Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights’ new full length release, Bandwagon is another fun album for kids from the kindie-rock quartet. The album—the third from the group in roughly as many years—keeps the pop elements from the group’s previous releases and adds a little more flair with even more of a musical mix this time out. Along with the more poppy elements of the group’s previous elements, this album includes some rockabilly, bluegrass, blues, country, and even a little island music vibe throughout the record. That musical variety and the songs that are easily relatable to younger audiences make Bandwagon another nice release from Mrs. Leeds and company.
The album’s opener, ‘Are We There Yet’ is a fun opener that will have parents laughing and kids singing. The semi-1960s vibe of the song makes it just as catchy to parents as it will be to younger listeners. And lyrically, it will leave parents laughing because of just how real it is, while kids will laugh just for the song’s fun nature. What parent hasn’t been in the situation presented in this song? Leeds sings, “It’s 6 AM and we’re on our way/Family vacation has come today/I sit in my car seat and I say/”Hey, are we there yet?/Are we there yet?”” Being that we are now coming into the annual Summer travel season, it’s fitting that this would be the first impression from the band on this new record. The song’s playful nature somewhat serves as a reminder to parents that that’s just how things are. Because it is so playful and poppy, playing this on the family vacation trip might actually entertain the kids ironically and keep moms and dads happy in turn.
Just as it’s fitting that this album opens with a song fit for the annual family trip, the album’s second song, ‘Back To School’ will be a good way to get kids excited about the new school year later in the Fall. It presents the joys of going back to school after an adventure filled Summer. From the joys of seeing friends again to having new classes and teachers, and having new stuff for a new year, it shows why going back to school isn’t so bad. Parents that listen to this song with their kids will appreciate this song for that reason. They will also appreciate it for the subtle reference to legendary John Hughes character Ferris Bueller, from the movie, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Leeds sings of Bueller, “I’ve got pencils and a ruler/Won’t cut like Ferris Bueller/I just can’t wait, wait, wait/To get back to school.” This along with the song’s poppy vibe is sure to make it one more favorite for listeners of all ages.
Along with songs about vacation and going back to school, parents will appreciate the Leeds and her band mates have also written s song that promotes healthy eating in ‘Nutritions.’ At a time when childhood obesity is a hot button issue nationwide, this song is one more salvo in the fight against childhood obesity. Leeds sings in the song, “Don’t give no attitude/If you eat the things that come from the land/You’ll grow stronger/Good nutrition’s everywhere/Yeah!” She goes on telling her young listeners to stay away from candy and ice cream and focus more on eating healthy greens. This is a message that so many kids need and that parents need to teach their kids (especially through example). So not only is this an important piece for kids, it’s just as important for adults, too if they want to be positive role models to their kids.
The songs on the new album from Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights make this latest release plenty of fun both for kids and their parents, as they will hear in listening to each of the album’s fifteen tracks. The album’s packaging is a positive to its overall presentation, too. The album, which is due out June 25th via Limbostar, is presented in a gatefold package. As has been noted with other CD releases, this is safer than having a hard plastic case, as such cases can easily be cracked. They also present just as much risk of water damage as a CD placed in a gatefold package. So that argument is instantly shot down for anyone that would try to use it. Inside the gatefold packaging are lyrics to the songs from the first half of the album. So why not include the lyrics to the second half of the songs? Who knows? But the songs are so easy to understand that that’s a moot point. Lyrics or not, everything that has gone into making this album paid off as it’s one more enjoyable album for kids released this year.
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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.