Barry Gemso is a flamboyant philosopher. He would deny it if he could, but he is a serious thinker. “La via vie” is the evidence of the wildean idea that the power and the beauty of art (imagination, magic) lay in its distinction from the necessities and vulgarities of utilitarian life. Indeed, art should never imitate life -life, on the contrary, should aspire to the uselessness of art. In his first musical parade -“Ski lodge serenade”- Barry Gemso took music as a source of amusement (tourism in ski lodges and private St Tropez beaches) and pastime (camp hedonism and how to get on high society) epìtomising the euphoric carefree spirit of pop. In this second LP the man in question, a snobbish character auspicied by catalysts and producers Toby Robinson and Orson Presence (The Monochrome Set), is more into decadence and romanticism (attributed to his disordered life-style or to the lure of pop star dissipation?). The musical imagery of Barry’s songs and the numerous musical settings combine humour, pathos, drama, pleasure and eccentricism. Some songs personify man's romantic agony and inner conflict as an integral part of human nature, but others seem to apply other aesthetic criteria and there are bursts of real optimism. Do not miss the contribution of the Japanese star Kazmi Kubo (Nelories, Kazmi with Rickies) and the poignant female lyrics of Emma and Natasha. Well, La via vie is a stellar work, the most memorable achievement in the career of Mr Gemso and the polar opposite of this era standards. Attracted by the exotic and the occult, our Romantic (imaginative, visionary, poetic, extravagant, fanciful, fantastic, unpractical, chimerical, quixotic, wild, picturesque) hero has created a fatale operetta, the incarnation of the mystery of the appeal in the physical and spiritual dimensions. In line with the fondness for mediterranean and French atmospheres there are nice bossa nova pieces and examples of “chanson de charme” in a Latin vein. Toby Robinson’s touch is golden. Orson Presence’s is silverish. Some people could regard this music as a cross between Monty and Lorraine Bowen, Françoise Hardy and Scott Walker, Momus or Louis Philippe and the Marine Girls, Pulp and My Life Story, Nico and The Divine Comedy. There are examples of “music or enjoyment as aphrodisiac” (“The Sandman”, “Future imperfect” or “Chiffon samba”), “psychoanalysis-drama pop” (“The Tyrrany of dreams”), international and cinematic intrigue (“Dial S for siren”) and the silky days of Broadway between an imaginary “Phantom of the paradise” and “Les Amants de Montparnasse” (“Wood and magic”) There are cuts about the abulia syndrome too (“The Mysteries of Life”). Among the highlights there is “Every single day” with Bid as guest singer and “Hitching a ride” that could be Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood at their best or “Fuzz” a volatile hit waiting to happen. It perplexes me that such a rare songwriting talent isn't revered all over the place. Please help us! All Barry’s grotesque and dreamlike visions are treated with a thoroughly classical perfection of technique. “La via vie” features interesting arrangements and varied instrumentation trademark Robinson & Presence. While Barry’s lyrics have hitherto been characterized by a wry wit and a sensitivity to the sound of the words themselves they didn't reveal anything about himself. Now It seems that he wishes to be more honest and open, to bare a little more of his soul and psyche. Barry is a perfectionist and at times songs are very polished. The result is an intense musical pleasure for your ears only. You will feel liberated from those weighty bonds, able through souvenir, to rediscover the extraordinary voluptuousness that circulates in Barry’s world. Timelessness and spacelessness will open you to a "great reverie," to ever-renewing sensations of flame which accelerated and slackened in pace” an anonymous fan quoted at the Casino Bar in Managua. Anyway, in the wheeling roulette of pop music, creativity and quality are still possible prices. The odds are in your favour with this record.