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Sunday, November 04, 2007

GILBY CLARKE
Self-titled
(Spitfire)

Gilby Clarke?
Guns ‘n’ Roses. Supernov- I mean, Rock Star Supernova.
Hmm, should have quit while I was ahead!
Okay, so anyone vaguely familiar with popular culture would have some inkling of who Clarke is. So, a new solo compilation album is pretty timely, don’t you think? Think of it as an opportunity to cash in on the new-found fame (or notoriety).
And knowing Clarke’s current reputation as part and parcel of the corporate rock monster, it’s no surprising that the first three selections viz. “Cure Me … Kill Me,” “Tijuana Jail” and “Black” (remixed to feature Rock Star runner-up Dilana – did I spell that right?) highlight all the standard hard rock clichés, that Rock Star fans would clamor for.
Heavy riffs ripped out of a Metallica song, unimaginative functional tunes and the ultimate killing stroke – the slow rock ballad with the sludgy chorus. All predictable, right?
Not exactly, because under the skull-emblazoned scarf and usual decadent styling, a country boy’s heart beats to the rhythm of classic 70s rock.
Kinda like Clarke’s obvious inspiration, Keith Richards.
Thus, tracks like “Skin n’ Bones,” “It’s Good Enough For Rock n’ Roll,” “Bourbon Street Blues,” “Can’t Get That Stuff” and “Dropping Out” are reminiscent of the Stones’ majestic Exile on Main Street, all country-folk bluesy, with a hint of Mott the Hoople, along the way.
Not only that but on “Kilroy Was Here” and “Judgement Day,” Clarke comes across as (White Album) Beatlesque as any pop underground luminary you could care to name.
Lay aside your prejudices, I say, this “greatest hits” album contains a few of the better Stones-inspired stuff you’re gonna hear in the 2000s and if it takes a dodgy reality show to get this deserving music a fair hearing, then I say, more power to Gilby! B+

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