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Twink

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Album Review

Although Mike Langlie performed in a variety of gothic rock and industrial bands, his performances on dozens of toy pianos have drawn comparisons to children's music in tone and substance. Originally not intended to be a children's album, Twink comes complete with a 32-page illustrated book, giving the album a concept from the beginning. And from the start, this is a fun and entertaining album that isn't just for kids. "Hoppity Jones" has an assortment of piano and hip-hop beats in it, while bird whistles can be heard in the distance. "Fleezle" continues along this path, but is a bit more organic sounding. Using "Pop Goes the Weasel" for portions of the track, it's brief but happily bizarre. "Do You Hear the Frog" has some samples and scratches in it, but doesn't sound as fresh as one might think. "Ant Farm" uses electronica beats in the vein of New Order to create a simple yet danceable tempo. A certain moody quality plays itself out on "Moongirl," resembling Nine Inch Nails in its tone. "Shy Violet" has an orchestral sound in it courtesy of Karen Langlie's flute as well as cello. Unfortunately, one of the more boring tracks happens to be one of the longest in "Winterheart." "Catnip" is a mix of acoustic guitar but with a drum'n'bass touch to it. One of the strong points to this record is that it's adventurous, particularly on the toe-tapping "Whoop-De-Doodle," featuring toys being squeezed to emit certain noises. Pink Floyd can also be heard at certain portions, particularly in the mechanical opening of "Mechanical Mouse," resembling the opening to Pink Floyd's "Money." "Indian Summer" has a lush synthesizer throughout and also uses various bells to create a dreamy pop sound. There is even some dub reggae thrown in during "Cloud Watcher," perhaps one of the more somber songs of the 25 here. Some other songs sound a bit too dark or brooding to be cheerful children's material. "The Edge of Darkness" could be placed on Bowie's Outside album very easily. Although intended for children, the innovative use of such child-like instruments is excellent and fascinating.

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