Over the past few years, as a singer-songwriter Adam Gilbert has established himself as a dynamic presence on the NYC club scene, his mold-breaking, envelope pushing brand of piano driven pop-rock has earned him comparisons to master piano-pop craftsmen like Ben Folds and Billy Joel. On his second independent release, the popular performer matches his progressive style with an equally provocative title, Fishing For Water--a metaphor for his quest for musical perfection in the writing and recording process.
The classically trained pianist and vocalist is well aware that his quest for perfection is more part of his musical journey than a specific destination, but comes pretty darn close to achieving his goal on the 13-track project.
As reflected in the thumping and infectious opening track “Break Through Today,” the singer celebrates the true joys of indie music making by tumbling down barriers harmonically and rhythmically and not limiting himself to the confines of what passes today as an adult contemporary pop song. The resulting sound achieved by the track is something that has not previously been heard.
Give The World A Chance” has a much more natural progression than “Break Through Today”. The harmonies crafted by Gilbert are tremendously infectious. The major difference in “Give The World A Chance” come in the set of influences that Gilbert touches upon; hints of early Michael Jackson and Maroon 5 unite to create something that is simultaneously classic and current. “All Of Us Are Missing” moves the source of harmony from Gilbert’s vocals to the piano work, this time linking together Warren Zevon, Billy Joel, and Counting Crows into a sound that will stay with listeners long after “Fishing For Water” ends. The smooth, silky vocals of Gilbert on “All of Us Are Missing” operate as a cherry on top of what is already a solid track.
The disc reaches new levels with “Danny Knows”, a piano-led track that is unique in that there are two sources of narrative present; Gilbert’s vocals and the flittering piano line. The piano line is most interesting during this track because it approaches (and maybe even exceeds) the level reached by Tori Amos. Gilbert uses his beautiful falsetto voice on the heartfelt closing track “Credo,” which imagines what it would be like to sit and have a literal conversation with God. Complementing his own story, the singer adds a lengthy snippet from legendary author William Faulkner’s Pulitzer Prize acceptance speech to emphasize and elaborate on his vision.
Where most discs have a solid track or two strewn alongside ten or eleven weaker track, each and every song on “Fishing For Water” could conceivably make it onto pop rotation. Pick up this album before Gilbert’s music is present on every radio station from here to Walla Wall.