An album of impeccable, modern, downbeat pop.
Chris Jones 2009
No, his real name's not Gary Go. It's Neville Go. Oh alright, it's not: it's Gary Baker. But whatever the name, it seems that there's a lot of weight behind this Wembley-born 'young' hopeful (his online bio seems suspiciously vague as to his real age). Since allegedly being chosen by an un-named 'producer' to work on the US East Coast, this bespectacled singer songwriter has obviously been very busy indeed, crafting an album of impeccable, modern, downbeat pop.
Everything about our Gazza seems groomed to perfection: the handsome-yet-intelligent, speccy wunderkind, plying us with pop full of yearning, aching vocals and uplifting choruses that only a churl could dislike etc. And yes, this is an undeniable talent at work, summoning up classic hooks and propelling them into the stratosphere as on his second single from this eponymous debut, where his astronaut-assisted video supports a genuinely moving ode to lost dreams. But here's the rub: while his own web site claims he was raised on classic pop and rock, a first listen would suggest that he was weened almost exclusively on Coldplay's Parachutes. Crikey, you think: the first post-Chris Martin album.
His vocal similarity to Martin is unfortunate, whether it be by design or by sheer coincidence (a unlikely factor in the career of someone so blatantly groomed for stardom). It detracts from songs that are, essentially, every inch the equal of Mr Paltrow's. First single, Wonderful was exactly that. And just about everything on offer here is its equal.
But such consistency, while impressive, may not be enough to cement his place in our hearts yet. Lost dreams and self-pity are what drives Go at the moment. ''I look in my crystal ball and see nothing'' he sings on Brooklyn. It's very palatable misery. But eventually it jars, (as it did with Martin).
It's not all gloom. ''I'm tired of trying to dig myself out of holes'' he says on Honest, and ultimately, Gary Go holds a vast amount of promise and will go down a treat with pure pop fans. Also, Refuse To Lose's jarring metal juxtapositions hint at a soul who could dare to be more than just a Take That support act. Watch this space.