There’s a reason why Adam Lambert and Madonna selected Monte Pittman as their guitarist of choice. Pittman has a good music sense and his guitar speaks like a wise old man with stories to tell. On his second solo release, Pain, Love and Destiny, Pittman goes beyond the rooted sound of his debut with something more electric and moody. It’s quite clear that the years of touring and recording with Madonna, Prong and Adam Lambert have given the 35 year old guitar slinger the ability to stretch his legs when he feels it.
The album comes across like a collection of atmospheric album cuts from The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Alice in Chains. It has a classic rock feel, but with a bolder, more modern sound and a stronger production (most Pink Floyd excluded). The album’s opening track, About You, is a great little catchy tune that sets the tone for an album full of guts and emotion which includes other highlights such as Outside The Box, (I Am) The Black Rabbit and Somewhere In The Middle.
The only thing missing from the album is a bit of vocal harmony. I would have loved to hear Pittman jam these tunes with a couple other voices behind him as he sings some of the anthem-like tracks, especially About You. Those vocal touches could have given the whole album a bit of mystique and melancholy. With that being said, all 14 of the songs are extremely well written and will appeal to classic rockers, Seattle grungers and guitar geeks. Pittman is a master of his craft and at certain times, like in Right Back Here Again, the guitar is set free to explore and expose itself.
Even though Pain, Love and Destiny is a rock album and reaches higher than The Deepest Dark, there is an underlying acoustic guitar throughout the album that bridges the two together. Some might call it growth or even progression, but Pain, Love and Destiny really sounds like a proper extension of Monte Pittman as a solo artist. The end result is a bunch of well written songs and some über cool guitar playing.