NRG’s sound fit in with the keyboard-heavy new romantic sound of bands like the Human League, Thompson Twins, and Duran Duran. Still, KG’s progressive leanings were already apparent as there were songs that stretched well past the four-minute single time barrier. The band won a San Jose “Best of the Bay” radio station sponsored by KSJO with a three-song demo.
“The NRG material, recorded when Gilbert was in his late teens, was never widely commercially released” (Britton). “This release is very interesting to hear because [it is] far away from [the] mainstream” (Zickel).
“It’s clear that a lot of work went into the tracks, many of which feature multiple keyboard parts, great arranging, and a very wide number of instruments” (Britton). There are “digital synths galore, but also a lot of great proggy keyboard playing, odd time signatures, and even some lengthy songs” (Britton). “The main ingredient missing from the songs, though, is the preponderance of hooks” (Britton).
“Many songs here are influenced by Synthie-Pop” (Zickel). “Morning Light and Watching Me [are] completely typical representatives of the ‘Plastik Pop Rock’ generation…[kind of] Survivor meets Human League…good compositions” (babyblaue-seiten.de).
Goodman Badman “works, however atmospherically” (babyblaue-seiten.de).
Wings of Time “begins almost rocking” (babyblaue-seiten.de) “with heavy guitar work” (Zickel). It is “a good, straight Neoprogger [that] delivers an ‘Aha experience,’” getting a taste at the end of Yes’ ‘Heart of the Sunrise’” (babyblaue-seiten.de).
Mere Image is a “beautiful piano ballad…which would have fit in…easily on [Genesis’] A Trick of the Tail” (babyblaue-seiten.de).
Welcome to Suburbia “then moves…back into the synth-pop corner, this time with sax and sound effects” (babyblaue-seiten.de).
Staring into Nothing is “more organic; …a very beautiful, exciting track with good percussion and…very well sung” (babyblaue-seiten.de). It is “a great song – but in a better version appearing on The Shaming of the True” (Zickel), Gilbert’s posthumously released second solo album.
Frame by Frame also falls into the “plastic sound…somehow reminding of Elefante's Kansas” (babyblaue-seiten.de).
When Strangers Part features “acoustic guitar, good…keyboard and very beautiful singing” (babyblaue-seiten.de).
Overall, “It seems like Gilbert was still honing his skills as a ‘pop songwriter,’ and the material, though very good, isn’t as immediately appealing as all his other work” (Britton). “It’s both some of the cheesiest and the proggiest work he’s ever done” (Britton).