It’s a bit surprising that experimental psych-lounge musician Gary Wilson has taken so long to release an album entitled Let’s Go to Outer Space because I’m fairly certain Mr. Wilson is from Saturn or perhaps somewhere outside this solar system.
The album opens with “Back to Where I Belong” and Wilson boldly proclaiming that he met an alien at a bus stop in Johnson City and they then walked all the way to his hometown of Endicott in the rain. Theremin rolls all around the track as Wilson tells her she’s the prettiest girl from outer space, meaning he’s met others (which shouldn’t surprise anyone). She offers to take him back with her, but he stays.
“Gary Kissed a Mannequin” is self-explanatory as Wilson falls in love with a mannequin who looks like the girl next door and takes her out to talk to the trees and dance all night long. It’s quite possible that his encounter with an alien beauty drove him mad. “Lost in a Mystery” is a song with a familiar theme on Wilson’s records – loneliness. The song’s peppy keyboards and jazz lounge beats (and more Theremin!) can’t conceal Wilson’s confusion about why his alien girl left (“I want to cry. I don’t know just why. You took my heart and ran away. I’m gonna save my heartache for another day.”).
“Gary Feels Cool” has the never-ending optimism you also find on Wilson’s records. He’s never completely out of the dating game, despite his many setbacks. His keyboard solo emphasizes his confident swagger. He’s just as cool when he dreams of a lovely lady in “You’re the Girl from a Magazine.” He can’t name her or the magazine. He just knows she’s pretty and famous for something. It’s not a sleazy song either. Wilson just wants to take this pretty girl for a nice walk.
Wilson admits his story is “insane” in “She’s the Girl from Mars,” but he’s so sincere (and his quirky synths are so fun) that you can’t help but believe him. “Let’s Go on a Walk Tonight” is another plea from Wilson to his Martian girlfriend to stroll with him through Endicott and beyond. It’s a toe-tapper that you can’t get out of your head for a while after hearing it.
The song’s beats and even the “la la la” chorus continues in “I’m Not Ashamed of You,” as Wilson’s keyboards sound more like a harpsichord. Wilson has no fear of walking around with an alien, even as others around him are running away in terror. He’s finally found love, and everyone should be envying him.
The honeymoon ends, however, when we get to “I Want to Cry.” Everything had been going so well that Wilson even took his outer space lover to his high school reunion, but yet he still wants to weep. Is it from joy or misery? It can’t be from his sweet electric piano solo, that’s for sure.
“Let’s Go to Mars” is simple, yet catchy with Wilson singing another song about marrying his Martian girlfriend in front of his hometown pals and then driving her in his new car out of orbit. He can’t find love on Earth, so will he find it on another planet?
Probably not, if “My Beautiful Wife Walked Away” is any indication. Wilson has been dumped yet again. “I don’t know just what do. I just wanna be with you,” he sings. Finding a lasting love is an eternal quest for Wilson, and things beyond his control or understanding always seem to screw it up for him. On “My Pretty Little Space Girl,” Wilson laments the departure of his alien beauty who never plans to return. “All things gotta come to an end,” Wilson tells us. That includes his quest, by the way. It might not have ended with a woman from another planet, but Wilson will find someone someday.
Keep your mind open.
[Updates sent through outer space to your e-mail inbox when you subscribe!]