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MR. GIL

Neo-Prog • Poland


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Mr. Gil picture
Mr. Gil biography
When anybody mentions Poland in a same sentence with our beloved Progressive Rock, the first style that comes to my mind is Neo Prog, and usually I'm not wrong, because Neo Prog is huge in Poland, even some artists as PENDRAGOMN have status of Semi Gods.

Mr. Gil is really a solo project by former COLLAGE guitar player GIL MIREK after they disbanded, for this project MIREK recruited his former band mates PIOTR MINTAY WITKOWSKI in the bass and KRZYSIEK PALCZEWSKI in the keyboards, the drummer of his actual band BELIEVE, WODEK TAFELPLUS plus OLAF £APCZYŃSKI in the vocals.

His first and until now only album "Alone" was released in 1998 with moderate success in his native Poland.

Being GIL MIREK a guitar player, he placed special emphasis in the sound of this instrument presenting us with a clear STEVE HACKETT remembrance, but this is not all, the sound also has clear influences of COLLAGE, product of his long years in this band.

According to his site, he will be probably releasing a second album in this year, but it's not confirmed.

Not as strong as COLLAGE, but still can provide moments of very good music.

Ivįn Melgar Morey

Mr. Gil official website

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MR. GIL discography


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MR. GIL top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.89 | 24 ratings
Alone
1998
3.41 | 34 ratings
Skellig
2010
3.28 | 12 ratings
Light and Sound
2011
3.56 | 20 ratings
I Want You to Get Back Home
2012

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MR. GIL Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 I Want You to Get Back Home by MR. GIL album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.56 | 20 ratings

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I Want You to Get Back Home
Mr. Gil Neo-Prog

Review by poito

5 stars Only one year after the surprising change of format for the album LIGHT AND SOUND, monsieur Gil surprised me again with an even better collection of themes. Strange the road Gil took after COLLAGE disbanded. The instrument lineup is uncommon for prog, kinda symphonic chamber group, a piano, a cello and a male singer. So simple, so good' The piano makes the base and the melody, and the cello Paulina Druch enters with the salt, kinda riff, kinda solo, but always smooth, sensitive, subtle, majestic, rich, evocative. And the singer Karol Wroblewski, whose pitch I did not like much in the first SKELLIG, well he is here simply superb, he sings like angels, as another instrument, perfectly dueting the cello. I would highlight no more than a dozen singers as adding value to Prog music since 60's. Karol is one. The formula is magic. It may appear a bit too intimate, but the more you play the album the more feelings you get out of it, and not necessarily melancholic. Pity they did not follow in the same track. I think that Gil made the grade in this album. Please, Mr Gil, I beg you, give us more of this. All tracks are superb, I would not stand one out, perhaps would skip tracks # 2. 'Time', 'In Your Heart', 'Change Your Name' 'Fix My Arms', 'Start Again ', 'God Night', 'Come Home'. I just have to write the titles, kind of tribute. Don't miss it. This will be a new point of view.
 Light and Sound by MR. GIL album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.28 | 12 ratings

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Light and Sound
Mr. Gil Neo-Prog

Review by poito

4 stars 3.7

After the deceiving guitar work in the former album SKELLIG in which ex-COLLAGE monsieur Gil showed very little, he changed completely the format of his band to a small symph orchestra without percussion. Sadly, Szadkowski did not join in this occasion. Anyway, neither was present the tired guitar by Gil himself. The credits of this album are not well described. Many instruments do not appear in the credits. I assume the composition is by Gil, and he made well in handing the instrumental part to the piano and cello musicians. The album contains a handful of intimate tunes with outstanding melodies and nice voices by Karol Wroblewski. "No More of the Dark" is an introspective beautiful song with a piano base and a very nice cello painting in the back of a good singing. "Best Regards" is a cheerful instrumental built with a mandolin base and an instrument I can't identify, maybe a synth guitar playing wind, anyway casting a nice melody. The singer makes a nice job in the theme "Easily". A bit too intimate for 4 stars, but the album may be worth them.

