Gabby Young And Other Animals: We’re All In This Together Review

If you went down to the woods today, I wouldn’t be at all surprised should you find Gabby Young And Other Animals providing musical entertainment for their fellow woodland creatures.
 
Either that or they’ll be breaking bread with their animal brethren.
 
Gabby is the leader, or at least lead singer, of this vibrant ensemble of musician’s who created enough of a stir with their debut album last year We’re All In This Together, to have secured a major record label deal and subsequent re-packaged version of their eponymous album due for release next month.
 
Having missed the boat first time round, I’m delighted to have got on board Gabby and her animal friend’s good ship as they set sail on a musical journey encompassing more ideas and genre’s than you could shake a bally stick at.
 
Incorporating a bewildering array of instruments, ranging from the traditional to the unexpected; We’re All In This Together effortlessly shifts between gypsy folk and Gatsby inspired swing, via smoke filled blues numbers and Caribbean tinged ballads.
 
I guess musical eclecticism is a natural by product when your band counts eight regular performers amongst its ranks.

But, as many a chef will no doubt tell you, weight of numbers isn’t necessarily a recipe for success.
 
So it’s refreshing to discover Gabby and those Other Animals don’t spoil their broth.
 
Quite apart from pulling off most every musical genre they turn their collective hand to, We’re All In This Together does it with such joie de vivre that you can’t help but get swept away with its infectious energy and musical ambition.
 
Mademoiselle Young’s vocals are more than a match for this diversity mind, as she demonstrates her own versatility through a range of singing styles that change course to suit whatever sonic canvas the Animals create.

Perhaps, as their name would suggest, this direction and clarity of thought stems from Gabby conducting musical affairs.
 
Regardless, it’s simply great fun listening to the ensemble’s musical adventures.

And makes me wonder how fantastical a live show from Gabby Young And Other Animals would be.

There seems to be a genuine theatricality about the group, aptly illustrated by the striking image of Young on the album cover.

Less is definitely not more for this girl, as Gabby adorns her flame red hair with enough accessories to make an overly elaborate centrepiece blush.

Candelabra’s, rocking chairs, decorative jewellery and the merest hint of a horn section all vie for attention atop her head.

It seems as though Young found a creative way to recycle the contents of her last Christmas stocking.

Yet, strange as this may sound, her appearance never feels insincere.

Unlike the cynical, focused group, faux kookiness of modern contemporaries such as Paloma Faith or Lady Gaga; Gabby Young comes across as a genuine artist in both imagery and deed.

As with anything experimental, not every song on We’re All In This Together works.

But that’s the risk you take when following your own muse.

Besides, the sheer scale of musical ambition and execution displayed more than makes up for any wrong steps on the album.

So why not picnic with Gabby Young and Other Animals this summer?

You’re sure of a pleasant surprise.

Jonathan Campbell

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September 2010
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