American guitar virtuoso Paul Gilbert's latest studio album, the 13 track "I Can Destroy", was released in Japan in December, 2015. Fans of rock and roll in the rest of the world endured a seven month waiting period, but the eventual reveal was glorious.
"I Can Destroy" serves as both an uptempo celebration of Gilbert's 40th continuous year as a guitar player, and a tour de force through a variety of subgenres of rock music. Paint-peeling, face-melting classic heavy metal overtones in "I Can Destroy" give way shortly to progressive jazz fusion leanings in "One Woman Too Many", to early proto rock stylings of "Gonna Make You Love Me". Southern rock with countrified slide guitar overtones pepper "Woman Stop", and the catchy, raunchy southern tradition carries forward into "Adventure And Trouble". Classic radio rock gets a virtuoso upgrade during the cover of Ted Nugent's "Great White Buffalo". This is a rich journey through guitar tone, texture, and colour, an intense album for deep listeners. Those who know about top loading (that the best might not come first) know to seek the hidden gems, like the smooth, melodic stinger, "Adventure and Trouble".
Relevant and engaging "I Can Destroy" offers a lot to a listener, with meticulously rehearsed and layered three part guitar harmonies, three part vocal harmonies, vocalist switching, key modulation, syncopation, tempo shifts, superlative musical chops, and flash in abundance. The heart of the melodic album is upbeat, timeless rock and roll, with prominent blues overtones. The band is well-rehearsed, tight, and crisp. Musicianship on the album is top quality throughout.
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