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Fuzz Universe

38 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 3, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

Following his successful "Silence Followed By A Deafening Roar" CD,"Fuzz Universe" is the third all instrumental CD by guitarist Paul Gilbert, regarded internationally as a guitarist's guitarist. Gilbert's sales draw from nearly 20 albums and more than 20 years as a recording artist and touring musician. Racer X remains one of Shrapnel's best catalog items, fueled by guitar fans that want to hear Gilbert at his shredding best. "Fuzz Universe" contains some of Gilbert's most phenomenal playing to date.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 3, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Shrapnel
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,785 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Chris on August 10, 2010
Format: Audio CD
I heard the single Fuzz Universe before the album was released, and I immediately thought this would easily be Paul Gilbert's best album. But after listening to the album as a whole, the title track might be the only song on the album that doesn't fit. This isn't a bad thing at all, just don't buy the album expecting every song to sound similar to Fuzz Universe. Paul has many changes in this album including tone, the use of wah wah, and even the unusual scale progressions I've never really heard from him. I've listened to the albums a few times through and I love it, so I've decided to do a full review.

1. Fuzz Universe - 10/10 Best song on the album in my opinion. Sounds like a Randy Rhoads tribute song, with a chorus to let you know it's still Paul Gilbert behind the guitar.

2. Olympic - 10/10 This song starts one way and finishes a completely different way. It starts off really joyous sounding, then about a couple minutes in everything changes. Gilbert plays a darker chord progression with Viking Kong type solos. It's an emotional journey throughout.

3. The Count Juan Chutrifo - 7/10 This song almost fills like a filler to me. It's fun to listen to, but nothing ever really happens throughout the song.

4. Bach Partita in Dm - 9/10 I love this piece, his tone makes it sound amazing.

5. Blue Orpheus - 4/10 The intro is good, then it becomes almost painful to listen to. Paul Gilbert did not write this song, in-case anyone hasn't read that on his site. This is a very weird and disappointing song, to me at least.

6. Will My Screen Door Stop Neptune - 8/10 The main riff is promising, but it's never really fulfilled. Still a great song though.

7. Propeller - 10/10 This is where the album starts to pick back up in my opinion.
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34 of 43 people found the following review helpful By M. Spitzer on August 7, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Paul Gilbert continues to expand and broaden his musical horizons with his guitar playing and composition.

Of all the 80s guitar heroes, I have the highest respect for Paul.

Vai has kind of gotten a little to weird with strange sound effects and other strange music for my tastes (although I still respect his abilities).

Satriani is very good, but except for Surfing With The Alien I have never been grabbed by his stuff for some reason.

Yngwie was my guitar god for many years and I still give him the respect he deserves for essentially raising the bar for guitar technique in the 80s and 90s, but his recent releases have suffered from stagnation and bad audio engineering & production.

Paul Gilbert seems to have the widest range of talent when you consider Mr. Big, Racer X, and his solo material.

His melodic sense is very catchy and his technique is the cleanest of all the players out there.

I confess I am jealous of his ability to still play this fast and clean well into his 40s -- Now I know 40s is not old, but I also play guitar as a hobby and have released some solo albums over the years ... but I have noticed the early beginnings of joint pain and stiffness that makes it harder to play fast technical stuff effortlessly like I did 15 years ago.

The title track is a showcase of all Paul's best trademark riffs and licks and rates as one of his best solo instrumentals.

So if you love instrumental rock guitar, this is a 5-star CD.

Now after writing all this praise, I must confess I will not listen to this CD very often.

Why you ask ?

Worry not, this is not a reflection on this CD.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ian Martin on August 6, 2010
Format: Audio CD
I was totally taken with Gilbert's second instrumental "Silence followed by a deafening roar" so didn't hesitate picking up "Fuzz Universe". The opening blistering title track takes off where the last album ended. That unmistakable sweet,crunch tone. Exciting yes, and flashy with trills on even the melodic slower segments. This piece is a Gilbert tour de force with everything from intense shredding to an emotional slower bridge and then back again for a thrilling conclusion - all in the opening track!

Guitar clinic part one comprises the first two tracks, "Fuzz Universe" and "Olympic" and these are outright impressive with screaming lead lines that take your breath away with the precision and speed of execution. The mix seems even more guitar heavy with bass and even drums less prominent than on the last album. That's not to say that Jeff isn't thundering away in timed runs with Gilbert, but rather know the guitar is in your face. So my first impression is that this appears more a Gilbert showcase than a band effort. Indeed on the album insert I struggled to find any mention of the band musicians other than in small print "Craig uses Grabbit/Hamilton stands' and 'Jeff uses Tama drums".

"The Count Juan Chutrifo" has a Hendrix-like vibe with noticeable keyboard background which certainly added and was a more cohesive composition than the two first tracks. Then comes guitar clinic part two: Can Gilbert play? Just put on the Bach track for a virtuoso performance of solo electric guitar. A complex classical piece but after a while I hoped somehow the band would kick in. They didn't.

"Blue Orpheus" is quite experimental with a mish-mash of a Brian May intro meets Satriani over a repetitive drum-machine like riff. This seemed out of place. Strange.
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