Gentleman Reg The Theoretical Girl

It's getting late and I'm listening to The Theoretical Girl for the umpteenth time, and I'm still not getting any closer to working out exactly what it is I'm listening to. I'm not disinterested - if I was then I wouldn't even have gotten past the second play of the album - yet I'm beginning to think that I have absolutely no feelings about Gentleman Reg at all. I'm tempted to mention a spot of folk here and a bit of pop there. It does get a little more interesting towards the end, with the upbeat acoustic strum of "Tracks" and the slow-building "Coming Up Blue," but by that time it's small consolation. His love of slow-building tracks is also a dangerous thing because very often there's no payoff - the opening song, "To Have Regrets," takes three minutes of gentle strings and guitar before the vocals kick in and then they are merely a distraction from the arrangement. Gentleman Reg seems destined to blend seamlessly into Ontario's musical scene. (Three Gut)