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

JOY OF A TOY

Kevin Ayers

 

Canterbury Scene

3.62 | 68 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Understated

Kevin Ayers first solo album was a logical continuation of his work with SOFT MACHINE on their first release. The link is emphasised in the choice of album title which is taken from a track on that album, the first track here being entitled "Joy of a toy continued". Care should be taken through not to associate Ayers work with that which is generally considered to be Soft Machine's best, i.e. "Third" and their albums of around that time. Ayers solo albums are, with the odd notable exception, pop based and often whimsical.

"Joy of a toy" is a pretty straight forward album, with only occasional glimpses of the "Canterbury" sound with which he is closely associated. "Song for insane times" (which features the entire Soft Machine line up) has the keyboard sound Caravan used to such great effect on their early albums, as does "Stop this train".

There are the usual array of Ayers soft folky ballads and reflective lyrics, "Town feeling", "girl on a swing", "Eleanor's castle" and "Lady Rachel" all following a similar pattern. The only real nod towards a more progressive style is the predominantly instrumental "Oleh Oleh Bandu Bandong" which sounds somewhat out of character here, and in all honesty is not that good.

The closing "All this crazy gift of time" is almost Lindisfarne like, complete with harmonica and harmony vocals.

Ayers is often cited as being lazy (in terms of his music), and under-achieving. While "Joy of a toy" is a decent first effort", it does tend to indicate that such criticism is fair.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |

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