Veteran children’s entertainer Raffi is one of the most prolific names in the world of children’s music. That is because over the course of his decades-long career he has made music time and again that both entertains and educates listeners of all ages, each time giving listeners something different and original. His new album Owl Singalong is no different in that aspect. The sixteen-track, thirty-seven minute album presents a variety of different musical styles coupled with just as many different lyrical topics for an experience that will keep listeners of all ages engaged from beginning to end. The sequencing of the songs is just as important as the songs’ makeup. Together with their makeup, all three elements make this record an offering that in the end proves just as important in home as it is in any early childhood educator’s classroom. Such importance makes valid the argument that Owl Singalong is 2016’s first great album for children.
Raffi’s latest full-length studio recording Owl Singalong is 2016’s first great album for children. The main reason for that is the musical content presented across the course of the sixteen-song record. From the album’s dixieland rag style opener/title track to the reggae-infused ‘Green Dream’ to the Latin-tinged ‘Somos El Barco’ right to the album’s closer, the African standard ‘Abiyoyo,’ Raffi presents listeners with quite the variety of musical stylings. And these are just a few examples of how many different musical styles are presented across this album. Raffi’s take on the standard ‘See The Moon’ conjures thoughts of days long gone when men would wear pinstripe suits and serenade ladies. This is especially the case as Raffi sings an gently strums a ukulele. There’s even a nice blues-infused tune in the form of ‘Who Hoo Could I Be.’ If the blues sound isn’t enough, there are also brief moments in this song in which Raffi tries to impersonate Bob Dylan (believe it or not). Older listeners that are fans of Dylan’s work will appreciate that. But they will have to listen closely to catch those subtle moments. The subtle manner in which he included said impersonation makes the song’s musical content all the more enjoyable. ‘Garden Song,’ which comes later in the album’s run is just as impressive with its light country/Americana sound fleshed out by the use of a guitar, ukulele and fiddle as its foundation. For those wanting something a little more traditional in the way of standard children’s songs, that sound is included here, too in the form of ‘Dog On The Bus,’ ‘I’m Not Small,’ and ‘You May Be A Triangle.’ Whether one prefers that more standard sound or any of the various sounds presented across this record, listeners in whole will agree that the inclusion of so many different sounds forms a solid foundation for Owl Singalong and gives listeners of all ages plenty of reason to hear this latest offering from one of the greatest names in children’s music. Of course the variety of sounds presented throughout the record is just one reason that audiences will enjoy it. The lyrical content presented throughout the record is just as important to its presentation as the musical content.
The musical presented over the course of Owl Singalong’s almost forty-minute run time is key to the album’s presentation. That is because much as with his previous albums, Raffi doesn’t stick to just one style of music at any point here. Rather he switches things up from one song to the next from the album’s opener to its end. The musical variety isn’t the only variety that keeps Owl Singalong interesting. Raffi presents just as much variety in the songs’ lyrical content throughout. The album’s opener/title track sees Raffi singing about (you guessed it) an owl singing in the bright light of a full moon. That simple, fun topic coupled with the song’s equally light musical content makes it in whole a great start to this record. ‘I’m Not Small’ and ‘You May Be A Triangle’ both present wonderful messages about self-confidence in their own special way. ‘Green Dream’ with its reggae-infused sound, teaches the importance of caring for the planet. It’s a fitting combination of music and lyrics. ‘Who Hoo Could I Be’ is another good example of the importance of the lyrical content within the album’s featured songs. It is just a fun song that asks “Who could I be?” The seeming point of the question is the answer that “it doesn’t matter who or what I am. I just want to sing this song to make you smile.” And put a smile on listeners’ faces it definitely will do. It’s just a fun, bluesy piece meant to get listeners’ toes tapping and let them know in no uncertain terms that is meant to make listeners feel good. It is hardly the last song that could be cited as an example of what makes Owl Singalong’s lyrical content so important to the record’s overall presentation. ‘Abiyoyo,’’Somos El Barco,’ and ‘Dans La Foret Lointaine’ could each be cited as examples of the importance of the album’s lyrical content, too. All things considered, the lyrical content presented throughout the course of Owl Singalong’s near forty-minute run time proves in the end to be just as important as the album’s musical content. The two elements together form a solid foundation for the album on which the album’s final important element rests. That final element is the album’s sequencing.
Both the musical and lyrical content presented in the body of Owl Singalong are equally important in their own right to the album’s overall presentation. While both elements are of the utmost importance to the album both by themselves and together, they are not the album’s only important elements. The album’s sequencing is just as important to its whole as its musical and lyrical content. The album opens with the Dixieland rag styling of the album’s opener and leads into a trio of children’s standards in the next three tracks. From there, Raffi takes listeners back to the 1920s thanks to the musical presentation of ‘See The Moon’ and then down to the Caribbean in ‘Green Dream.’ That is just the first six tracks that make up the body of Owl Singalong. He then switches gears once more from there, going back to the more light hearted children’s fare in ‘Every Day’ and ‘Dog on The Bus’ before presenting more material for older audiences in ‘Somos El Barco.’ This sort of back and forth continues through the rest of the album’s seven remaining tracks. When it’s all said and done, listeners will agree that the sequencing of Owl Singalong’s sixteen total tracks is the finishing touch to a foundation already made strong through songs that will entertain and educate at the same time. They will agree that all three elements taken into collective consideration, they make Owl Singalong yet another impressive new collection of songs from a legendary artist in his own right and one that is also the first great children’s album of 2016.
Owl Singalong, Raffi’s latest full-length studio recording, is an impressive new collection of songs from a figure that is one of the most preeminent artists in the realm of children’s music. It is also the first great children’s album of 2016. That is made clear through the collective musical and lyrical content presented throughout the course of the album’s sixteen songs and thirty-seven minute run time. The songs both entertain and educate listeners of all ages from beginning to end through both factors. The album’s sequencing takes those songs and puts them in an order that assures listeners’ maintained engagement. Each element is important by itself to the overall listening experience in this record. Altogether, they make Owl Singalong–again–yet another enjoyable work from one of the most respected names in the realm of children’s music, and a record that is 2016’s first great children’s album. Owl Singalong will be available in stores and online on Friday, January 15th. Parents can pre-order it online now at http://www.childhonouring.org/. More information on this and other titles from Raffi is available along with Raffi’s latest news at:
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