United States review by Paul Gilbert & Freddie Nelson

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  • Released: Oct 22, 2008
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 10 (2 votes)
Paul Gilbert & Freddie Nelson: United States

Sound — 9
Imagine this: Boston and Queen have a child. This is what that would be.

The album glows with pure music with a voice that can only be likened the Freddie Mercury's. The music sounds like classic rock, but with flawless recording style. The albums has it's mix of softer ballads, to true hard rock, and that somewhere in-between.

The songs each contain a guitar solo, which, when played by virtuoso Paul Gilbert, becomes exhilarating and truly awesome. Fast speeds, shredding licks, massive vibratos and bends. This album has it all. The vocalist, Freddie Nelson, matches the guitar with perfect pitch, and a fantastic vocal range. Sometimes he'll sing like an angel, and other times do a 'rough-yell', where he goes somewhere towards screaming, but not nearly there, causing just enough edge the keep the listener interested. The drums and bass provide a nice support for the band, but in some songs could be improved upon.

The album was written, as Paul himself said, (And this is paraphrased a bit) for the purpose of writing music with Freddie. They grew up in the same town and this is the first time they wrote together. The album is named 'United States', not for any political or patriotic meaning, but because 'It is the united states of our minds'. This album really shows it.

Lyrics — 9
The lyrics to this album are what lyrics should be. Poetry that comes straight from the writers' hearts. None of the lyrics are deep or philosophical, which is a nice change from this whole indie scene. The lyrics have a nice flow to them, and the syllables and rhyming all falls perfectly with the beats and rhythms of the song. Occasionally the lyrics do get a bit repetitive when the chorus gets repeated four times or so.

The singer, Freddie Nelson, does a fantastic job singing the lyrics. He gets the emotions just right, and the feelings just right. Nelson also manages to stay pitch-perfect (And I really mean pitch-perfect) throughout the entire album. Infact, at the opening of the solo for 'Waste of Time', he sings a perfect note with Gilbert's guitar. Perfectly in-tune.

Overall Impression — 10
I've been listening to several artists recently, and all of it satisfies me but doesn't quite hit home. This album does. It's an easy listen, just like the 'Boston' album. Truly good, happy music. Compared to recent artists in it's genre (Hard rock), I'd say it does quite well, and on my charts would get within top three.

Some impressive songs are 'Waste of Time'. This is the second track on the album, and really helps to capture the interest of the listener. There is just enough variation on the guitar parts, with a little bit of flanger here, a little bit of shred there, to keep the song interesting while not over-producing and getting over the top. Another great song, one of my favorites, is 'the Last Rock And Roll Star'. The song's guitar solo is truly incredible. It seems a bit more dissonant then that of the major-key 'Waste of Time', and it's got a bit of really nice diminished tapping. This song is how I view the album. The album is one of the last albums to come out that is actually good-feeling rock.

I love the album's feel. When I listen to music, I listen to it because of how I feel. I listen to punk to get angsty and pumped up. I listen to ato get angry at all the stupid political problems with the world. I listen to this to feel, for lack of a better word, happy. Sometimes the album misses a little bit of something, and I can't quite name it. It seems a bit restricted to the one rock style, and I wish it went on forever, going into every style it could. But it did it's best.

If for example my harddrive got wiped, and I lost the hardcopy of the CD, I would definitely repurchase it. After listening to this album I don't know how I could do without it. A truly fantastic album.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Baby Joel
    Oh, and just so people know. This album was released in Japan in October '08. It will be released globally sometime this year.
    A Rhino
    Such a great album. Also, funny to realize that PG started as a metal guitarist with Racer X and now makes (well at least some on this album) sort of pop/rock songs.