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


Timothy Pure


Crossover Prog

3.39 | 33 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Where to begin ? This is a concept album about a group of children who all have names. It really starts with "who" children are in the first two songs. And this is represented by the "snake" and the "fly-man" more on that later. The songs go on to deal with certain aspects of the children's lives which include some disturbing facts. Other reviewers have explained this all very well how these dark secrets are sort of hidden, but it doesn't take much seeking to find them if you read the lyrics. What is so interesting to me was how the lyrics on songs like "Playground Politics" took me back to when I was a child. It also made me relate to one of the children in the song because that was how I acted in a group setting. Also a line in another song "Want to play ?" again took me back in time. I've had conversations with Finnforest about this very subject. How as children we would spend our summer holidays wandering around the neighborhood pretending, and playing, and investigating, and imagining, and seeking, and role playing. It was often a big adventure, playing games like hide and seek, and tag, and so on. Finnforest in his review of "Fear Of A Blank Planet" by PORCUPINE TREE touches on how "different" things are today from when many of us were children and pre- teens. Steven Wilson certainly brings out a lot of disturbing facts himself on that album. The music represented here does probably reminds me more of the ALAN PARSONS PROJECT more than anyone else. There is a PINK FLOYD element to this music as well. I actually saw this band classified as a Space Rock band on another site. This is spacey, dark, moody, beautiful and emotional music.

"A Damp Preserve" is beautifully done with acoustic guitar and vocals. There are samples of children playing in the background. This is where the snake and fly-man are first brought up. On their web-site the band says that the snake represents a child's boundless, inquisitive and exploratory nature. The fly-man represents a child's guide who is strong and supportive. So for example the snake would open the secret door, while the fly-man would walk them through it. The song "The Fly-Man And The Snake" has some good piano melodies and some haunting synths. There is a full sound 2 minutes in with soaring guitar that comes and goes. "Finders Keepers" is about getting lost as a child. I know it happened to me and i'm sure many of you out there have experienced this. This is a dreamy song with organ and some great relaxed guitar melodies. "Hush" is about a recurring nightmare. Again how many of us had bad dreams when we were children. This song is done amazingly well as it builds up dramatically, it's startling. The beginning and the ending feature female spoken words and piano. "The Engine Roars" shows how children start to seperate into different groups as they go about doing what children do. The music has reserved vocals and waves of synths. We now are introduced to a few of the children who are in the midst of personal struggles, as social skills are being developed. Some adapt while some seek to escape. This is like being inside a story, it's so well thought out.

"Tribes" shows the result of seperating into groups.The scene is at school during recess and the focus is on the named leaders of the tribes that have developed. The music has a good tribal beat with some great organ and guitar before it calms down to a finish. "Playground Politics" has terrific lyrics that should be read by all. The music is PINK FLOYD-like. "Mia's Game" is about her becoming aware of herself sexually. "Misha Superhero" has some great synth and guitar work. A harder hitting tune. "Island Of The Misfit Toys" has a mournful guitar melody before an uplifting passage arrives.The song becomes quite intense before a dreamy soundscape arrives.This song and the next one "Behind The Front" deal with Enoch's and his mother's abuse, both at the hand of his father. "Channels" features ELOY sounding synths to open with aggressive guitar right behind. This is a fantastic instrumental ! "Safe" is so emotional,it's about a child who is leaving home it would appear. Touching lyrics. The music is very ear- pleasing with the warm synths and guitar. "Soil" takes us back to the first song and must be read in light of that. It's about finding redemption, finding their souls in the damp preserve, that place where the snake and fly-man are. It's a difficult place to get back to when troubles, circumstances and life have turned us from children to adults too fast.

I grew up in a tourist town (I still live here) and my parents rented out cottages during the summer. We had 9 of them that surrounded our property. Most families that came stayed 1 or 2 weeks. I would have a new set of friends throughout the summer. Usually they would come up to me or my sister and say "Want to play ?", or we would go up to them with that question. Can you imagine as adults going up to someone you don't know and saying "Do you want to hang out today ?" or "Do you want to spend some time with me today ?". They would think we were crazy for asking such a question that is so normal for kids to ask. That is just one example of something that is lost when we turn into adults. We must "claw" and work our way back to that place of wonder and imagination to find ourselves once again. That is the idea behind the final song.This is another nice warm song with piano and synths. Very dreamy.

I can't remember a record that had such an affect on me, not necessarily musically but lyrically. I will be doing some imagining and remembering as I go to bed tonight and drift off into the island of misfit toys.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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