Concord Music Group

By: Alex Young

 

With a reputation as one of America’s premiere guitarists with the Texas blues as his signature style, the one and only Billy Gibbons is branching out with his first solo record. Despite inevitable comparisons to his flavored history with rock legends ZZ Top, wherein he became known for his gruff and soulful yet blistering guitar tone, Gibbons has created within Perfectamundo a musical beast of its own.

The album contains recognizable sonic elements of his well-known sound, but Gibbons combines a diverse palette of Chicano funk, Latin jazz and smooth country blues that the music ends up revealing never-before-heard shades of his personality. Gibbons has clearly cherry-picked some of his prime cuts that don’t fit with ZZ Top, and has released a more personal aspect of his musical identity that refused to go unsung.

Spicy cuts like You’re What’s Happenin’ sizzle through your headphones like heat waves coming off the desert highway. Sal Y Pimiento takes the listener on a journey through the heart of the Havana until you can practically feel the sand between your toes as you samba on the beach. With the infusion of feverish piano and trippy synthesizers drenched in groove, this is certainly Gibbons as you’ve never heard him before. Picking Up Chicks on Dowling has a booming bass line to let the crackling percussion pop off like a stick of dynamite, while the smooth synthesizers glide alongside Gibbons blues howl with seamless sonic synergy.

Anyone looking for another ZZ Top album is going to have to hold their breath, but if you’re looking for one of the slickest rock albums to come out this year, here’s the cure. Perfectamundo oozes enough soul to put some dip in your hip, glide in your stride, and cut in your strut to have you dancing until sunrise. Anyone who wants to fire up the BBQ, let the cocktails flow like water, and burn a hole in the dance floor with some smoking hot guitar grooves need not look any further.