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Mr. Gil


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Mr. Gil Alone album cover
2.90 | 30 ratings | 6 reviews | 0% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1998

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Strange (6:17)
2. I Don't Believe (3:44)
3. Alone (6:38)
4. Wake Up (6:41)
5. Beggar (3:14)
6. Set Me Free (3:20)
7. War (3:52)
8. Mother Dream (4:09)
9. Enough (8:43)
10. Stay (3:49)
11. New Day (5:19)
12. Free (1:19)

Total Time: 57:05

Line-up / Musicians

- Mirek Gil / guitar, vocals
- Piotr Mintay Witkowski / background vocals
- Olaf Łapczyński / vocals
- Krzysiek Palczewski / keyboards
- Włodek Tafel / drums

Releases information

ARS MUNDI (Poland) - AMS 015R (1998)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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MR. GIL Alone ratings distribution

(30 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (40%)
Collectors/fans only (13%)
Poor. Only for completionists (7%)

MR. GIL Alone reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Tarcisio Moura
3 stars A friend of mine gave me this album, but I must say I was not too interested at the time. Although I am a big fan of Collage, I really did not think too much about a guitarrist solo album, usually a showcase for his virtuosity or self indulgence, or both. Fortunatly my friend was right. Alone is an exception. Most of the songs have good vocals and many resemble Collage, but not only that. Actually Mirek Gil did make quite a colletction fo songs, varied, interesting and very well played and sung. The quality of the tracks also varies a lot, but they are all above average. The production is adequate (actually better than early Collage albums), the players are good ones. Sometimes you may miss the chemistry of Gil's old band had, but again it should point out that this is not really a group record, even if it sounds like it. And for that reason alone you should give this album a try. If you're a fan of Collage, or neo prog in general I strongly recommend it. A nice solo surprise.
Review by kenethlevine
4 stars Coming from the Polish band that put emotion and melody back into progressive rock in the early to mid 1990s, Collage, it is not surprising that Gil has made a contribution to the cause of emo-prog with his one solo album. What is surprising is how much this recording sounds like the Mirek Gil band, not a solo effort, belying its very title. If it is indeed possible, "Alone" is even more accessible than Collage, containing mostly shorter songs that verge on atmospheric prog-lite, but fully supported, especially Gil's ever present Hacketssian guitars and Krzysiek Palczewski on keyboards. I am not sure who the vocalist is on most tracks, as Gil and Olaf Łapczyński are both credited, but suffice to say they come close to the expressing the depth of feeling of Collage's Robert Amirian, but in a dreamier more understated way.

The best is first, with "Strange" being a delightful mini-epic with Gil's succinct guitar work, and the rest is almost all very good or better, with particular highlights being "Wake Up", "Beggar", the instrumental "Mother Dream", and "New Day", featuring as they do superb production and dedication to the "song", while bursting with symphonic prog instrumentation. The effect sets the hairs on the neck standing at attention and the hand reaching for a tissue. "Enough" sits out like a sore thumb, a failed bombastic epic surrounded by quality shorter tunes.

If you want to see the direction that some of the neo prog masters might have taken, do not leave Mr Gil alone.