 Skellig by MR. GIL album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.41 | 34 ratings

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Skellig
Mr. Gil Neo-Prog

Review by poito

3 stars 2.5

When I first listened to this album without having had a look at the credits I said myself, hey, I've listened to this drummer before! Of course, he is Wojtek Szadkowski, the genius drummer, founder and leader of one of the greatest Prog bands of all times, SATELLITE, in turn derived from another totem band, COLLAGE. Isn't small this world? It seems that when SATELLITE disbanded Szad joined his former band mate for a while. Sorry Mr. Gil, but first is first. In the end, there is no much to say about this album. Actually, I'm still a bit deceived by how simple the guitar work is here. Gil found just one good idea, which is overexploited once and again in the long tracks "Skellig" and "Otwieram Drzwi" and "Odmieniec". Actually, the first two appear the same song with slightly different arrangements. It is hard to believe this is the same guitar player that once formed part of COLLAGE. Normally, when a guitar player in a great band starts a solo career is because he felt constrained and needed a way out for his ideas, but I did not expect such a feeble composition and technical simplicity. Well time waits for no one, as the STONES sung one day, and we finally turn to a childish state or something as we go past the red line of life. The track "Rzeka" is got a catchy melody after MARILLION. Technically, the production of the album is rather deficient; the guitar is excessively front-loud compared to the rest of instruments. That was a big mistake since the simplicity of the guitar work comes to tiring when it dominates that much the scene. Very few times I wished a guitar riff to end, so raucous. The voices by Karol Wroblebski are OK, though he has too a strong pitch for Prog. Also he tries to emulate the great Tomi Meglic from the wonderful Slovenian band SIDDARTHA.

 Light and Sound by MR. GIL album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.28 | 12 ratings

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Light and Sound
Mr. Gil Neo-Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

3 stars For reasons unbeknownst to me, this 2010 release by Mirek Gil passed by unnoticed. The music herein is so gentle, and the running time so short, that it too might escape unappreciated were it not for the striking intimacy of its production and the sense of being privy to a house concert in one's pyjamas. While not entirely in contrast with "I Want to get you back home" from 2012, this recording thrives more on simplicity and dwells more in the folk realm, like an "unplugged" disk, except of hitherto unreleased material. Suffice to say it shares kinship with earlier BELIEVE albums, particularly "Yesterday is a Friend" but is much mellower and only peripherally progressive. Again, Gil has chosen to use his solo format to express passions not fulfilled by BELIEVE.

Gil enlists trusted vocalist Karol Wroblewski as well as several other BELIEVE members in the service of this aesthetically pleasing production. While he plays acoustic guitar almost entirely, as much space is devoted to the delicate piano, cello, and vocal accompaniment. Several instrumentals include fretted instruments that might be oddly tuned guitars or mandolin, and elsewhere a few winds are suggested. The album brings to mind the masterful "Secrets of the Beehive" by DAVID SYLVIAN in timbre and congeniality, but not nearly as transcendent to be sure. I am also reminded of a Canadian folk singer/songwriter from bygone days, STEPHEN FEARING, one of those "most likely to" artists who never quite completed the sentence.

"Easily" offers flutes (synthesized or not it's unclear) and caressing emotive vocals over strummed guitar; "Annah" is given over to piano and sedately whirring cello, with touching vocal harmonies. "King of Gold" was released as the video and would have been an automatic hit for a bigger artist. Here Wroblewski and the piano accompaniments are more emphatic, and the melody is even harder to shake. Later, the title cut seems to invoke a more whispered "Forbidden Colours" by the aforementioned Sylvian.

While I much prefer this to "I want to get you back home", I suspect once again that the average prog listener might be underwhelmed. If, however, the synopsis suits, then by all means shine "Light and Sound" on your spirit. 3.5 stars rounded down.

