In 2001, Gary Reynolds released a singer-songwriter compilation record on small indie Electrokitty, with other underground pop songwriters including Peter Bongiorno, Dan Cohen, and Rene Gosch. Otherwise, he seems to have been wood-shedding his brand of terse but catchy tune-crafting, the best examples here being the defensively-single "Living By Myself" (reminiscent of John Hiatt's cranky odes to bachelorhood), and the melancholic Candy Butchers-style cracked-confessional pop of "Instant Happiness. The ode to splintered friendship "Elijah," with its nice string-laden fade-out, is particularly affecting. The sensual oddity "The Food Song" is also notable, layered with tasty lines about consumable passion.
There is a great album in Reynolds, and while Instant Happiness may not be it yet, I'm sure it will come — he has a playful, accessible style that would make you want to listen to anything he sings. He seems prolific enough that lesser songs like "Telephone Girl" will fall to the bottom of the pile as he keeps working out his salvation through songcraft.
From his almost-perfect John Lennon-style vocal melodies, lyrics of clarity, and ability to make the piano a lead instrument without it being all prim like those keyboard-based hacks on VH-1, I look forward to what Reynolds will be delivering in the future. In the meantime, there's plenty of occasional tracks here to enjoy, and I bet his live shows are ones to remember.