The music world lost a major talent when Kevin Gilbert passed away accidentally by his own hand in 1996.
Most people, if they've heard of him at all, know him as part of the infamous Tuesday Night Music Club, the group that backed Sheryl Crow on her debut album.
But Gilbert was much more than just a side musician. He was able to play just about any instrument you'd put in front of him, and was an excellent songwriter as well. He was intelligent and articulate, as his lyrics showed in no uncertain terms.
One of Gilbert's first musical efforts was GIRAFFE, a California-based group in the late '80s.
Originally a project between Kevin and singer/songwriter Robert Ferris, GIRAFFE ("GI" from Gilbert and "RAF" from Robert A. Ferris) 2 studio albums; "The Power Of Suggestion" and "The View From Here", both produced, mixed and engineered by Gilbert. He was in his early twenties at the time, and was already a monster musician and producer.
Both albums were released as a very limited run of only 500-1000 copies each, becoming soon sought-after collector's items.
Giraffe won the 'Yamaha Soundcheck Competition' - a contest designed to help unsigned bands gain visibility in the music industry. Patrick Leonard, known for his workings with Madonna and Julian Lennon, was impressed with the band and immediately wanted to work with Kevin. He agreed and disbanded Giraffe.
Patrick Leonard brought in Guy Pratt, master guitar player Tim Pierce and Bill Bottrell and the supergroup Toy Matinee was born, recording a superb album in 1990, but that's history.
Giraffe's "The Power Of Suggestion" is a true example of Kevin Gilbert's undeniable talents.
A great collection of wonderfully crafted Crossover Prog tunes full of beautiful melodies with AOR scent, lots of synths, unusual arrangements and unique signature changes.
"The Power Of Suggestion" really it's a Gilbert solo album, in that he played all the instruments as well as singing ('The View from Here', which followed, has Giraffe expanding into more of a band).
The vocals here are really good, but with less of the sardonic expression characteristic of Gilbert's later work. The lyrics are better than average for this style and he proves his potential already both as a singer/songwriter and as a musician.
Now, this little gem is available for all of us thanks to the specialized Pop Plus One label, remastered from the original master analog tapes by the expertise John Cuniberti (Joe Satriani, George Lynch).
Take a minute to read John Cuniberti's comments about re-mastering these albums for the new editions, worth it:
Giraffe's "The Power Of Suggestion" gives the listener a proper look into the mind of Kevin Gilbert, one of the most talented musicians to grace the airwaves.
01 - Overtures
02 - The Last Thing On Your Mind
03 - In Every Line
04 - This Warm Night
05 - Image Maker
06 - Because Of You
07 - Everything We Are
08 - New Patriots
09 - Can't Make This Love Go Away
10 - The World Just Gets Smaller
11 - Power Reprise
12 - Because Of You – 11th Hr. Mix
13 - Finale (Roll Credits Please)
Kevin Gilbert : vocals, keyboards, bass, guitars
Stan Cotey : add. guitars, keyboards
Michael Abowd : add. keyboards
Chris Beveridge : add. bass
J. Scott Smith : drums
BUY IT !