REVIEW: Misfit Toys’ “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?”

 photo MisfitToys_cover_zps62dbf6c6.jpg The selection of songs Misfit Toys seemed appealing at first, but as I started listening to Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? (Innova), I wondered when things were going to get good.

The intent for Dan Moore, Paul Elwood, Matt Wilson, and Robert Paredes was to do hybrid-jazz covers of pop music from the 1970’s, as Moore’s own liner notes indicate. The intent was a nice idea, but the eventual performances are hit and miss. I’m someone who enjoys create renditions, recreations, and revisions of old songs, but some of the arrangements didn’t work for me, such as Gilbert O’Sullivan’s “Alone Again (Naturally)” turned into a samba. I think it’s great that a depressing song can sound festive, but it wasn’t that. It just didn’t gel with me, the same could be sald for their take of Todd Rundgren’s “Hello It’s Me”. It appears here as a samba, which sounds quite good but this is a song I would have loved to hear vocals for. The song was originally done by Rundgren when he was with Nazz, then Rundgren spiced it up for Something/Anything and it became his biggest hit. Here, it gets active but not much else. Their take of Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man” just falls flat, and their take of the title track, originally recorded by the Chicago Transit Authority: ska? No thanks.

Stevie Wonder’s “Living For The City” was fairly straight forward, and I did like what they managed to do with The Carpenters’ “Bless The Beasts And Children” and the Talking Heads’ “Drugs”. By then, things started to flip flop around for me, wondering if things were going to sink, would it go any lower. Then when it picks up, I want it to stay up but it doesn’t for long. Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? is just okay, the three songs I did enjoy would make for a nice EP but as an album, I don’t think I’ll be listening to it again.

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