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Gabby Young and Other Animals - The Band Called Out for More

  by Paul Waller

published: 1 / 5 / 2012

Gabby Young and Other Animals - The Band Called Out for More
Label: Gift of the Gab
Format: CD


Confusing and unsatisfactory second studio album from eccentric London-based band Gabby Young and Other Animals, which would probably work better live

With her debut album 'We’re All In This Together', Gabby Young displayed a talent so incredibly eccentric yet mature that it was a complete shock when the similar but less talented artist known as Florence made it big. Gabby it seemed had to settle for specialist intimate one off gigs across the country rather than dazzling the festival main stages and saturating music television. She deserved much more. Three years down the line and those wonderfully pronounced lyrics that she pens are flowing from my speakers proving that the English language has not yet fully succumbed to cockney banter and lazy Essex-isms. This voice has after-all been classically trained. Her diction is still as delicate as ever on the ballad 'Honey', but yet on other tracks such as 'Male Version Of Me' the phrasing is so overly English it seems utterly alien and dated to the early 30’s rather than a soundtrack for contemporary listeners. 'The Band Called Out For More' is definitely an album which critics will call a mixed bag. Songs such as 'Horatio', 'In Your Head', 'Curtain Call' and the title track come across as lavish show tunes, taken directly from the over produced soundtrack from a West End smash. I did not expect it at all although it’s an obvious route for progression for her and her eight piece band to take on. On 'Open' this show tune theme is cemented with the inclusion of a kid’s choir to the ensemble. By all means Gabby Young never seems like she’s bitten off more than she could chew. In fact the prospect of seeing these songs come alive on stage excites me no end. I’d just rather not listen to it at home. When the group appropriate the melodic aptitude and contemporary quirks they so brazenly exploited on their debut album the music within is far more rewarding. 'Segment' and 'Clay Heart' could have both fit in with the less showbiz feel of 'We’re All In This Together', and there are two songs on here which are as good as anything the band have written previously. Firstly 'Goldfish Bowl' is the album’s pop moment. Full of hooks and enough charm to keep it from being a simply throwaway ditty. Secondly 'Neither The Beginning Nor The End' is simply magical. “I am a solemn prayer,” Gabby explains. It’s a perfect line for a song that reaches spiritual heights within its all too short 3 minutes 18 seconds running time. If the album itself contained more moments like this then I think she may well have broken through this time around. As it stands 'The Band Called Out For More' has left me somewhat confused as to just what Gabby Young and her Other Animals are trying to present to their audience. Yet as a live experience the songs on this record could well make for the most spectacular live show of the year.

Track Listing:-
1 In Your Head
2 Goldfish Bowl
3 Walk Away
4 Male Version of Me
5 Open
6 Clay Heart
7 Neither the Beginning Nor the End
8 Horatio
9 Honey
10 Segment
11 The Answer's in the Question
12 Curtain Call
13 The Band Called Out for More

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Interview (2010)
Gabby Young and Other Animals - Interview
New Pennyblackmusic writer Paul Waller speaks to singer-songwriter and folk artist Gabby Young about her former training in opera, her band Other Animals and their debut album, 'We're All in This Together'

live reviews

Ruby Lounge, Manchester, 10/5/2015
Gabby Young and Other Animals - Ruby Lounge, Manchester, 10/5/2015
Mary O'Meara lightens up after a full colour spectrum performance by Gabby Young to counteract the post-election blues in Manchester's Ruby Lounge


We're All in This Together (2009)
First-rate and unique-sounding debut album from London-based band, Gabby Young and Other Animals

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