REVIEW: David Bowie – The Next Day

David-Bowie-The-Next-Day1-1David Bowie’s always at his best when he’s fucking with your idea of who David Bowie is. He achieves that on The Next Day by shattering the idea that he’s a 66-year-old dude making his first album in ten years. It’s no mistake that the cover features a defacing of the artwork for Heroes – this album could fit in very neatly between Heroes and Scary Monsters, with additional little teases and hints here and there which recall moments from 1.Outside, Heathen, Tin Machine II, Station To Station and Let’s Dance. But perhaps the most overt ode to the Bowie of old is You Feel So Lonely You Could Die, which sounds suspiciously like a long-lost track from the Ziggy Stardust sessions, before confirming your sense of “this sounds familiar” by ending with the lonesome drum beat from Five Years. It’s one of those cheeky intertextual moves that Bowie weaves into his catalog so easily.  Read More …

REVIEW: Paul Gilbert – Vibrato

No matter what he does, Paul Gilbert’s always been great. But to me he’s at his best when he’s being fun. Fun was a crucial ingredient in his solo debut King of Clubs, and it was a huge part of albums like Space Ship One and Alligator Farm. And if you’ve ever seen him at a clinic or had a private lesson with the man, you’d know that he’s all about reminding everyone that playing guitar is one of the funnest, coolest, most awesome things you can possibly do. And that’s what’s so great about Vibrato. Paul is back to singing on many of this album’s cuts, and his lyrical take is always so charmingly skewed that you just can’t help but smile. Check out “Enemies (In Jail),” which is based on a drawing young Paul did when he was around four years old, and which posits that the best day ever would involve riding around in a racing car and catching your enemies and putting them in jail – set against a super-cool octave-pedal, whammy-bar-and-two-phasers tone and some tasty jazz-influenced guitar work.

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