The wait is finally over. Four years removed from the release of its last children’s album All on a Sunday Afternoon (2012), the duo—Chris “Boom!” Wiser and Rob “Dr. Rock” Martin—return next month with their latest family album. The pair’s self-titled, thirty-five minute album is a great offering for listeners of all ages. The reasons for this are varied. One of the most notable reasons that it is so enjoyable across the board is its mix of musical styles. It reaches back to the 1970s and 80s for its musical backings. The album’s varied lyrical themes are just as important to its presentation. Last but hardly least of note in examining the album’s presentation is its companion listening guide. That’s right. It even comes with a bonus listening guide. Each element plays its own important part in the overall presentation of Sugar Free Allstars’ new album. Altogether they make this new self-titled album from SFA an early candidate for a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s best new children’s albums.
Sugar Free All Stars’ new self-titled full-length studio recording is an easy, early candidate for this year’s top new children’s albums. That is thanks in part to the album’s musical diversity Audiences will note that throughout the course of the album’s eleven songs Wiser and Martin reach back to the 1970s and 80s for the album’s body. The album’s very first trio of songs reaches back to the likes of Deep Purple, Parliament Funkadelic, and The Meters with its keyboards, guitars, and even vocal delivery style. So not only did the duo reach back in time but also reached across the musical universe for its influences on these three songs alone. That’s just the beginning, too. Fans of Jim Henson’s Muppets will love the duo’s cover of ‘Even Santa Claus Believes in You.’ If that’s not enough then the Dixieland influence evident in ‘If I Didn’t Have You,’ the barbershop sound in ‘My Dog Pete’ and the old school 80s rap sound in ‘Break Dancin’’ is sure to keep listeners of all ages entertained. And that is still not all of the influences exhibited throughout this. There is far more from beginning to end for audiences to appreciate. That being the case the next logical step is to examine the album’s lyrical content. It is just as varied as the album’s musical arrangements and influences.
The arrangements presented throughout the course of Sugar Free Allstars is in itself an extremely important part of the album’s presentation. That is because while the music is influenced from a close span of years, the styles presented throughout the record vary quite a bit. The lyrical themes that are presented across the record’s eleven songs vary just as much. The album’s opener is a fun piece that centers on a monster truck of all things. This critic dares anyone to find another kindie rock act that has ever crafted a song about a monster truck or een one as fun as this one. Older audiences will love the little joke about a Hyundai being mixed in with a bunch of buses that are being jumped in this song. And most older audiences will be just as surprised to find themselves wanting to rev their engines as they hear the call to rev the truck’s engine. And who won’t be able to relate to the silliness in ‘Grumpapotamus (and the Crankosaurus Rex)? Everyone has encountered these two unhappy figures. ‘Break Dancin’ is another great example of the wide variance of the album’s lyrical content. Think that’s all? Wrong. The album’s closer is a great little piece about a robot rabbit. That’s right. It’s called ‘BunnyBot.’ And it takes its cue from the old sci-fi flicks of the age just as much as the song’s musical content reaches back to the days of Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. It’s just one more example of how the album’s lyrical content proves to be just as important to the album as its varied musical influences and arrangements. Even with that noted there is still more to note in regards to the album’s presentation. The album’s companion listening guide rounds out the most notable elements of the album’s presentation.
The musical and lyrical content presented throughout the course of Sugar Free Allstars’ thirty-five minute run time are equally important in their own right to the album’s presentation. As important as they are to the album’s presentation they are not the album’s only notable elements. The album’s companion listening guide is just as important to its presentation as its music and lyrics. The listening guide clearly spells out the influences exhibited in each song. It also gives direct cues as to the elements for which audiences should listen in each song. This is a double positive. It is primarily a positive in that the noted influences serve as a starting point to get younger listeners interested in the groups that laid the foundation for today’s music industry. The same can be said for the “Listen For” cues that are also included with each song. They can even serve as a starting point for discussions on music theory. That being the case, the album’s companion listening guide is a notable addition to its presentation in that is serves as an educational tool of sorts both for younger listeners and their older counterparts. Together with the album’s musical and lyrical content all three elements come together to make Sugar Free Allstars an album that may be free of sugar but definitely not fun. As a matter of fact they come together to make the album an early candidate for a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new children’s albums.
Sugar Free Allstars is one of this year’s early picks for the year’s best new children’s albums. That is thanks in part to the musical arrangements presented throughout the album’s body. The arrangements reach across the musical universe even while they reach back to a very specific era. The album’s lyrical themes are just as varied as its musical content. And thanks to the album’s companion listening guide listeners of all ages will learn all about those influences. The end result will be discussions on the acts that formed the foundation of today’s music industry and their importance in the history of the musical universe. All things considered they make Sugar Free Allstars a record that is free of sugar but not fun and that is one of the year’s top new children’s musical offerings. It will be available Friday, April 1st in stores and online but can be pre-ordered now at http://sugarfreeallstars.com/__PRE-ORDER_NEW_ALBUM__.html. More information on Sugar Free Allstars is available online now along with all of the latest news from the Sugar Free Allstars at:
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