Thursday, September 29, 2016

Gary Pinto-Take Back Our World (2010)

ORIGINAL POSTING DATE: September 29, 2016

Before I get too far ahead of myself with all of my dance music listenings—which isn't always an easy thing for me to do—I didn't want to pass up on sharing a special treat that I recently added to my pop collection. Me and my fellow boyband lovers out there surely remember there was a short-lived 90's Australian troupe that called itself CDB, but not all of us—and I'm guilty of it—kept close tabs of the accomplishments of the individual members following CDB's breakup. For me, if I hadn't taken the time out many months ago to go back though by boyband collection and attempt to get it all nice and organized, I may never have realized that CDB's Gary Pinto had embarked on a solo career well into this New Millennnium! So you can imagine both my surprise and my thrill the day I realized he'd released this exclusive album I knew absolutely nothing about called "Take Back Our World", then my surprise and thrill again when I was able to claim my copy of it! Not having too good of a memory as to what Gary—nor the rest of those CDB boys, for that matter—sounded like individually on a vocal level, I was pretty much getting introduced to Gary for the first time all over again when my ears took in the opening track, "Higher". Well it's a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Pinto, because I think your voice is absolutely amazing! Soulful, straining and in every way captivating, I've remained totally hooked to just this opening song for the better part of the past two or three days or so and loving everything about it—from the warming acoustic soft rock arrangement to the vibrant backing chorus to the way his voice becomes delightfully lofty when it soars up at times during the main chorus. The song really dazzled my senses, however, in the final movements, when the pitch is taken up and the vocals come to life for the grand finale. Could the music take m any higher than that superbly mature effort? The answer is a resounding YES! "Superman" and its eclectic pop/rock/funk sound is simply a super all-around performance, though I was too busy marveling at his stunning voice and the excellent guitar skills (and I believe it's Gary himself showing off those skills, judging by the photos of him holding a guitar that I've seen recently) to recognize what is sung in the lyrics exactly that makes him that 'average superman' that he proclaims to be. Even as much of a musical high that 'Higher" puts me on, I place Track #3's "Hey Mister" on an even higher pedestal. I dig the cool, upbeat pop/r&b/acoustic guitar combo in the arrangement here as Gary poses the thought-provoking question, 'Is it wrong to do everything right?', while providing the general everyday man with plenty more food for thought. There's a trio of other songwriting gems that had me thinking, too: "Everyone's In Love", where he sings about a life and a world that's almost too perfect for him and wishing it would go back to being that it used to be; "Refugee", which has some touching, spiritual overtones with his delivery of the bedtime prayer, "Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep", anchoring the song's theme of wanting to be free; and the comforting, mellow song of hope that is the title track itself. I gotta listen to all three of these again; each is beautiful in its own beautiful way. Then speaking of beautiful songs, there's this album's ninth track simply called "Beautiful" that I place on a high pedestal as well. Besides Gary singing about a girl he finds so beautiful in her own special way, there's also the accompanying music that I also found alluring—gracefully smooth with a subtle bossa nova rhythm beneath the the warming ambiance. If I loved another song just for its beautiful music, then it would have to be the skippy, funky r&b jam that is "Blind", which tells a fun story about stumbling in the dark to find love. That straining, soulful voice of Gary's that I fell in love with all the way back at the top on "Higher"? I loved it twice as much here! Then that same voice is demonstrating some versatility with a bit of spoken word rap when Gary wraps the album up with "Carry Me Home". As with "Refugee", I felt the spirituality and an overall sense of inner peace hovering over the words to this song. Following the individual members of former boybands—that's an endeavor of mine that I must continue to pursue, because otherwise, I might be missing out on another terrific singer trying to take back his world:

1. Higher
2. Superman
3. Hey Mister
4. Maybe
5. Blind
6. Everyone's In Love
7. Take Back Our World
8. Mama Don't Worry
9. Beautiful
10. Refugee
11. Carry Me Home

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