Time After Time
In the music industry there are people known as A&R directors, whose job it is to listen to thousands of really awful tapes and write back sensitively worded ”thanks, but no thanks” notes so that we — the innocent public — never have to endure anything so lousy ourselves. Obviously, one of these people fell down on the job, because the tape of Timmy T — a clear A&R reject if ever there was one — actually managed to make it all the way to release on a new dance- and rap-oriented label called Quality Records. Even more chilling, one of Mr. T’s songs (”One More Try”) recently landed in the top 5, and his album Time After Time is in the top 100, something I cannot fathom unless, somehow, people found themselves unconsciously identifying with the song’s blatant amateurism. Of course that kind of simplicity can be refreshing in pop, but the music here is ultimately so cliched it ruins any possible charm. Timmy’s music is all dinky synth-pop, at least five years out of date, with faux funk bass lines, rinky-tink effects, and schlumphy vocals. He’s so outre that he even uses synthesized vocal effects that are reminiscent of Frampton Comes Alive. In general, Timmy’s sound suggests a failed attempt to imitate the British synth-pop group Human League (not a very high target to begin with), but his sensibility is far sappier. In songs like ”Too Young to Love You” he makes someone as sentimental as Barry Manilow sound like a ruthless cynic. True, an audience may be drawn to this kind of thing for a while, but one hopes there will still be time for Timmy to heed an A&R person’s best advice: Don’t quit your day job.