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Kevin Gilbert - The Shaming Of The True CD (album) cover

THE SHAMING OF THE TRUE

Kevin Gilbert

 

Crossover Prog

4.20 | 170 ratings

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classicalgasp
5 stars I believe Kevin Gilbert's death is the greatest tragedy to strike progressive rock. He was found dead on the day that word had come that Banks & Rutherford had granted him an audition as a replacement for Phil Collins which I'm certain he would have passed with flying colors and would have heralded a true third era for the prog legends. Ray Wilson did a fine job in my opinion, but Kevin would have been able to really take them to new glories. His talent was immense, as a writer, singer, musician - he was the total package and more than likely would have exposed many new people to progressive rock. His loss is incalculable.

So, The Shaming Of The True ends up being his posthumous swan-song, and what an amazing work of art it is - full of Kevin's bitter and biting humor, brimming with bold lyrics and super-intelligent music, it is a success in acheiving it's goal. 'Ghetto Of Beautiful Things', 'Fun', 'Certifiable #1 Smash', 'Suit Fugue (Dance Of The A&R Men)' - these tracks are absolutely essential listening that straddle traditional progressive rock and straight-ahead contemporary progressive pop-rock. However, some listeners might possibly be very offended by some of his lyrics - he goes WAY further than Zappa's biting social commentary, and might even make Marilyn Manson blush - that's how edgy his words were. His experiences really did twist his mind up and obviously left him anguished - he's not saying these things for shock value, he's genuinely angered and it shows. That sometimes makes the album a difficult listen.

But it is not an album to be missed, it's extremely hard to find these days unfortunately and when you can find a copy, it's generally very expensive - but it's so worth it. If I lost my copy today, I'd spend a hundred dollars for another copy without hesistation. It would serve Kevin's memory, as well as the progresive rock community well for his estate to make this readily available once again. Outside of this album, his best work is somewhat scattered among albums by his projects like Giraffe and Toy Matinee and a couple of Magna Carta prog tributes - but he also left his mark on tracks by Sheryl Crow and Madonna (of all people!) - which honestly must at least be listened to in order to understand some of the references on Shaming - for example the track 'Fun' is the dark twisted shadow-side of Crow's 'All I Wanna Do (Is Have Some Fun)'. The track 'Certifiable #1 Smash' has a section that also parodies this Crow track as well as featuring a bit that really takes Madonna to task. Madonna's flatulence is also referenced in 'Fun'. These things kind of lend a bit of a 'inside-joke' air to the album, however that joke is not very funny and is completely bitter.

All these things make the album very difficult to honestly review, this album contains a lot of REAL pain, pain that obviously led to his strange and controversial death. But the bottom line is that Kevin was a musician like no other and he is sorely and deeply missed by this listener.

classicalgasp | 5/5 |

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