“Kid-Hop” rapper Secret Agent 23 Skidoo drops his latest album later this month. The Perfect Quirk will be released in stores and online Tuesday, June 24th. The album, his fourth full length studio effort, is one that audiences of all ages will appreciate. That’s thanks to its mix of pop culture references, catchy beats, and songs that range lyrically from the positive to the playful. Whether it be a song promoting self-confidence in ‘3 Pointed Back,’ an aptly quirky song about a child’s imaginary (or is he?) friend in ‘Imaginary Friend,’ or the summer anthem that is ‘Unwind,’ Secret Agent 23 Skidoo and his friends offer something fun for everyone on this record. That includes the songs not noted here, too.
Secret Agent 23 Skidoo offers something for audiences of all ages on his latest release, The Perfect Quirk. One prime example of this comes in the form of the full-on hip-hop piece that is ‘3 Pointed Back.’ The song’s musical side is well worth noting within itself. That’s because it will have parents and kids alike nodding their heads. Some older audiences might even catch something of a Jurassic 5 influence on the song’s musical side. Even Skidoo himself sounds like one member of the famed hip-hop group, which is currently in the midst of a reunion tour. Listeners familiar with Jurassic 5 will hear that as Skidoo raps on the track, “I’m a hip-hop lover/Rap like no other/They call me Secret Agent/But I’m never undercover/Rock loud to the crowd/Bounce like rubber/But I had to build my skills and discover/For a long time/I had all the wrong rhymes/But I kept trying/To make the song shine/Grab a notebook/Compose a tune to pen/Take a close look/Start over/Do it again/And as I was developin’/People who had never been/Inspired/Laughed like I was unintelligent/Like I’m the crazy one/Stupid for doing this/While they were making’ fun/Cupid was shooting his arrow in my heart/Cause I love to rap/Years later my songs are like thunderclaps/It left ‘em all quiet…I’m on fire/You wanna diss this/Don’t try it.” The message he sends to listeners here is clear. He is telling his audiences that no matter how much people may ridicule, no matter how much smack they might talk, one should never let the naysayers get one’s self down. He is telling his listeners that no matter what, everyone should follow their dreams despite the haters that will come into the picture. That positive message set alongside the song’s infectious beats makes this song the brightest spot on the whole record. The songs other verses shared by fellow rappers Tom West and Saki Sullivan drive that message home even more thus making the song all the more enjoyable.
‘3 Pointed Back’ is a prime example of what makes The Perfect Quirk the fun record that it is. The song’s musical base is pure hip-hop at its finest. The song’s lyrical content teaches a valuable lesson that promotes self-confidence. It isn’t the only song that tackles a serious issue. Parents and children will both appreciate the positive messages presented in ‘Caught in the Screen’ and ‘You’re It.’ ‘Caught in the Screen’ tries to get kids to spend less time sitting in front of the television. ‘You’re It’ is a simple song meant to tell young listeners that there was a reason they were born. It’s another piece promoting self-confidence in young listeners. All three songs are excellent additions to the album. And collectively, they make the album all the more enjoyable from start to finish.
The positive lessons shared through the album’s trio of more “serious” songs are important additions to The Perfect Quirk in their own right. Much in the same vein, the album’s more fun and easygoing songs play their own role as well. One of the best of those songs is the album’s third track, ‘Imaginary Friend.’ Who hasn’t had an imaginary friend at one point or another in their childhood? What child today doesn’t or hasn’t had an imaginary friend? This song embraces the concept of the imaginary friend. It could almost be argued that it embraces that concept and celebrates it in a manner of speaking. As Skidoo describes him, Pickles the imaginary friend is quite the figure. He writes of Pickles that “his favorite food is mustard popsicles/He’s got green hair/And orange skin/And nobody has fun more than him/He’s the sort of friend nobody can see/Nobody but me/You’re like/what do you mean/He’s imaginary/Invisible/But he’s never scary/Nah/He’s really cool/He’s silly too/He’s an acrobat/He does backflips/While we play hacky sack/Nobody fast as us/Won’t be running races/But he cracks me up/Making funny faces.” Pickles is, needless to say, quite the original figure. Skidoo goes on to write that Pickles thinks he’s real and that his friend is indeed the one that’s imaginary. It’s such a fun and funny song. The catchy hip-hop musical backing adds even more enjoyment to the song. There’s no doubt in the mind of this critic that this song will have listeners of all ages dancing and rapping along. It is that catchy and fun.
‘Imaginary Friend’ and ‘3 Pointed Back’ are two great additions to The Perfect Quirk thanks to their mix of catchy music and equally catchy and positive lyrical content. There is at least one more equally great addition to the album showing just what makes it so fun. That song is fittingly titled, ‘Unwind.’ ‘Unwind’ is a song that celebrates summer. It celebrates all the joys of being a kid on vacation. Go figure, all the things that Skidoo raps about on this song, kids will be doing this and every summer. He even throws in a pop culture in the reference to the classic comic strip Calvin and Hobbes. Many parents will get the reference and definitely appreciate it. In turn, those parents will be able to share in not only the joy of this song but in the joy that Calvin and Hobbes brought them as children. They can then pass on that same joy to their own children. That parents and children can share in the joy of a classic comic strip thanks to a song in which they will also be able to share is a massive statement in favor of this song. And together with the album’s other songs –both those noted and those not directly noted—it becomes one more part of what makes The Perfect Quirk an easy contender for a spot on this critic’s list of the year’s top new children’s albums.
The Perfect Quirk will be available in stores and online Tuesday, June 24th. Secret Agent 23 Skidoo will embark on a U.S. tour this summer in support of the album beginning this Saturday with a hometown show in Asheville, North Carolina at the All Go West Fest. Admission for the all ages concert is free. He will return to Asheville on Sunday, July 27th after performing in Hickory, North Carolina and Black Mountain, North Carolina leading first. Audiences can get Skidoo’s latest tour schedule and all of the latest news from him online at http://secretagent23skidoo.com and http://www.facebook.com/secretagent23skidoo. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.