Paul Gilbert – Behold Electric Guitar10th May 2019 0 By Owen Edmonds
For those of you who don’t know, Paul Gilbert, is a proper guitar virtuoso very much in the style of Steve Vai, Eddie Van Halen or Yngwie Malmsteen. If you want an album full of variety, this probably isn’t going to be for you. However, if you love the electric guitar, superb musicianship and guitar solos as far as the eye can see, then drop the needle on the vinyl (how old am I?), crank up the volume and enjoy. Oh, and if you’re wondering, yes, this is the very same Paul Gilbert who used to play his guitar with a cordless drill.
From the opening song, ‘Havin’ It’ it’s clear that Paul has taken influence from not only the classic blues rock and funk that he’s known for, but from Jazz. To my ear it was a little jarring at first, but I soon got into it and having listened several times the jazz influence works.
The highlight of the album for me comes in the 6th track ‘Let That Battery Die’. A slower paced song which makes great use of the piano to break up the shredding, for me this is a playlist track and only time will tell if it makes the stay-list.
Another highlight, but not quite a playlist track, is ‘A Snake Just Bit My Toe’ which is more like the guitar virtuoso tunes that I’m used to.
The oddest track happens to be the only one with lyrics. ‘Herd Of Turtles’ finds Paul putting on his best Liverpudlian accent and interject the song with snippets from one of his poems. I presume that it is Paul’s love of The Beatles that caused him to do the accent, however this isn’t the only Beatles influenced song on the album. ‘I Love My Lawnmower’ has a very upbeat/pop feel as if John and George had grown up listening to Eddie Van Halen instead of Muddy Waters.
Overall, the album shows off Paul Gilbert and his bands musicianship superbly however, as with all virtuoso albums, it suffers from being a bit same-y (is that a word?).
Originally, I was going to give the album 6 out of 10, but after a few more listens, I’m bumping it up to a 7 out of 10 primarily as I’ve got a playlist song from it.
1. Havin’ It
2. I Own A Building
3. Everywhere That Mary Went
4. Love Is The Saddest Thing
5. Sir, You Need To Calm Down
6. Let That Battery Die
7. Blues For Rabbit
8. Every Snare Drum
9. A Snake Just Bit My Toe
10. I Love My Lawnmower
11. A Herd Of Turtles
12. Things Can Walk To You