Review: Paul Gilbert – Vibrato

As you might remember from entries like this about Steve Lukather, Steel Panther and of course my review of the latest Mr. Big album that I am quite a fan of Paul Gilbert. As mentioned not only of his guitar chops but his songwriting as well. For those who don’t know Paul aside from Mr. Big, he has done about 12 solo albums in addition to Mr. Big and Racer X…

This month his latest opus Vibrato (Spotify-link, but I bought it!) was published and it is classic Gilbert an then again not. His last release Fuzz Universe was all instrumental, more in the instrumental guitar album vein, and Vibrato is nothing like it. It’s very bluesy, very song-oriented (Gilbert is a highly underrated songwriter) but also has jazzy touch too it. The whole album has much better ‘band’ feel too it than e.g. Fuzz Universe, Thomas Lang on drums (he who also auditioned for the Dream Theater drum job, among many other accolades), Kelly LeMieux on bass and his wife Emi on keyboards are the guilty parties. My guess is that a lot of the studio tracks were tracked partly live, at least that’s how I hear it.

Vibrato is a very accessible record, not a shred record, although there is great musicianship on display as well as Paul’s virtuosity of course. If you have so far not tried his solo records and would like to  this is a good place to start. It definitely is a more serious record than e.g. Alligator Farm