Valentine’s Day Tripper ventures from bedroom to the stars and reports back.
Gary Wilson seems to be living in a music box from which he emerges a few times a year like an eccentric uncle sending you a postcard with a depiction of latest events which, quite possibly, occur not only around him but also in his mind. These epistles and diary entries may feel creepy unless you realize that it’s a genuine love that would feed all the weirdness if you peel off melodic sameness the American singer’s been serving up for decades now. A box set is not an option, then, yet his hermetic experiences are as good as they get on their own.
The place this artist exists in is immersed in seasonal stasis – that’s why none of Wilson’s albums doesn’t fail to reference Twilight Zone – where February 14th can turn into an ultimate guilt trip… or a guilty pleasure cruise down memory lane, especially when Gary’s memories on pieces like “Where Did You Go” embrace classic disco. Unfortunately, incidental music accompanying his spoken word expositions which intersperse vocal performances feels much more adventurous than songs per se, with piano of “The Wind And The Trees” and the title track painfully cinematic. Yes, after the veteran crowned himself, such cuts as “The Sin Eater” cast a shadow of glorious vulnerability on the romantic routine of yore, so while there’s charm in “It’s Almost Midnight” and “Happy Birthday To My Girl” with their toy-ish instrumental element, prog shimmer makes “You Looked Cool In Outer Space” a better attraction.
Torment’s not here, though, and neither is variety. Perhaps, Gary Wilson should break out of his Endicott dead-end next time to venture further out in the field.