The Bouncing Souls is one of the most prolific names in the world of punk rock. The band, headed by Greg Attonito, has released a total of nine full-length studio albums since its formation in 1988. Through hard work and determination, the band has served as one of the most influential acts within its sector of the punk world. Its sound can be heard from the likes of Bowling For Soup and others. Considering its influence in the punk world and its accomplishments, one can’t help but wonder why Attonito changed course a couple years ago and started up the kindie rock act Play Date with his wife Shanti Wintergate. The husband and wife duo are the only ones that likely know the answer to that one. Regardless, it can be said of the pair’s new album We All Shine that it is a “shining” new offering from them. The main element that makes it such a “bright” new recording from Attonito and Wintergate is its musical diversity. That will be discussed shortly. Just as important is the record’s lyrical diversity. That will be discussed later. Last but definitely not least of note is the album’s overall sequencing. It, alongside the album’s musical and lyrical content, ensures that listeners of all ages will remain engaged from beginning to end. And in doing so, they will all agree that Play Date’s sophomore LP is a record that shines just as brightly as those that listen to it.
Play Date’s new LP We All Shine is a fittingly titled first effort for Bouncing Souls front man Greg Attonito and his wife Shanti Wintergate. The main element that makes it such a worthwhile listen is its variety of musical styles. From beginning to end, the fourteen-song, forty-one minute record presents an interesting amalgam of sounds. ‘Stevie The Fox,’ the album’s opener boasts something of a light, indie pop sound while ‘Ninja Pajamas’ and ‘Ruin Your Apetite’ exhibit a hip-hop and indie rock sound respectively. Even the album’s title track, which comes late in the album’s run, boasts its own bouncy, pop sound that is sure to get young listeners moving. Wintergate’s gentle lullaby closer ‘Goodnight’ is yet another example of how the album’s variety of sounds makes it well worth the album. While it is a lullaby (and Wintergate’s vocals are beautiful here, too), the song’s overall sound takes listeners on a musical trip back to the 1950s with its easygoing 3/4 vibe. It’s a fitting finale for the album considering this and the sounds that are exhibited within each of the album’s other songs. And even being such a fitting finale for the album it is not the only remaining song that can be cited as an example of the importance of the album’s musical content. There are other sounds throughout the record that audiences will appreciate and enjoy just as much. Altogether, the sounds exhibited across the record do plenty to make this album shine. For all of the importance of the album’s musical content in its overall presentation, the music alone does not make the record. The album’s lyrical content is just as important as its musical content.
The varied musical styles presented throughout the course of Play Date’s debut album are undeniably important to its overall presentation. While there’s no denying their importance in the record’s presentation, the importance of the album’s lyrical content cannot be denied either. There are just as many different topics presented throughout We All Shine as there are musical styles. There are four songs that present the value and importance of eating healthy. They are spread out evenly across the album’s body, too. That will be discussed shortly in the discussion on the album’s sequencing. The songs in question are just as even in their attention to their topics. Two of the four focus on the benefits of two specific fruits. The other two focus on the benefits of two specific vegetables. On a completely different note, the album’s title track takes on the issue of ecology and caring for Earth. The duo sings here, “We are all part of a great humanity/Working all together to make life for you and me/Planet Earth is our home in this great big galaxy/We all shine/We all shine like the stars.” The duo goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “Winds blowing/A million seeds fall to the ground/Beneath our feet/Plants and rock and waves that crash/Raindrops make the puddles splash/Standing tall we have the trees/Giving us the air to breathe/We give it back and watch them grow/It’s all a part of a great show.” It’s a simple approach to an important topic. And in being so simple, it is sure to reach the pair’s intended audiences. If that isn’t enough proof of the importance of the album’s lyrical content, the concept behind ‘Cardboard Box’ will help achieve that goal. The song is a simple piece that is sung from the vantage point of a young child enjoying an empty cardboard box. The child envisions the box as his/her own race car, rocket ship, and even robot friend among so many other items. That innocence and imagination is something that adults sadly lack. It’s just another way in which the lyrical content presented in We All Shine proves to be just as important as the album’s musical content. Both elements together make We All Shine a record that does indeed shine.
Both the musical and lyrical content that is displayed throughout the course of Play Date’s new album are equally important in its own right to the album’s overall presentation. While both elements play equally important parts in the album’s presentation they are not the only elements that play a role in said presentation. The album’s sequencing is just as important to the album as its content. The first half of the album moves along at a relatively solid, up-tempo pace with Wintergate handling most of the lead vocal duties before pulling back just for a moment in the album’s mid-point, ‘Ninja Pajamas.’ From there, things pick right back up before gradually slowing down over the course of the album’s final four tracks. ‘We All Shine’ is not slow per se. But in comparison to the rest of the material presented in this recording it is not as up-tempo. The only real up-tempo piece in this last group of songs comes in the last of the ‘Fruits and Vegetables” reprisals. After that one last burst of musical energy (so to speak) Wintergate and Attonito really slow things down in ‘The Owl Song’ before gently closing out the album in ‘Goodnight.’ That is a lot to take in, given. But what it shows in whole is that a certain amount of thought was given to the album’s sequencing. Wintergate and Attonito used the album’s musical content to form a foundation for their album that would ensure listeners’ engagement. The songs’ lyrical content built on that foundation from one song to the next, ensuring even more that the pair would be able to hold listeners’ attention. That is evident as the duo obviously intentionally spaced out the healthy eating songs—the ‘Fruits & Vegetables’ segments—every few songs. It wasn’t just a random tossing of songs here and there. They were used to break up the album but at the same time keep that little bug in listeners’ ears about trying different foods. They kept coming back to it. It shows a deliberate attention to children’s health even among everything else presented in this album. Keeping all of this in mind, We All Shine’s sequencing proves in the end to be just as important to the album as its musical and lyrical content if not more so. Together with those elements, all three elements make We All Shine a record that shines brightly in its own right.
Play Date’s sophomore LP We All Shine is an album that lives up to its title quite well. It is an album that shines brightly in its own right. That is thanks in large part to the collective musical and lyrical content of the fourteen songs that make up the album’s body. Together, the musical and lyrical content ensures listeners’ engagement thanks to songs that will reach and entertain both children and adults alike. The album’s sequencing is just as important to the album as its overall content. That is evident in the manner in which its musical energy is distributed throughout the record. The album’s energy is balanced expertly right up to its final few songs, which see the duo gradually slow things down before gently laying listeners on another musical shore at the album’s end. The lyrical content displayed throughout the course of the album’s songs is just as important as its musical energy. It doesn’t stick to just one subject or another. It goes from one topic to another, even revisiting the topic of healthy food options not once, not twice, not even three times, but four times. That is a telling statement about the album’s emphasis. And together with all of the album’s other topics, shows again the importance of the sequencing of the songs in regards to their lyrical content. Whether for that balance of musical and lyrical content or for the album’s overall content itself, We All Shine shows in whole why it shines in itself. It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered direct via Play Date’s official website at http://www.iloveplaydate.com/music/. More information on We All Shine is available online along with information on Play Date and its latest news at:
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.