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Kevin Ayers - Joy Of A Toy CD (album) cover


Kevin Ayers


Canterbury Scene

3.64 | 121 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
3 stars If you ever wondered what Soft Machine would have sounded like if they'd continued down the path of their debut album, then i think you need look no further than the debut album of KEVIN AYERS. After one album with the Softs and an extensive tour opening for Jimi Hendrix, all proved too much for AYERS and he exited stage left but spent a while in Ibiza, Spain with his partner in crime Daevid Allen who had much earlier split from the Softs not jiving with the more serious jazzy instrumental direction that Wyatt, Ratledge and Hopper were conjuring up.

JOY OF A TOY is actually a logical followup to the psychedelic pop masterpieces of the early Softs with that wild and woolly Canterbury Scene whimsy and instantly addictive hooks. KEVIN AYERS displays his ability to expand his palette on his debut however and has a nice expanse of eclectic tastes that range from the festive Sgt Peppers-esque "Joy Of A Toy Continued" opener to more serious melancholy laced cello soaked cuts like "Town Feeling." More Beatles inspired influences appear in "The Clarietta Rag" and tackles ethnic exoticnesses by rocking out on a Malay folk song with "Oleh Oleh Bandu Bandong."

While this album lacks a cohesive feel, it is a nice collection of tracks with some being stronger than the others. I absolutely adore the cute little "Girl On A Swing," the intense time warping "Stop This Train (Again Doing It), "Oleh" and the Bob Dylan sounding "All This Crazy Gift Of Time" but i find the other tracks such as "Eleanor's Cake (Which Ate Her)" not as captivating. While if find this to be a pretty cool debut album, it doesn't quite match the psychedelic and addictive properties of the early Soft Machine album or even the better AYERS albums to come. While i love a few tracks on this one, i am indifferent to just as many. Nice start to a solo career and AYERS finds a nice home for his instantly recognizable baritone voice.

3.5 rounded down

siLLy puPPy | 3/5 |


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