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Timothy Pure - Island Of The Misfit Toys CD (album) cover

ISLAND OF THE MISFIT TOYS

Timothy Pure

 

Crossover Prog

3.38 | 20 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Fitzcarraldo
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Have you seen the M. Night Shyamalan film "The Six Sense"? Creepy, isn't it? Well, I get the same feeling when I listen to the concept album "Island Of The Misfit Toys". With album names like "Blood Of The Berry" and "Bones Of Ghosts" you might think the band is not dealing with lightweight material here, and you'd be right. TIMOTHY PURE is looking much deeper: they're looking into the psyche. On this album the band are clearly not afraid to explore sensitive subjects such as masturbation, which has a song devoted to it and manages to avoid being salacious, and paternal violence that is convincingly and vividly described. Uplifting, it ain't!

To properly appreciate this nearly 70-minute album you have to listen closely to the lyrics and overdubbed voices, which deal with a group of children's personal struggles, their experiences learning how to interact with others, the tribal instinct, the loss of innocence and gradual spiral towards adulthood. For one of them, Enoch, the disturbing relationship with his father is explored and gives rise to two of the six memorable tracks on the album: 'Hush' which has spoken female vocals recounting vividly a recurring and disturbing nightmare, and 'Behind The Front' which describes the daily arguments and violence of his father toward his mother.

The style of music is *slightly* reminiscent of PINK FLOYD and PORCUPINE TREE, and there is some very good guitar and keyboard work; the musicianship is very evident. The music feels as if it has been crafted with laser precision: a tight and clean sound. Matthew Still's voice is very pleasant indeed. The mood of the tracks is very similar throughout the album: atmospheric and rather bleak. Many of the tracks themselves are similar musically and technically which, on an album this long, does become rather monotonous. I have to say that, unless listening intently to the lyrics, I become bored about three quarters of the way through the album. And my interest in the lyrics is not going to last forever. Of the six good tracks, two are excellent: 'The Fly-man And The Snake' and 'Playground Politics', and those I can happily listen to often. The haunting piano is particularly effective on the former, and the soaring guitar and Matthew Stills' voice on the latter. And both have good melodies.

Apart from the excessive length of the album and the sameness of the music, my other quibble is that the various overdubbed voices are sometimes not loud or distinct enough for me to make out what is being said. When what they are saying is important to the plot, I find this frustrating. Incidentally, I've already mentioned "The Sixth Sense", well one of the children even sounds like Haley Joel Osment.

Overall, it does not quite translate into an excellent album for me. Had the album been cut to around 50 minutes by removing the weaker tracks, and the lyrics rejigged to fit the shorter format then I think this album could have been a 4-star album. As it is, I'm going to give it 3 stars (Good, but non-essential).

Fitzcarraldo | 3/5 |

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