 I Want You to Get Back Home by MR. GIL album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.56 | 20 ratings

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I Want You to Get Back Home
Mr. Gil Neo-Prog

Review by Progulator
Prog Reviewer

3 stars While Poland's Mr. Gil would perhaps generally be regarded as neo-prog, their latest release, I Want You to Get Back Home breaks from the standard and presents a collection of quasi singer songwriter tunes that are extremely laid back and majestically orchestrated. Don't be expecting 'dude with a guitar' type music here, although this does remind me a bit of the 'indie' thing. That out of the way, and the fact that I usually hate this type of music, I was thoroughly impressed with Mr. Gil's arrangements. While the songs are generally more 'indie' and less prog, I honestly cannot complain about the production of the album, the performances, or the orchestrating, all of which are magnificent and fit the music perfectly. Mr. Gil delivers heartfelt and emotional vocals backed by an assortment of piano and strings which provide lush atmosphere and texture as a background for well delivered vocals. For the most part, the songs are pretty somber, which I'm a fan of; however, my only complaint is that they don't seem to present enough variety for me. At the same time, I suspect that people who are fans of this genre would probably disagree with me on this point. In the end, this kind of music isn't really of album that I could sit straight through, devoting 100% attention from start to finish, it's perfect for a randomized playlist and would give good variety to any collection. Although it's not an 'essential' prog album, fans of the genre will probably absolutely love this one.
 Skellig by MR. GIL album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.41 | 34 ratings

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Skellig
Mr. Gil Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Since the end of the 90's, as Collage's days faded, Mirek Gil was searching for a fresh start in his career.He borrowed his undenied guitar talent to Satellite's debut, the band of his former Collage bandmate Wojciech Szadkowski, and finally in 2005 he established his new act, Believe.And in 2010 Gil revived his solo career with the help of his new bandmates: Karol Wroblewski performs on vocals and Przemysław Zawadzki on bass along with his old friend Wojciech Szadkowski on drums.The new album ''Skellig'' was released on the Polish label Oskar.

A very atmospheric album along the lines of Polish Art Rock, ''Skellig'' moves between melancholic and more upbeat tunes with Gil's guitar always in evidence.Unlike ''Alone'', the new album contains no keyboards at all and it is entirely sung in Polish.The most obvious influence seem to be mid-70's PINK FLOYD, with the music alternating between light psychedelic textures and more melodic lines, combined with the fundamentals of Polish Neo Prog: scratching electric solos, deep and expressive vocal lines and changes between mellow and heavier passages.Some tracks are quite long, despite the lack of instrumental flexibility, and these are structured around long solos, careful rhythmic tunes and intense vocal deliveries by a talented singer.Gil prooves his talent once more, producing memorable pieces with a fair sense of atmosphere throughout, while his unmistakable guitar touch is always present, from the sharp riffs to the excellent solos to the softer acoustic moments.The recent trend of Polish bands, the distorted vocal and guitar parts, is again present in the album, used in a clever way, that makes the music even more atmospheric.

Very good work for anyone searching for some really beautiful and deeply atmospheric stuff.Nice guitar melodies, inner musical soundscapes and some amazing lyrical moments.Recommended.

 I Want You to Get Back Home by MR. GIL album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.56 | 20 ratings

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I Want You to Get Back Home
Mr. Gil Neo-Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

3 stars Every Mr Gil album has been dramatically unlike the one preceding it, and "I Want to get You Back Home" maintains that level of consistency in flux. While his other recordings traced lineage to the top notch neo prog from whence he came, this one is a uniformly soft rock venture, an eclectic synthesis of romantic music from the crooners to the big hair bands, waving at 1970s sensitive singer songwriters along the way, and beyond.

The instrumentation is rarefied, mostly piano and cello, with Karol Wróblewski's vocals that continue to improve with each release, and which play a more important role than ever on this song oriented offering. Gil is obviously a fan of a wide variety of music and prefers to indulge all of it in his increasingly noteworthy career, and here his guitars take a back seat to the others as he focuses on songwriting and meticulous arranging. I have a few favourites - "Time", "Find Me", and "Good Night", but yours are just as likely to be different.

While lovely in its own right, it's not an album to inspire awe whether you are a progressive purist or not, but an album to appreciate during quiet times at home. Don't bother syncing it to your ipod or bringing it into the car. This is a homebody.

 I Want You to Get Back Home by MR. GIL album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.56 | 20 ratings

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I Want You to Get Back Home
Mr. Gil Neo-Prog

Review by Easy Livin
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

4 stars Soothing

Mr. Gil is essentially a vehicle for the solo output of Believe (and ex-Collage) guitarist Mirek Gil. Gil has been releasing albums under the Mr. Gil name since 1998, with three of the four to date appearing in the last 3 years. Gil is not someone who insists on doing everything by himself, but brings in suitable musicians for each album according to the style and mood he intends to capture. That said, the line up here is unchanged from the previous album "Light an sound".

