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Gary Go

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Album Review

Gary Go rose to attention after touring the U.K. with Take That, and his self-titled debut offers the same sort of epic, polished pop that Take That embraced post-reunion. This is unapologetically commercial stuff, laced with touches of symphonic strings and fueled by choruses that aim for the cheap seats at Wembley Stadium. The genre is certainly familiar — a veritable melting pot of Keane, the Script, and greeting card sentiment — yet Go still manages to carve out his own identity, appropriating the chimes of U2's guitars and the polished piano balladry of Coldplay without succumbing to complete imitation. Of course, it doesn't hurt that he simply doesn't look like a pop star, preferring tailored suits and prominent eyeglasses to the more informal attire of his contemporaries. The emphasis here remains on his music, though, all of which was self-produced by Go on a relatively shoestring budget. Songs like "Wonderful" and "Engines" are the sort of anthemic tracks often dreamed up in million-dollar studios, but Go helms them at half the price, filling his sonic canvas with double-tracked vocals, keyboard loops, and enough palpable yearning to garner radio attention. The fact that the end results sound similar to Go's machine-made rivals proves to be a double-edged sword, however, both attracting fans for its genuine approach and repelling others for its similarity to manufactured pop.


Born: London, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s

With his geek-chic image and heartfelt guitar ballads, London native Gary Go received his big break in 2009, when Take That offered him an opening slot on the group's summer tour. The son of a producer for Jim Henson's The Muppet Show, Gary Baker (who was given the moniker Go by a family friend) grew up within earshot of Wembley Stadium. Influenced by the live music performed there, he began writing songs at the age of eight and taught himself how to play several instruments. After leaving school,...
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Gary Go, Gary Go
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