Magic Island (3) ‎– Small

Blackberry Records (2) ‎– CM oo347
CD, Album, Repress


1 Instrumental 1:14
2 Man 3:48
3 Radio Star 4:45
4 She's Home 2:50
5 Atha Louise 2:50
6 Not Fair 3:48
7 Up And Down 2:42
8 Instrumental 0:49
9 Magic Island 4:06
10 Don't Want To Be 3:57
11 In Ways These Days 4:28
12 Window In The Woods 3:02
13 Instrumental 2:34



Replicated compact disc in gatefold digisleeve with four-panel lyric poster.

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October 24, 2011
by Richie Unterberger

There are few instances in which the ghosts of both Syd Barrett and just-post-Barrett Pink Floyd hover so strongly over the soundwaves as they do over this recording. If you tried to pass off "Not Fair" as something that Barrett had tried for an aborted third album around 1971 but never released, you might just get away with it, particularly with those wavering, half-despairing, half-lunatic vocals. Ditto for "Magic Island," with its folky guitars constantly changing keys, and the creepy lyrics of "Don't Want to Be." "Don't want to see anyone...don't want to love anyone...don't want to be anyone" intones Robyn Nice in the latter, though with a resigned, placid air, as the pretty, stately piano in the background moves this far from gloom-doom nihilism or Nick Cave territory. At some points, too, the piano-centered tunes recall early Barrett-less Pink Floyd tracks like "Green Is the Colour" and "Cymbaline" that were dominated by Rick Wright's keyboards. It's not just a Pink Floyd knockoff, though it's hard to imagine that anyone who likes that Floyd era and Barrett's solo output could escape the comparisons. There's a disconnected, foggy, and disturbing air to the words and instrumentation that, whether intentionally or not, sounds rather like junkie music. Certainly darker than Damien Youth's solo excursions, and for that matter more downbeat than most of Pink Floyd or Syd Barrett, it's suggestive of a solitary figure longing for escape from reality, not happy about his condition, but not wanting to be anywhere else either. The stately yet almost funereal piano textures in particular sometimes approach an ethereal languor reminiscent of Harold Budd or Brian Eno's more menacing ambient landscapes. Although it's not as good as (and certainly more of a downer than) Damien Youth's best solo releases, and Damien Youth's side project the Surprise Symphony, it's a worthy endeavor. There are certainly some interesting things going on in Damien Youth's studio, and one wonders how long it will be before his work escapes from total obscurity to at least a sizable cult recognition.