"I want you to get back home" is a soft, melodic set of songs linked by a common theme of a homecoming, and the challenges which come along with the joy of such an event. To convey the required atmosphere on this occasion, Gil calls upon gifted vocalist Karol Wróblewski (Believe), keyboards player Konrad Wantrych (Believe) and Cellist Paulina Druch. Wantrych's duties are largely confined to piano, with even Gil's fine lead guitar playing being relatively rare. Also notable is the absence of a rhythm section (bass or drums) although drums do make a fleeting appearance on the final song "Come home". Indeed it is mainly Wróblewski who is allowed to shine here, his delicate vocals (his vocals here, and indeed the mood of the album, reminds me of Mick Stubbs work with the fine band Home) being exactly what is demanded by the nine songs on the album.

Rarely does the music become intrusive, this an album to be savoured in a dimly lit room when the opportunity arises to let time go lightly. The combination of cello and piano which prevails throughout is soothing rather than challenging, allowing the mind to wander while absorbing the mood.

Fans of Believe and indeed Collage will already be aware of the emphasis placed by those bands on melody and musicianship. They should not however expect references to the fine neo-prog in which those bands specialise. This project is about as far removed musically from that genre as it is possible to be. What prevails throughout though is Gil's passion for his music, and his ongoing ability to create genuinely captivating albums.

 I Want You to Get Back Home by MR. GIL album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.56 | 20 ratings

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I Want You to Get Back Home
Mr. Gil Neo-Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars MR. GIL is one of the creative vehicles for Polish composer and guitarist Mirek Gil. Initially set up in 1998, this band-project was revived as a recording venture in 2010 following a decade or so of silence. "I Want You to Get Back Home" is their fourth production, and was released by Metal Mind in the spring of 2012.

Mr. Gil's latest album "I Want You to Get Back Home" isn't one that will appeal to dedicated fans of progressive rock, as it is a production rather far removed form this stylistic universe. But if gentle melancholic ballads are dear to you, and you tend to enjoy a blend of high quality lead vocals and melancholic cello supplemented by careful acoustic guitar and piano then this effort is one you should check out. It is a fine example of this type of music, and should have a broad appeal, in particular amongst a mainstream oriented audience.

 I Want You to Get Back Home by MR. GIL album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.56 | 20 ratings

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I Want You to Get Back Home
Mr. Gil Neo-Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Jazz-Rock / Fusion / Canterbury Team

4 stars Fans of Mirek Gil's dramatic electric guitar solos might be surprised by this album of lite jazz- rock songs more in the vein of some of Paul Weller's STYLE COUNCIL albums. I know I was/am! But, I LOVE IT!

Piano-based, cello throughout, great vocals, and lots of catchy melodies and beautiful harmonies. And Mirek Gil playing acoustic guitars. Only. No screaming, wailing solos.

And no drums!

At times the vocalist, Karol Wróblewski, has some striking similarities to TIM BOWNESS-- stylistically. The big distinguishing difference lies in the intricate and unusual harmonies floating and popping in all around the headphone listener. As a matter of fact, it's the harmonies that keeps me coming back for more, they're so different and . . . unexpected.

A low key, mellow album that is less prog than experimental--for Mirek. Harkening back to bands like AMERICA, CROSBY, STILLS & NASH, the soulful side of LENNY KRAVITZ, TOM POWERS, early ELTON JOHN ad BILLY JOEL. Recommended most for the unique vocal harmony stylings. Also, if you like acoustic music, vocal dominated, with piano, cello and acoustic guitars doing all the instrumental support, this is a beautiful, soulful album for you. Bravo, Mirek! You have guts! I wish you all the glory and success that you deserve. (You, too, Karol! Great job!)

I'd give this five stars but as it is not really a progressive rock album, it is not really fitting. Still, highly recommended. Beautiful music!

Favorites: "Fix My Arms," and each of the first four songs, "Time," "Our Shoes," "In Your Heart," and "Find Me" are all sublime.

Thanks to Ivan_Melgar_M for the artist addition.

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