SEX DUMMY REVIEW
Well, what can I say? We've waited a long time for this CD, and now that we hear it, it's certainly no disappointment. Four classic synthpop tracks tightly edited into one 16min 32sec EP.
The disc opens with a stunning intro, Gary's slowed down voice telling a brief story about a nightmare world of tower blocks and binbags at the end of the 1970s. This gives way to a ray of hope--a lone dandy who refuses to remain part of the crowd. And who is this ray of sunshine? Gary Le Strange, of course. And thus begins "Ballerina", one of the greatest songs of the 21st century, and one which many of you Gary fans will recognise from his recent gigs.
Old favourite "Sex Dummy" is there of course, in a slightly different mix from that which fans may be used to (though the incredible lyrics are just the same), and surely the closing song "Grey", a powerful ballad about the virtues of the colour grey, will grow and grow in people's hearts until it becomes an all-time classic. But at the moment, my vote has to go to "Geometry", a rousing dance number about alienation and maths. Tracy had said the lyrics had changed slightly since he first did it live last year, but this is the first time I have heard it since. But what a transformation! This has grown from being one of Gary's least successful tracks into a stunning powerhouse of emotion and ingenuity. But I can't really single out one track. When it comes down to it, of course--all the tracks are great.
The production values are stunning throughout, and producer Waen Shepherd deserves an award for being able to put together so many sounds at once and make them all so clearly audible (a feat which even Phil Spector or Trevor Horn would probably be envious of). But the main awards for achievement should go to Gary Le Strange. Gary's voice is powerful enough on its own (as on the closing number "Grey") but when double tracked (on "Geometry") and even quadruple-tracked (on the chorus of "Sex Dummy"), the power of his awesome vocal sends you flying off into what feels like another dimension. This man truly is a genius angel from Heaven.
It's a shame, when there is so much rubbish about in the pop charts these days, that a true artist like Gary does not get the recognition he deserves. But perhaps with this release, people will start to take the Neo-Regency Face Warrior Movement more seriously. And when they do, the sky's the limit for Gary Le Strange!
*********** (11 stars out of 10)
"Countessa" Michella Guilor, 01.03.03