Kindie-rock star Riff Rockit released his latest album If I Could Fly last week. The album, his second so far this year, is a solid follow-up his previous release, the fully Spanish-language album Luz Verde Vamos. This latest release includes a trio of songs from that album, translated completely into English. The feline-centric song ‘Mr. Tux’ is one of those songs. It is also one of the most enjoyable of those songs and one of the best songs included in this album, too. Just as enjoyable is the seasonably fitting ‘Beach.’ As if that isn’t enough, Rockit has also crafted a birthday song for a whole new generation in the simply titled ‘Birthday.’ Forget the classic ‘Happy Birthday.’ This is a whole new birthday song that will have kids and even parents wanting to sing. The songs noted here are just a few examples of will most certainly make this record a favorite among both kids and their parents. The remaining seven tracks not noted each make If I Could Fly just as enjoy able by themselves. Together with the noted tracks, they make If I Could Fly a record that could soar into any critic’s list of the year’s best new children’s albums.
If I Could Fly is highlighted by so many enjoyable songs both for children and adults. Any one of the album’s ten total tracks could serve as a representative single for this release. The most enjoyable of the album’s tracks—in the eyes of this critic—is a song that Rockit carried over from his most recent album Luz Verde Vamos. The song in question is titled ‘Mr. Tux.’ It is a song centered on a rather well-to-do celebrity feline, believe it or not. While the song’s lyrics will entertain both children and their parents, the song’s 80s style sound will take many parents back in time. The use of the guitars and keyboards in this song is a direct throwback to another era of music. Yet somehow, Riff Rockit has somehow taken that sound and improved on it in this case. The song’s lyrical side makes the song even more fun for listeners. Riff Rockit sings in this song about a tuxedo cat named…well…Mr. Tux. He sings of the cat that he is definitely living the good life. He sings that the cat in question is “Black and white/A fur machine/The coolest kitten in Los Angeles…Got a mansion in the canyon/Yeah, he’s living it good…Making movies/Livin’ the life….he loves to dance/Rocks every gig/he is a legend on the sunset strip.” Needless to say, this is one cat that is living in the lap of luxury. One can so easily see this cat living it up as Riff Rockit sings about the fancy feline, too. That vivid imagery and infectious club style grooves are sure to entertain listeners over and over.
‘Mr. Tux’ is a fun song for listeners of any age. It’s so fun because for starters it is original. It is one more example of what makes children’s music just as fun as music for grown-ups if not more fun. The fact that it can take the classic sounds of the 80s and update them makes the song even better. As enjoyable as ‘Mr. Tux’ is, there are still other examples of what makes If I Could Fly work as well as it does. One of those other examples comes in the form of the pleasantly relaxing ‘Beach.’ This song’s music lyrics perfectly mirror one another. It would have been so easy to make it another up-tempo song that so many songs of a day at the beach prove to be. Rockit took the road less traveled road instead with this composition. It takes the vantage point of someone simply appreciating the calm and simplicity of being at the beach. He sings in this song, “sitting by the ocean/Cool summer breeze/Sitting by the ocean/I love/I love/I love/The beach.” The classic 80s style guitar solo incorporated into the song’s bridge adds just enough accent to the song to make it really work. Audiences can close their eyes and visualize every word in their own theater of dreams. Visions of a person sitting on the beach on the first morning of summer just after sunrise come to mind. The waves are gently hitting the sand. It is its own song celebrating summer. That individuality and gentle melody makes this song stand out so well as another of this album’s best moments. It still isn’t the last of those moments, either. There is still one more song on this album that serves as an example of what makes it “fly.” That song is Rockit’s very own ‘Birthday’ song.
‘Birthday’ is a good mid-tempo rocker that is certain to have parents and kids alike clapping and singing along. He sings over the song’s somewhat driving sound, “Well it’s your birthday/Gonna have a party/Everybody’s getting’ ready/Don’t it feel good/You got your favorite music/So let’s get to it/These balloons blown up/Hats for all your friends/Today is your birthday/So let’s have a party/Take lots of pictures/And celebrate you’re one year older/Have all your friends over/For fun and ice cream and cake/Happy birthday to you.” If one didn’t know any better, one could almost argue that Rockit’s guitar solos hint a little bit at and AC/DC influence, believe it or not. They actually sound a little bit like Angus’ guitar lien from AC/DC’s hit ‘Highway to Hell’ go figure. They have a certain little kick and sound about them that hints at that influence. Audiences will hear for themselves when they purchase this album for their own children. Potential influences aside, parents and children alike will agree in listening to this song that they will want this song playing at their next birthday party instead of the more standard ‘Happy Birthday.’ It is that fun and catchy. That musical and lyrical catchiness together make it one more of so many songs from this album that is ready for radio airplay. And together with the songs not noted here, it becomes one more part of an album that makes a solid argument for a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s best new children’s albums.
Riff Rockit currently has no tour dates scheduled. However, parents and children can find out when his next live performance will be online via his official Facebook page, website, and Twitter page. They can also keep up with all of his latest news and updates through both sites. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to the Phil’s Picks Facebook page and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog, too.