Gilbert, Kevin - The Shaming Of The True

Year of Release: 2000
Label: self-released
Catalog Number: KMG 3
Format: CD
Total Time: 67:52:00

You know the story; it's been on VH1's Behind The Music a million times. A star (insert name here) comes out of nowhere and becomes the biggest thing since sliced bread. Everyone lies to him from managers, to agents, to promoters. The people can't get enough, and the record company continues to push the artist to the limit. Finally, the artist has had enough and takes a break, but with that, the fans move on to the next pre-made star and the industry chews you up and spits you out.

That is the premise for Kevin Gilbert's rock opera concept The Shaming Of The True. Johnny Virgil (our story's hero) is a true musical genius. But, he desperately wants fame and compromises his artistic vision to produce what the record companies and fans want, and ends up empty because of it. I am sure this was written while Gilbert was struggling with his own success issues. Having won a Grammy for his work with Sheryl Crow, but never really gaining attention for it must have had a great effect on his outlook. Gilbert was told time and time again he had the goods but never got to the mainstream audience. That in itself is a shame, and those people were correct, Gilbert had all the talent needed to get him to the top, but unfortunately passed away in 1996, much too young.

Gilbert's lyrics are amazing; they make you visualize much of what he is singing about in the story. The songs themselves are full of energy and meaning. Johnny Virgil's desires are laid out in the opening "Parade." "City Of The Sun" describes his move to attempt to make it in the music business, with an excellent dialogue about meeting a would-be rock star gas station attendant. Not to mention the song rocks! "Suit Fugue (Dance Of The A&R Men)" is a hilarious parody on how all these record executives are so phony. The execution of the vocals is amazing. "Water Under The Bridge" slows things down, but has an ear catching melody.

"Best Laid Plans" is another upbeat rocker, one of the best tracks on the record. "Certified No.1 Smash" is a wicked look at the way stars will do anything to sell a record and get attention, in this case it appears Madonna is the target of Gilbert's diatribe. A poke at the video "Like A Prayer". But, just listen to the track, as musically this one again kicks some butt. It is told from the narrative of a video director selling Johnny Virgil on his ideas.

"Staring Into Nothing" brings us to the place where Virgil is now successful but is feeling totally empty. Success has not brought him happiness, and fame has made him miserable. He is just going through the motions, not caring about what is going on around him. It also includes the announcements that Virgil is leaving the record business. The surreal feel of "Fun" sets us up where Johnny apparently has too much time on his hands since he is not working, and appears to be doing plenty of drugs and partying. The pure anger of "Ghetto Of Beautiful Things" gets its point across. The sadness in "A Long Day's Life" reflects on the life that could have been versus reality.

We truly lost a musical visionary with Gilbert's passing. Intelligent thought provoking lyrics, diverse musical statements, and great performances. Gilbert was a one of a kind artist, and more should be exposed to his musical talents.

Parade (3:45) / City of the Sun (5:56) / Suit Fugue (Dance of the A&R Men) (2:25) / Imagemaker (3:40) / Water Under The Bridge (5:30) / The Best Laid Plans (5:39) / Certifiable #1 Smash (7:23) / Staring Into Nothing (5:52) / Fun (5:34) / From Here To There (2:12) / Ghetto of Beautiful Things (4:54) / A Long Days Life (7:30) / The Way Back Home (4:56) / Johnny's Last Song (2:16)

Kevin Gilbert - vocals, guitars, bass, piano, keyboards, programming & sequencing, percussion
Nick D'Virgilio - drums, percussion, bass, guitar, keyboards, backing vocals
Brian MacLeod - drums
Additonal Guitars - Tommy Dunbar, Rush Parrish, David Levita, Bill Bottrell
Backing Vocals - Robert Ferris, Jennifer Gross, Skyler Jett, Claytoven, Sandy Sawyer, John Rubin, Tommy Dunbar Horns - The Le Petomane Ensemble

NRG - No Reasons Given (1985)
Giraffe - The Power Of Suggestion (1987)
Giraffe - The View From Here (1989)
Toy Matinee - Toy Matinee (1990)
Thud (1994)
Kashmir EP (1995)
Giraffe - Giraffe (1999)
Live At The Troubador (1999)
The Shaming Of The True (2000)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: July 27th 2003
Reviewer: Eric Porter
Artist website:
Hits: 1134
Language: english


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