiveness than an instrumental album in the vein of his last solo successes."
NUNO777 (20.07.2021)  
3/5
(0) opinions from our readers (0) comment(s)

For the past few years, Paul Gilbert has been in tip-top shape. Between his outstanding solo projects and his strong involvement in online guitar courses, the American's agenda is very busy. The desire to continue the current momentum was thwarted by the pandemic of 2020, with the forced lockdown. However, Paul has decided to do everything himself (composition, recording and interpretation of all instruments) and to make the most of this to work more particularly on one aspect of his guitar playing.

Paul Gilbert's idea was to compose an album of songs in which the guitar would play as much its usual role as the voice. He had already applied the technique in "Stone Pushing Uphill Man" (in the form of remakes) and in "Behold Electric Guitar" (sparingly) except that here it is systematic. Contrary to the many albums truly sung that Paul Gilbert could release from the excellent "King Of Clubs" in 1997, the well bounded principle of the song is not respected here. Paul does not make any concession, he takes the unbridled (and sometimes unstructured) instrumental compositions and the song formula.

On the instrumental part we are not disappointed, the American continues the dynamics of his last albums by multiplying the variations and the styles with an even more obvious jam spirit. Thus "Werewolves Of Portland" approaches as well the neoclassic ('Argument About Pie') as the blues ('My Godness', '(You Would Not Be Able To Handle) What I Handle Everyday'), the big rock to the Van Halen ('Argument About Pie') as the 80's touch of Rush ('Werewolves Of Portland'), the disco-funk ('Professorship At The Leningrad Conservatory') or the pop ballad ('Meaningful'), with groove, riffs in cascades and exercises of style that sometimes look like sterile display ('Problem-Solving People', 'I Wanna Cry (Even Though I Ain't Sad)').

But unlike "Behold Electric Man" for example, Paul Gilbert forces himself in this album to bring out precisely the "sung" parts of the other interventions of the guitar (riffs, arpeggios, soli, ...) and adopts for that a stereotyped play made of short notes with low resonance or bottleneck ('Professorship At The Leningrad Conservatory'). Obviously all the fluent expression and the range of the tones of a real voice are not comparable with the result achieved by the guitar, as expressive as it may be by the American touch. If the exercise is globally well integrated in the compositions, the well marked partition sometimes affects the logic of the entire album ('My Godness', 'Meaningful', 'Argument About Pie').

It is difficult to link this "Werewolves Of Portland" to the series of remarkable albums that have been released before it. On the one hand by the global coherence of the record, its very specific concept, and on the other hand by the total implication of Paul Gilbert who plays all the instruments. Very (too much?) concerned with making his guitar singing (he went as far as writing the lyrics which are driven by the guitar and which can be followed in the booklet), Paul makes up for it with some natural tendencies of the virtuoso guitarist and doesn't show the same commitment in the depth of the composition as on his last albums.


More informations on http://www.paulgilbert.com/





TRACK LISTING:
01. Hello North Dakota!
02. My Goodness
03. Werewolves Of Portland
04. Professorship At The Leningrad Conservatory
05. Argument About Pie
06. Meaningful
07. I Wanna Cry (Even Though I Ain’t Sad)
08. A Thunderous Ovation Shook The Columns
09. Problem-Solving People
10. (You Would Not Be Able To Handle) What I Handle Everyday

LINEUP:
Paul Gilbert: Chant / Guitares / Basse / Claviers / Batterie
   
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