Tuesday, July 14, 2015

DINKY TOYS-The Colour Of Sex (1992)


First TOYS OF JOY, then TOY-BOX, and now another new plaything for your listening playlist. It was five years ago when the 90's Belgian pop group called THE DINKY TOYS came to my attention, thanks to a fellow Belgian pop music lover living over in Bucharest, Romania. How excited he will be to know that something of mutual interest between us has finally seen the light of day here at "The Music Spectrum"! Reggae, ska, hip-hop and flamenco—just some of genres that I read THE DINKY TOYS were known for in their abbreviated existence, and it's the first whose sound prevails on the group's debut album, "The Colour Of Sex". Heard the reggae influence right away on the opener, "The Test Of Time", along with a delightful whistle melody accompanying the beat, the aching, soulful vocals of the group's lead singer, who reminds me of one of those legendary male jazz crooners from the older generation, plus the terrific background vocalists, whose recurring contributions on subsequent selections deserve all the praise in the world for the lively enhancements they infuse into the music. It's that same vocal recipe that tantalizes the ears on the calming slow groove, "One More Try" (amazing that a song whose words of reconciliation are so simple can be so powerful!) and the even-more calming "Since You're Back In Town", which is one that really got my attention because of he sublime jazz overtures of the trumpet sweetening the music up during the midway instrumental break and during the extended closeout movement. The backup vocals surely made those songs quite alluring, but THE DINKY TOYS frontman sells out the show on the strength of his own vocal talent in his delivery of "Just What I Need Tonight", where he makes like a seductive, romantic charmer and the group's ska influence presents itself with the inclusion of the rock guitar kicks, and "The Party Is Over", where the quiet piano accents and the aura of of musical warmth accents every sad words he sings here. But the sadness stops there; it's time for celebration and cheer on the trio of unexpected groovy dance cuts—unexpected, I say, because of the nice, easy-going flow of the other songs. "I Can't Keep My Hands Off You" is a festively good time of a love song, thanks to the tribal rhythm and the ethnic vocals, with further festivities being enjoyed on "Bring Back Your Love" (the sunny island paradise vibe certainly adds a romantic flavor) and the confident, self-inspiring "My Day Will Come". All of these, yet I haven't even mentioned the two right smack in the middle of the album that just may be the most prized possessions in the toy chest: "King Alcohol" and "Shoo-Rah Shoo-Rah". The former displays a darker side to the Belgian pop group, the suspenseful sound and hearing the songwriter's words of selling his soul to an intoxicating drink stirring up images of a man who's mentally trapped in a haunting, desolate place, while the latter is the cheeriest of bouncy pop/ska tunes with an extremely infectious hook (love that chiming of 'shoo-rah, shoo-rah' in the main chorus, but what does it even mean?) and the lovely accordion-like riffs making every moment of the song a happy one:

1. The Test Of Time
2. I Can't Keep My Hands Off You
3. What's On Your Mind
4. One More Try
5. Since You're Back In Town
6. King Alcohol
7. Shoo-Rah Shoo-Rah
8. Just What I Need Tonight
9. Bring Back Your Love
10. My Day Will Come
11. The Party Is Over
12. One More Try - Dub Mix (Bonus)

DINKY TOYS-My Day Will Come [CDM] (1990)

1. My Day Will Come (Accoustic)
2. My Day Will Come (7'' Edit)
3. My Day Will Come (12'' Edit)
4. My Day Will Come (Ska-Day)

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