Toy Soldiers

Whisper Down the Lane

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    7
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AllMusic Review by

Toy Soldiers might be loosely classified as a roots rock act, but if so, they're on the less rootsy and more eclectic side of that genre. There's some gospel, some soul, some folksy rock, and some jazzy R&B of the Young Americans-era David Bowie, with none of those influences dominating the mix. While he's not the only writer and singer in the band, Ron Gallo's songs and vocals are at the forefront. As odd as it might sound, his singing sometimes recalls a more down-home Lou Reed and, when the warble is more pronounced, Marc Bolan, though on material more aligned with American roots music than either of those artists featured. Though both the music and lyrics are earthy, the songs sometimes detailing wanderlust and struggle, the mood is pretty jovial, often coming off like a Southern rural hoedown with a fuller and more electric band than such things are wont to favor. There's a bit of a revivalist flavor to some of the vocals and arrangements as well, though without specific religious connotations.

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