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Kevin Gilbert - Thud CD (album) cover


Kevin Gilbert


Crossover Prog

4.13 | 49 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "We're living here in Joytown, the City of the Sun . And everyone loves everyone loves every single one." - Joytown

This is my second album after I have enjoyed "The Shaming of The True" (2000). Kevin Gilbert, who contributed wonderfully in a compilation album "Supper's Ready" - a tribute to Genesis (Magna Carta, 1995), re-arranged "Back In NYC" in totally different way than the original version. The other contribution he ventured was on the Yes tribute compilation "Tales From Yesterday"; under the name of STANLEY SNAIL featuring Kevin Gilbert and Mike Keneally. He performed "Siberian Khatru". It's another excellent performance even though it's not radically different than Yes studio album except the inclusion of one of Bruford's melody taken from solo album during the interlude segment. By the time Nick D'Virgilio (later was popular with his Spock's Beard) wasn't famous yet. With this background, combined with information available at his website, I could sense the kind of music style that Kevin Gilbert has adopted.

Thud was meant to be the sound one's head makes as it hits the table. That's why, the cover photo represents the Baron George Hoyningen-Huene having "A Vision at Glyphada.". Photographer Herbert List captured his head hitting the table on the plains of Glyphada, Greece in 1937. Through this album Kevin locked himself in the studio, played most of the instruments.

As I have reviewed the latter album, I can only say that the style of this album is roughly similar (65%) with "The Shaming of The True" where the music focuses on the use of acoustic guitar, powerful lyrics and accentuated vocal style in which Kevin called it as the vitriolic vocals with the overall style is like an unplugged music. The album opener "When You Give Your Love to Me" (3:20), for example, starts with acoustic guitar rhythm followed with Kevin's powerful vocal with strong accents. The music flows seamlessly with acoustic guitar plays important role as rhythm plus drum as beat keeper. But still, vocal is the key driver of song structure and composition. "Goodness Gracious" (4:08) starts interestingly with a blues-based acoustic guitar work followed with even more powerful (and great!) vocal quality. The incorporation of electric guitar sound at the back is good. "Joytown" (4:53) continues the music to the City of The Sun's journey . Composed with music loop as basic song structure the song moves excellently with Kevin's singing style. Even though there are many repeated rhythm, I really like this song as Kevin's vocal moves ups and downs with the flow of the song. The lyrics also excellent especially when it's combined with Kevin's singing with accentuation. Sax work is incorporated at the end of the track.

"Waiting" (5:05) is a boring track for me as it contains repeated segments. "Tea for One" (5:49) is a good melodic song with simple structure and Kevin's low register notes vocal. I think his voice could have filled-up Genesis' music when Peter Gabriel left the band. This song is really cool. "Shadow Self" is also characterized with acoustic guitar rhythm at the beginning but the song moves up into high points with distorted vocal augmented with great drumming and inventive bass lines. This is the only song that has different style compared to the others - it has some symphonic nuance as well. And I think, this kind of composition has inspired (or in a way influenced) the music of Spock's Beard "The Light" album. Well, this 6th track can be considered as one of my favorite tracks.

"The Tears of Audrey" (4:47) is a mellow track with low register notes voice line. The melody is good, the arrangement is simple. It's like a pop song and it's cool. "Shrug (Because of Me and You)" (3:54) another pop-rock song in slow tempo with firm drum beats and cool guitar fills. Kevin's vocals combine a balanced high and low points. "All Fall Down" (5:35) is a melodic song with good arrangement. "Song for a Dead Friend" (5:56) concludes the album in a dark mood with soft piano touch during opening that reminds me to Peter Gabriel's "Here Comes The Flood" nuance. Yes, only the nuance, and it's not a rip-off at all.

Overall, please don't expect that this is a typical album of any art rock or classic prog music. It's an acoustic guitar based composition with main characteristic on powerful vocal quality of Kevin Gilbert. Even though it's acoustic guitar driven, it's not a folk prog at all. Kevin's music has its own style.You might here that some sounds produced here have influenced Spock's Beard in some segments. Irrespective this is as prog or not I would say at the end that the music is what really counts. With that perspective, this album deserves a four-star rating.Keep on proggin' ..!

Progressively yours, GW

Gatot | 4/5 |


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