The Whiny One
This guy needs a hug. He sounds like Rob Ford’s hurt inner child on guitar.
On the positive side, he does a half-decent job channeling solo Paul Simon with his voice. On the minus side, I can’t help but be reminded of comedian Nato Green’s observation about the greatest failing of liberals: “We’d rather be smug than win”.
The Bouncy One
Imagine Randy Newman deciding to get a little more funky and then choosing to sing about Toronto instead of Los Angeles, and you have Len’s tribute to Accordion City. In 1999, Len put out a great gem of a summer single, Steal My Sunshine, and while I’m not sure they can top that, it’s nice to see that they’re still at it, with a new album titled It’s Easy If You Try. It’s also a better Toronto-promoting video than a lot of the stuff produced by the clowns at Toronto’s tourism department.
Sure, it’s easy to dismiss Len as a one-hit wonder. I prefer to call them a fun-hit wonder, and I’d be ecstatic if I ever put out a single like Steal My Sunshine, which holds a special place in my party and driving tunes playlists.
Crazy Len Close Encounter Fun Fact: One night when I first started playing accordion on the street (back around 2000), I was busking outside Amato’s Pizza on Queen West when Esthero walked by. She asked if I knew how to play Steal My Sunshine, and I responded by playing and singing the song’s chorus. She pulled out her mobile phone, made a call, pointed the phone at me and said, “Play it for Len,” and I did. I heard some great laughter on the other end of the line.