Hailing from Northern Ireland, Gary Greenfield is 47 years old and has been writing songs for 30 of those years. His second and latest album entitled In My Strange World sounds like a combination of Roxy Music and Billy Joel. Even more importantly the songs have a self- deprecating humor that you hardly ever find in music these days. Greenfield is more than happy to take stabs at himself in a hilarious self-deprecating way sometimes talking about how he can't possibly compete with those who have excelled in life, how he keeps messing up the closing track “Oh No’ or his bad luck in Las Vegas. What I loved about this album is the absolute absence of any pretension on any of the tracks. It’s obvious that Greenfield doesn't take himself too seriously and simply loves making music. In addition to that a lot of the songs are ridiculously catchy and very fun to listen to. The first time you hear this album you may be inclined to turn it off if you have been listening to a lot of popular indie rock like Deerhunter, Arcade Fire, Vampire Weekend, etc. because it sounds absolutely nothing like that, but if you ever dug Bryan Ferry you may be inclined to give it a shot. The songs are rather diverse for the rather limited and sparse production. Piano and vocals are front and center for the most part while atmospheric pads and guitars usually form the background.
From the first moments of “Raise the Bar” in which Greenfield sounds eerily like a young Billy Joel you should have at least an idea of what you are in for. The song itself is a pretty standard format as Greenfield sings about both Elvis Presley and Leonardo Da Vinci and how their greatness “raised the bar” far too high for him to even come close. What I liked most about the song is that Greenfield seems almost as happy about this fact as he is about singing about it. “Here I Come (Las Vegas)” relies on cheesy guitars with equally as cheesy sounding electric pianos that sound perfectly at home as he sings about his bad luck. The song is fun in its own sort of way and wears a clever disguise. One of the best songs on the album was “In My Strange World” which has his best vocal delivery and melody on the album and sounded a bit reminiscent of Gary Wright on his hit “Dreamweaver.” “Go Little Baby” is an upbeat song with a catchy chorus where Greenfield’s voice is uncharacteristically different than some of the other songs.
The hilarious and addictive “Oh No” closes the album, which defines a perfect piano bar song that should be played at all karaoke bars. While Greenfield has created an unlikely group of songs that started to grow on me over time it was videos that made me listen to the rest of the album. Simply put his videos are absolutely hilarious. There are two videos below- one for “Oh No” and the other for “Here I Come (Las Vegas)”. You need to watch both of them right now.
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