Evil's Toy has come a long way. From their debut "Human Refuse" to their current offering Space Radio under the name "T.O.Y." (Trademark of Youth), Volker Lutz, Oliver Taranczewski, and C.K. have taken on a new name to reflect the new but not altogether different direction their music has taken. Not only is this album indicative of a much higher level of polish and production than most of their previous offerings, but their melodies are even further refined, owing to their shift towards increasingly less processed vocals and their addition of more synthpoppy arrangements.
This album could be described as a stylistic continuation of the material we heard on "Silvertears", albeit with a tad more polish and an occasionally more upbeat approach. Silvertears' focus seemed to be on hard-hitting dancey rhythms and smooth synth layers that progress into a catchy melodic chorus. Many of the songs are steadily paced with a constant beat. While not a total diversion, "Space Radio", does shake things up a bit and introduce a bit of the light and cheery into the usual mix which has always been something that sits somewhere between melancholy (while hard-driving) and ever so slightly upbeat and airy.
Although none of the songs grab me immediately quite like "Style" from Silvertears did, Space Radio commands a strong presence with its unique approach to synthpop. Volker Lutz's ultra-deep vocal resonation is still present here, and complements the liberal application of beautifully flowing strings ("Passion Game") and well programmed electronic dance ("Space Radio"). The piano is still here thankfully and used well to give more substance and depth to the ballads.
Honorable mention must go to these tracks (in order of personal preference): “Space Radio”, “Passion Game”, “Loner”, “Astronauts” and “We are Electric”.
Also included on the album are 3 mixes of a song from Silvertears, "Do Dreams Bleed", and are admittedly welcome additions to the mix. Especially neat are the relatively “more busy” drums found in the "Mezzo mix".
While not as much of a diversion as Angels Only was from their previous material, T.O.Y.'s Space Radio delivers once again on the unique style that hits most of the time and misses only rarely. You know what I’m talking about - that occasional line that you hear and just kind of think, “Uh... what?” That kind of thing is still here, but T.O.Y.’s strength in constructing catchy choruses brings them success once again. The bottom line - if you hated Silvertears, try T.O.Y. for the tracks that depart from their typical style, but if you liked Silvertears, and the sappy songs on Ángels Only, you’ll probably love T.O.Y.
And what's that about "Britney Spears" in the title track? ;-)
Artist Link: http://www.toy-music.com