This may sound presumptuous, but for many people, there is no greater healer than the power of music. Although those melancholic, crooning pop bands are tempting during stressful times, my best suggestion would be to listen to stuff that’ll turn your whole day around for the better. What’s Eating Gilbert will do exactly that, since it’s the complete opposite of what you’d expect from a typical rock band; because really, how many of today’s rock bands can make heartache sound like the most wonderful experience in the world? If you’re a fan of New Found Glory, you’re going to love guitarist Chad Gilbert’s latest project, What’s Eating Gilbert. After listening to just one track, I guarantee that you’ll be bopping around in your car seat, belting out the lyrics while cruising along the coast, completely forgetting about your problems, especially the ones that involve relationships.
More oftentimes than not, there is beauty in simplicity, as exemplified by Gilbert’s 12-track album, That New Sound You’re Looking For, which meticulously combines country rock and 1950s pop, producing an original mixture of pure upbeat vivacity. In tracks like “You’re The Most,” Gilbert tactfully uses the call and response technique to portray the interaction between a love-struck guy and an egocentric girl who, to him, is “the most” beautiful person ever, but naturally, the feeling isn’t mutual. Although almost the entire album touches base on romance, other songs such as “Follow Her Around,” “Who Do You Love,” “Recurring Dreams,” “Ain’t Been Happy With Me” and “Miserable Without You” particularly emphasize the average experiential situations like the ups and downs of dating, as well as the overall struggle of having a crush in general.
A majority of the album tracks capture the striking desperation and vulnerability of love, and occasionally the agonizing realization that you’re the one who’s got to carry the burden of being a crusher. The good news? These songs sound a lot better than how the emotions probably feel. It’s hard to overlook Gilbert’s creativity in changing situations from seemingly hopeless to something fun and optimistic. No matter the circumstances, all of the songs tend to hold positive undertones, and produce a danceable quality that is impossible to ignore. On that note, it is also foreseeable that the track, “A Song About Girls,” will be one of the most empowering anthems for women everywhere.
Since 2010, What’s Eating Gilbert have released five EPs, including The Nashville Sessions via Paper and Plastick and Cheap Shots via Bridge 9 Records. With those, That New Sound You’re Looking For will be yet another great addition to Gilbert’s collection, since the album certainly lives up to its title. The sheer brilliance of a musician’s distinctive ability to syndicate sound and emotional balance is beyond admirable, and it is only a matter of time before we get to witness firsthand where the music will go from here.