What's Eating Gilbert - The Nashville Session [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

What's Eating Gilbert

The Nashville Session [7-inch] (2012)

Paper + Plastick

Chad Gilbert has been releasing solo material under the What's Eating Gilbert moniker for a few years now, and it's mostly been in the vein of classically-influenced power-pop with simple lyrics and solid hooks. That continues on the Nashville Session, one of his latest EPs.

As the main writer of music for New Found Glory, Gilbert has arranged some of the most memorable pop-punk songs of the last 15 years, and What's Eating Gilbert allows him to flex a few different muscles while composing. Both songs contained on Nashville Session are of the mid-tempo, straightforward power-pop variety: "Babe" has a bit more of a drive and twang to it, and is helped by some backup vocals in the chorus from Paramore frontwoman (and Gilbert's main squeeze) Hayley Williams. The lyrics will be too cloying and sugary sweet for some, but for others that's part of the appeal for this project.

The B-side, "Lonely Road," is a more waltzy tune with roots in '50s rock and '60s doo-wop, and also features backups from Williams. Built around a melodic, Weezer-esque solo, it's the more impressive of the two tracks and something a little different for What's Eating Gilbert, showing off another side of Gilbert's influences and skills as a songwriter.

Gilbert maintains that this project is mostly for fun and for the fans, and it's easy to get behind that sort of mentality. The Nashville Session is an enjoyable six minutes of surprisingly varied material, and rests comfortably among the rest of the project's output thus far.