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Kevin Ayers - Joy of a Toy CD (album) cover

JOY OF A TOY

Kevin Ayers

 

Canterbury Scene

3.61 | 71 ratings

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Warthur
Prog Reviewer
3 stars We can thank Hendrix for this one: after completing Soft Machine's tour of the US with the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Kevin was ready to pack in his music career altogether, but Jimi gave him an acoustic guitar for a gift on the condition that Kevin promise to keep writing songs. Kevin was true to his word, and in late 1969 there emerged this curious little beast. It goes to show what a well-loved member of the underground scene Ayers was when you consider the various guests popping in to provide musical backing - Soft Machine buddies Ratledge, Hopper and Wyatt play on most tracks, as does David Bedford, and on one of the bonus tracks on some CD versions Syd Barrett and most of Caravan can be heard playing along.

Kevin's first solo album takes his whimsical, wine-sodden style of psychedelia as first seen on the Softs' debut album and brings it onto centre stage, in songs ranging from carefree and childlike (Girl on a Swing, Joy of a Toy Continued) to menacing-yet-silly (Oleh Oleh Bandu Bedong) to romantic (Lady Rachel). Perhaps not as musically complex as the direction Soft Machine were heading in, but it's got a broader and deeper emotional range, so perhaps parting ways was the right call for both parties. Not essential must-listen stuff, but enchanting enough in its own way and a good start to Kevin's solo career.

Warthur | 3/5 |

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