"If you don't like this, you're probably dead" always seemed to be one of the classiest lines of praise in a review, even if it was about 'Barbie Girl' by Aqua. But with "Toy" by Greg, the opposite is unfortunately true. "I don't feel I'm quite living," sings Greg on 'Understanding Entertainment', and it's an infectious problem. If you do like this, you either a) are dead, or b) only ever listen to albums that can be described as comedown music.
Some of it is pleasant enough in its own slow-paced, "mature" coffee-table way. Opening track 'Paper', for example, is all trip-hoppy with swirls and bleeps and a genuinely creepy vocal that is both monotonal and stalker-like. From there on in, Toy descends into more conventional MOR, adult-orientated drifting around a tune, with Zoe Holohan's occasional backing vocals unable to relieve the (admittedly intentional) sterility.
The tinkling pianos are a nice touch, as Greg sings about Sue and Linda and Sonny and everyone else who occupies the otherwise vacant space in these songs. Nice as it is to be on first name terms, Toy would be a lot more interesting if the computers were let do what they're supposed to do, and take over.
by Laura Slattery