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TONY CAREY Island & Deserts/(Planet P Project) 1931
Baby Boomer Music (2004)

Tony Carey

Two self-spun CDs from one-time Rainbow keys-basher Tony Carey.

The most accessible of these is Island And Deserts. Carey's vocal style recalls a more controlled Alex Harvey and/or Ray Sawyer from Dr.Hook and may not appeal to all tastes, but the weakness of this album is the programmed drums and low-budget production. The tunes are ok. 'It's Your Party' is excellent, and would be even better with bigger production values. But it's the only true rock-out on the album.

It seems Carey is popular in Germany and I can understand this because the Germans seem to relish big choruses, slow rock ballads - a la Scorpions - and there are quite a few of those here. The Songs From The Desert segment continues that theme, essentially inoffensive but slightly insipid.

But the problem is that this all sounds stuck in a different time zone, namely the eighties. You can't knock an artist doing his own thing either, and indeed would want to encourage it, but homespun offerings can end up sounding just that and not really doing justice to what is basically strong material and musicianship. Taken as work in progress this is acceptable enough, but may have limited appeal to a wider audience. ***

1931 on the other hand may be a bit 'heavy' for some as it is a concept. According to Carey it's 'about nationalism, racism, facism, terrorism, and some otherisms too. The songs span eighty years and jump around from about 1923 in Weimar Germany to the present.' Enough said. Lots of added samples, spoken word, but no lyrics in the CD sleeve which may have been helpful. It's more rocky than 'Island & Deserts', though. ***

Review by David Randall

© 2005 Tony Carey/ All rights reserved.

Label website

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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