Glyn Bailey – Toys From Balsa (CD)

Glyn Bailey starts up “Toys From Balsa” with “Sorry”, a track that sounds like and continues the same humor that the late Warren Zevon strove for in eir career. “East & West” has Glyn going a little too far with eir vocals, straining at points where the placement of vocals should have been a cakewalk. The second set of vocals are melodramatic, but do end up working. However, Glyn really starts to get into a groove with the Zevon/Cat Stevens/lounge singer-style of “L’Humanite”. The vocals are professional as all get out, but the sequenced sound of the track really shows a lack of the title quality. Mechanical and obviously so, the track can be construed as a hit if one thinks that this false-ness was the point of Bailey on the track.

This inhumanity is removed during the Bowie-esque “He Says She Says”, which has every instrumental part (synth, guitar, drums) working together in a proper band format instead of the “one person sitting at a computer using Cakewalk” type that does rear its ugly head during a number of tracks on “Toys From Balsa”. In a sense, “He Says She Says” is the disc’s first radio-friendly single, drawing from the aforementioned Bowie vocally almost as much as the guitars look back to bands like Oasis (and of course, the Beatles before that). What strikes the biggest blow against Bailey on this disc are the extreme length that ey creates for each track; many of the tracks would be sharpened in focus and stronger in general if one or two minutes were lopped off each composition.

A number of the tracks on “Toys From Balsa” tend to slip by without much in the way of struggle; the first track during the second half of the disc to actually make anything in the way of an impression has to be “The Plastic Bag Song”. The style of “Part of Me” looks to the Rocky Horror Picture Show, but even Bailey’s vocals cannot pull off the duty of keeping individuals interested with the very sedate and light instruments on the track. Glyn Bailey does have some tracks on “Toys From Balsa” that might make it onto some college-radio stations, but the vast majority of works on this album are just not polished enough to really create a desire in listeners to put this disc on again. Hopefully Bailey can come up with more “He Says She Says” for eir next album.

Top Tracks: He Says She Says, Sorry

Rating: 4.5/10

Glyn Bailey – Toys From Balsa / 2005 Self-Released / 15 Tracks / http://www.glynbailey.com / info@glynbailey.net / Reviewed 10 June 2005

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