A Review of the CD
"Gary Tipping"
by Gary Tipping


"Gary Tipping"
by Gary Tipping

2002
Tel.+44 7905 349840

This review is written by Dai Woosnam, daigress@hotmail.com, 6/03

If I had just returned from being on Mars for 30 years, and not known about Nic Drake's tragic suicide, I would figure (on hearing this) that he was alive and well and living in Southsea Hampshire. However, for some inexplicable reason, he had changed his name to "Gary Tipping"!

This is one of two CDs (from separate artistes) I received review copies of in the same post. They both have Drake's fingerprints all over them. They show the unmistakable influence of one of the most revered English singer/songwriters of recent decades.

Gary Tipping - like Drake - has a voice that denotes a high degree of sensitivity coupled with a very real vulnerability. It is not the sort of voice that is redolent of swaggering self-confidence. And maybe it's all the better for that.

Here, accompanied by what sounds like his trusted synthesiser, he comes up with no less than 19 tracks. Talk about wanting to give "value-for-money"! (Alas, he gives us no track-timings: this is a big error if he wants his album to get any radio plays.)

His songs here are all self-penned. The lyrics rhyme and make sense: the songs are decently crafted. Immediately one thanks heaven for that: so often these days, singer/songwriters serve up self-indulgent drivel. Not so, Gary Tipping.

But that said, I wanted to like this a whole lot more than I eventually did. What exactly was the problem?

Well, I think it is because I have the same difficulty with his output that I had with Nic Drake's. The songs are lacking in variety: they all have that enormously wistful quality. They sound as though they have been composed in a bed-sitting room by Al Stewart's (less talented) second or third cousin. No single song jumps out at you.

And the tone of his singing voice never varies. True, it is perfectly pleasant, but he would never TALK this way. Instead he would emphasise
words and put light and shade into his conversation.

So on your next album Gary, please worry less about tone and texture, and more about MEANING. Let us get the impression that you FEEL what you sing.

Dai Woosnam
Grimsby, England
daigress@hotmail.com


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