Self, Gizmodgery (Spongebath): We all loved Beck's Odelay, right? And many of us harbor a certain admiration for pure-pop craftsmen like Ben Folds Five and Matthew Sweet, correct? Self's Gizmodgery sounds a bit like Ben Folds Five played through an Odelay filter, so why isn't it a hit? Maybe it's because Gizmodgery is played by Matt Mahaffey entirely on toy instruments. If you've checked out toy instruments lately, you'll know that some are pretty sophisticated and fun — as is Gizmodgery. Sure, you can't escape the toy piano on the ballad "I Love To Love Your Love My Love," but you'll be amazed that the grunge-pop of "9 Lives" and "Dead Man," the white-boy funk of "Trunk Fulla Amps" and the Prince-like "Pattycake" were created on tools available at a Toys R Us or garage sale near you. And after you hear Self's cover of the Doobie Brothers' "What A Fool Believes," you'll find it hard to believe that the original wasn't performed with toys. — Randy Reiss

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