Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Kεvin Gilbεrt - Tнud (1994)
One of the more interesting short-lived musicians from the 90's, Kevin Gilbert was a multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter and producer who collaborated with everyone from Michael Jackson to Madonna to his then-girlfriend Sheryl Crow.
His real love, however, lied in creating theatrical yet attractive sounding music that blended his own American pop sensibilities with mid 70's Genesis, a combination of approaches which is rendered perfectly on his 1995 album Thud, a testament that would prove to be the only solo album he would ever do before his death in May of 1996 from autoerotic asphyxia at the age of 29. Sadder still, his body was discovered on the day he was scheduled to have an audition that could have landed him the position of becoming lead vocalist of Genesis, as Phil Collins quit the band earlier that year.
In any case, the music here is ambitious and gleefully (or perhaps eerily) eclectic, shifting from the angular bluesy rock of 'Goodness Gracious' to the dusky jazz of 'Joytown' to the punk-opera-prog. centerpiece 'Shadow Self' without so much as a single snag or note out of place. Wry lyrical content and a unique, distinctive delivery also do Gilbert a lot more credit than he ever got during his life, and its a shame that we'll never know just how far he could have gone. Hell, considering the quality of this one and only bona fide release from the man, I doubt anything was impossible for him.
R.I.P. maestro. You were one in a goddamn billion.