Whenever a new album comes out that features the guitar work of Paul Gilbert, it's anyone's guess as to what it'll sound like -- it could either be over-the-top shredding (à la Racer X) or melodic rock with an emphasis on pop hooks (à la Mr. Big). On his 2005 solo release, Spaceship One, Gilbert manages to somehow combine the two different musical worlds and also adds a splash of power pop to the proceedings as well. But this shouldn't come as much of a surprise to longtime fans, as Gilbert has voiced his appreciation of pop eccentric Todd Rundgren over the years (even appearing as part of the choir/chorus on Rundgren's 1989 release Nearly Human). This is especially reflected in the hard-edged power pop ditty "Every Hot Girl Is a Rockstar" (which contains a riff that is highly reminiscent of the early Cheap Trick classic, "He's a Whore") and "Mr. Spock." That said, Spaceship One is not completely power pop -- "One Way to Hell" is total '80s party metal (akin to the aforementioned Racer X), while "G9" is a melancholic, acoustic based instrumental. With an emphasis on the poppier side of things, Spaceship One is bound to appeal more to Mr. Big fans rather than admirers of Racer X.
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AllMusic Review by Greg Prato