Alexander Gilblom - Alexander Gilblom
- Artist: Alexander Gilblom
- Album: Alexander Gilblom
- Year of Release: 2011
- ME Rating:
- Reviewed by: archelon on 2011-03-18
Alexander Gilblom's self-titled album has been two years in the making and the multi-instrumentalist has recorded most of the parts himself, or at least "a lion's share" of them, and has been described by Musik Magazine as having "the potential to become a literal hit machine". While I don't disagree on any particular point, I do have a little trouble deciding what to make of this release.
The first thing that makes me sit up and pay attention is "Carmen", the third track. The beginning is so harmonically uncomfortable that it gives me a lump in my throat but as the song becomes uniform again I have to wind it back - after a few more listens the beginning bars don't seem intentional, they just seem out of tune. "Midas In Reverse" has a good bluesy guitar melody but it's a shame about the unremarkable backing and cursory 'eclectic' touches.
Most of the record is pleasant common or garden pop rock, although when the thigh-slapping "Baby, Let Me Teach You About Pain" comes on, I find myself wondering if I've put my iTunes on shuffle by accident. The blues-country vibe is not only a shock to the system but also feels completely unnecessary, as if it was put in to try and add excitement - "Easy On You" is a concept that simply doesn't deserve a three-minute song. "Soul Mandate" has a bit more of the same - the hooting train noises at the beginning are just distracting, but it has some incredible guitar texture and lovely clashing harmony in the chorus.
All in all, Alexander Gilblom has a very versatile set of talents and a versatile voice, and hasn't quite decided what he wants to do with them. The whole package swings between ho-hum and what-the-hell-was-that: it's a lot like a work colleague who is perfectly nice, you get along OK but they're just too boring to have in your inner circle. Then you find out that they have a temper like Chris Brown. If there's a space for this in your music library, you'll not go far wrong with high points like "Stranded" and "Soul Mandate" (the train noises become endearing after a while) but the rest tends to be an uncomfortable mixture of very standard pop rock and just plain weird.
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