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Kevin Gilbert - The Shaming of the True CD (album) cover


Kevin Gilbert


Crossover Prog

4.20 | 174 ratings

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5 stars Given the 90s, which are mostly sound-visionary, neo-expandable, prog-retro, metal-glorious, then alternative, post-operatic and "experimental on the side", bombastic sequential or loop-prog sophisticated (none of these are bad mottos, nor expand to speak of no referential music and art movement whatsoever; nevertheless, the more typical and more un-refreshed characters do sting the most), I'd say I rarely heard music of Kevin Gilbert's kind. Clear, artistic, conventional or rather not, delicate or rather mechanistic , a lyrical blast or a sentimental impasse, a shape of gold, a powerful instrumentality, some kind of hedonistic ideas in mix with progressive shapes and influences, music of a genre full of charm.

The magnum opus, Shaming Of The True, acclaimed more artistically than based on popularity (a great detail, if you stand to think Gilbert is keen to many music ways, thus is the first within artists to never be closed-minded), is unfortunately a posthumous recording, based on Gilbert's dream of concept music, rock opera and "art's artistry" and a bit finished by his own work, but later brought to a serious four years work by Nick D'Virgilio and fellow friends, into a complete shape and a desire (or rather taken from desire) final shape. Kevin Gilbert died abruptly in 1996, right after glory (one, again, more artistic than popular-based) came from a full-blown interpretation of Genesis's Lamb Lies Down On Broadway and a first great concept album, Thud (later to be considered the first volume of his dreamed rock opera, Shaming Of The True being, sensefully, the second) and has made him a better artist than ever before. It's actually strange how, from a childhood alienated by different feelings and special emotions to the entire music career, eclecticism and power-option, his demise was no less stranger - autoerotic asphyxiation. Incidentally, Genesis' manager was on his way to give him the chance for an audition, for Genesis's recently lost vocal entry. Imagine Genesis not with Ray Wilson, but with this lucid complex artist that was Kevin Gilbert!

Moving on to Shaming Of The True, the concept bears exactly the kind of quality I've already mentioned that Gilbert always appreciated - or, at least, has reached within years of practice, mastered in his relative brilliant way, to finally, upon all the glory achieved, to never forget it (or to blunt it by guilty, deceiving or effortless passions): music and art above popular forms (even if they exist in the entire music's way of existence and persistance, though the concept is formed on the base idea that the new-industry is one practically demonic) and stagnating easy impressions. Johnny Virgil's wondering story is mixed with the best music ever to impress and deeply be created. The auto-biographical idea is becoming, by the music's entire glow, more auto-interpretational, in what is a concept mention of popular, artistic, song-written, avant-shaped or bit alternative and fresh rock. By thinking bigger or smaller details, the rock opera comes in touch with a progressive form of expressiveness, a deep rock sense, mostly unused so brightly and so equivocally, and an interiorized mention, by which the artist is barely narcissistic, but has the lead of songwriting (flawless), multi-instrument playing (pretty outstanding) and symbolic style ambition (mostly big, but also powerful). The interpretation lacks nothing, it actually discovers richness's richness. And the deepest thing remains to like the music and recognize the beautiful work.

This is concept by refinement, deep sentimentality, a bit of geniality and a great shape of music, rock, transcendence symbols and auto-characterizing large aphorisms. At least given the triumph of the work, I cannot go lower than expectations, so this is a 5 stars fragrant of craft, art, skill and suspicious quality. And, finally, even with a most tenacious grand album, the word of advice (by paradox) is to discover Kevin Gilbert even better.

Ricochet | 5/5 |


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