Review by progrules
3 stars After a few years of existence the great Polish band Collage split up, a sad moment in prog history. In don't know about the reasons so I can't put the blame on anything or anyone. What came next was their great successor Satellite and the "solo-project" Mr. Gil. The last sentence already shows that my favourite of these two is Satellite, who produced two excellent albums but the one I'm reviewing here, Alone by Mr. Gil, is unfortunately of a different calibre. I tried to love it because I wanted to and that had of course something to do with Collage; but I must admit I haven't succeeded. It's a bit of a mellow, quite romantic album, sometimes nice but actually a little bit poor. I judge it of course also to the standard of Collage and that's a high standard but even if I would't do that I would come to this conclusion. It's in fact 2.5 stars and out of respect I round up to 3.
Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Mirek Gil is a legendary prog guitarist, formerly of Collage fame, who put out this one solo album. He is Poland's version of Steve Hackett, a fluid, lyrical, majestic guitar slinger with perhaps an even warmer tone. After briefly helping launch the highly successful Satellite, he is now leading the more contemporary sounding Believe with critical acclaim. While there is very little to dislike with this solo album, coming soon after the Collage demise, its not quite as sublime as the group effort and that even though he is helped by two other members of that masterful group (the lush Krzysiel Palczewski on keyboards and Piotr Witkowski on bass) as well as featuring the truly fabulous voice of Olaf Lapczynski, who actually can sing in accent less English and come across with verve and clarity. Future Believe Drummer Wlodek Tafel mans the drum kit with precision. Another neat trait is the lyric booklet that has the words to all the songs in English and the Polish translation. Hey, learn a language to boot. "Strange" is a symphonic opener that sets the spotlight on all the players, the shimmering and romantic guitar supplying the emotion that elevates the passionate vocals and contributes to the wall of majestic choir keyboards (a Palczewski trademark) that sets the table just perfectly. Simple yet powerfully evocative. "I Don't Believe" is a more playful song , perhaps even commercial but without any surrender to trend or fad, relying on a chorus that pleads with the lyrics and offers up a dreamily restrained oriental synthesizer solo that comes out of nowhere, adding a very unexpected touch. "Alone" is the title track and it does not disappoint, a deeply melancholic lament full of fragile despondence ("You won't hear my beating heart, my desperate whisper") that platforms a trembling guitar excursion, towered by violin sample synths that seek to heighten the drama. From the bleak sadness comes the bright awareness of "Wake Up", a flash of sunlight and of gentle hope ("The love has come, it's standing at your door") that is quite inspiring in its simplicity with the angelic backing vocals repeated the title with tender abandon . This is a long gorgeous piece and only a superb Gil lead can take this into the heavens and he does. "Beggar" is the first of four short songs, a simple ditty full of bright vocals where "I see light, I see life sparkling in your eyes" sticks in your brain long afterwards. "Set Me Free" is way more upbeat and is propelled by an insidious bass groove that relentlessly searches out the freedom of expressive thought and leads into acoustic driven "War" that reminds of the Floydian The Wall, the fourth and final part being the instrumental "Mother Dream" with a somber intro leading towards heavy synth orchestrations, tubular bells and a most welcome delicate piano, extraordinarily laid back with mountains of choir and violin arrangements. At 8 minutes and 43 seconds "Enough" is the epic here, a stretched out piece that is about love spurned (not exactly prog material but.hey it's love, life's greatest mystery), with Olaf sadly lamenting "I just love you but you say that you do to some degree. Your heart is cold, so cold", then suddenly bellowing "Let's go to Monaco, then to the USA, Brazil and Mexico, I think I need a holiday!" Here is another hopeless romantic trying to save a lost cause. Damn, sounds like what I was not long ago! An amusing track but no classic because the next one is "Stay", a piano vocal plea that has an almost pastoral folk quality that exudes all the romanticism that while almost infantile , still resonates with purity. "New Day" is a fitting finale, a positive outlook at the future with birds singing on the fadeout. A good record that deserves being owned but the lyrics and the instrumentation are a bit too simplistic for this reviewer, especially in comparison with past and future collaborations. 3.5 solo Wodkas
Review by Mellotron Storm
2 stars This was a strange one for me. I am a fan of not only Mirek's guitar work, but also of these bands he has played with namely COLLAGE, SATELLITE and BELIEVE. Yet I honestly could not get into this record at all. Maybe I was expecting more of a guitar record, and this certainly is not that as it's almost like he purposely stays out of the spotlight. And with two former COLLAGE members(keys/ bass) and the drummer with his present band BELIEVE on board, the talent and chemistry are not an issue. So it's probably just my taste, and I don't like the way this one tastes at all. It should be mentioned that this was recorded before the band SATELLITE put out any albums.

"Strange" opens with some orchestra as heavy drums and a full sound arrives. Vocals come in as it calms down 1 1/2 minutes in. Gil lets it rip 3 1/2 minutes in.The bombastic and mellow passages continue to be contrasted. "I Don't Believe" is a song where I like the calmer sections but not the fuller ones(like in the intro).The guitar 2 1/2 minutes in i like. Alone opens with synths as vocals come in. Not much going on until 1 1/2 minutes in when a full sound arrives.The contrasts continue. For me the only highlight on this track is the guitar 4 minutes in. "Wake Up" is one of my favourites. Percussion to open as keys, synths and reserved vocals come in. The bass is prominant. The guitar 5 minutes in reminds me of SATELLITE. "Beggar" opens with strummed guitar, vocals and keys as a full sound arrives quickly.This one is ok, at least it's catchy. "Set Me Free" is not bad for pop music I guess. Some scorching guitar 2 minutes in with lots of percussion.

"War" is ballad-like with acoustic guitar and reserved vocals. "Mother Dream" opens with synths as orchestral sounds come in. Piano 3 minutes in. "Enough" is tough going for me during the first half but then the last half makes up for it with the uptempo beat and some good guitar. "Stay" opens with piano as pansy-like vocals come in. I think i'd rather have a root-canal then listen to this. "New Day" has a nice sound and this is another favourite. Drums, guitar and vocals all sound really good. The heavy drums are a little annoying 2 minutes in but they don't last for too long. Nice bass 4 minutes in. "Free" features birds singing as an acoustic guitar / vocal melody comes in briefly. This is the only track that Mirek sings lead on. Free indeed.

So there you have it, one of the few prog records I really don't care for. Thankfully these are few and far between.

Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars I'd rather share Sinkadotentree's views on this work.

I also liked the bands featuring the excellent Mirek on the guitar, although I believe that each respective debut album was far much better than its follow-ups (I'm talking about Collage and Satellite).

This album doesn't hold the same appealing and attractive music IMO. It is more neo-pop than neo-prog as far as I'm concerned (I Don't Believe), and the great guitar player doesn't appear too much in his leading role during this album.

The title track features some nice vocal melody as well as the first inspired (and short) guitar solo. It is a fine song, no more. The singer has a pleasant voice, the band is accurate but has little to offer here.

A collection of mellow songs with here and there some aerial keyboards (Wake Up), some short guitar solo and a fine gentle vocal parts. Even if the neo-prog genre is not the more complex of the spectrum, this album has really very few interesting songs featured. I feel a bit sad but I don't like this album very much. Only some fractions of it but certainly not the mellowish and repetitive War not the ambient Mother Dream.

This album is a serious disappointment. It is not really bad, but I can't recommend it either. Two stars.

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