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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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Prog Reviewer
5 stars The Prog Archives have many fine concept albums and I have listened to my fair share of them. This album by Kevin Gilbert is the best concept album I have heard in 2005. It is also one of the top 5 albums I have been turned onto this year. I was unaware of this unique individual until only recently when a good friend told me I should give this album a listen. It tells the story of one Johnny Virgil and his journey from fledgling songwriter through the insincere and cynical machinations of the musical industry. Kevin Gilbert won a grammy for co-writing Sheryl Crow's hit "All I Wanna Do". He was dating Crow at the time and became known as the man who discovered her. The two parted on less than cordial terms and it was claimed that Gilbert wrote most of the songs on the album that catapulted Crow on the road to stardom.

When Gilbert was young he and his friends would listen to bands like the Dead Kennedys although when he got home he would listen to Genesis. His first introduction to the band was the album 'Foxtrot' and he knew immediately this was his kind of music. He also enjoyed Gentle Giant but admitted he was inspired by the energy and vibrant nature of the punk movement. As he himself said "I think progressive rock took a really bad turn in the late 70s.It lost its adventurous spirit........a lot of the bands made horrible records".

The album opens with 'Parade' - an orchestral phrase leads into acoustic guitar and we hear Johnny Virgil telling us that everyone is soon going to know his name. It is a fairly straightforward song which segues into 'The City of the Sun' which has similarities to the narrative style that Crow obviously borrowed. The drums are solid in this track due to the playing of Nick D'Virgilio, who helped in the realisation of this album. This was before Spock's Beard became famous. Next up is Suit Fugue (Dance of the A & R men). As Bill Hicks would have said, if you are an A & R man do us all a favour, go and kill yourself. These corporate sharks along with advertising types are bottom feeders and contribute NOTHING and CONSUME everything. 'Imagemaker' is a track that Gilbert had in mind for years prior to this rock opera. It is an excellent song featuring Gabriel- esque vocal stylings and a strong hook. This album has many highlights including 'Water Under the Bridge' and 'A Long Day's Life'.

I cannot hope to write the review which this album deserves. Kevin Gilbert was also known for his work with the progressive bands Giraffe and Toy Matinee. At one point in his life he received a call from Keith Emerson saying he would love to work with Kevin on a project. In 1994 he and his band including Nick D'Virgilio performed 'The Lamb Lies Down in Broadway' at Progfest to much acclaim. Sadly he was found dead on May 17th, 1996. He had been due to fly to London to audition for Genesis as their replacement lead singer. The man was a musical genius. It was said he could lift up any instrument and play it immediately. He is sorely missed.

horza | 5/5 |


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