Four years ago The Whizpops first broke out in the world of children’s music with the release of the band’s debut album Adventures of Stretch McCoy. The sixteen song record was an impressive first impression for the band as it took listeners into the forest and presented songs about just some of the animals that call the forest home. It was also the first time that the band had teamed up with the National Wildlife Federation and its mascot, Ranger Rick. Now flash forward to 2016. The band has teamed up with Ranger Rick and the NWF once again for its latest album Ranger Rick’s Trail Mix Vol. 1. The band’s fourth new full-length studio recording, it is another fun musical trip into the wild. That is due in part to the varied sounds presented throughout the album’s eleven songs. The topics tackled within each song are just as important to the record’s presentation as its varied musical styles. Last but hardly least of note in the record’s presentation is its sequencing. Each elements plays its own important part in the record’s presentation. Altogether they make Ranger Rick’s Trail Mix Vol. 1 yet another “wildly” fun record from The Whizpops.
Ranger Rick’s Trail Mix Vol. 1, is a “wildly” fun new offering from The Whizpops. The band’s fourth full-length studio recording, it is also the third time that the Missoula, Montana-based band has taken listeners into the wild. The first time was in 2012 in its debut album Adventures of Stretch McCoy. Then in 2012, the band took listeners under the waves in Sea Blue Sea. Now the band is headed back to the forest once again, even teaming with The National Wildlife Federation and its mascot Ranger Rick for the record, thus the album’s title. One would think that considering that the band has already taken listeners out into nature not once but twice before, originality would be something hard to come by for a third time. However the band managed to prove that misconception wrong in this record beginning with its varied musical styles. The styles in question include hints of pop, blues, reggae, and even rock throughout the course of its eleven songs. What’s more audiences will note some very familiar sounds in at least two of those songs. ‘Black Footed Ferret’ is a prime example of that familiarity in musical styles. The song sounds very similar to Maroon 5’s hit song ‘This Love.’ It’s not the only song that boasts a familiar sound. ‘Everything’s Better With A Moustache (Walrus Song)’ is quite similar stylistically speaking, to certain Weezer songs right down to the use of the keyboards and vocal delivery style. And ‘Monarch’ instantly conjures thoughts of Bob Marley and the Whalers both with its musical arrangement and vocals. Ironically, it’s a song about Monarch Butterflies. Strangely enough the juxtaposition of that lyrical and musical content works. That will be discussed later. For now however, it should be clear through these examples just why the album’s musical diversity is so important to its presentation. They are just a few of the songs that could be cited in supporting that argument, too. ‘Polar Bear’ takes listeners back to the days when Disco was king. ‘Gulo Gulo (Wolverine)’ is based on a solid hip-hop/Dixieland hybrid sound and ‘Extinction Really Stinks’ offers up its own interest. The song’s chorus makes listeners think of older, celebrity-driven songs such as ‘We Are The World’ and ‘Do Thy Know It’s Christmas.’ At the same time the song’s piano intro is somewhat similar to Motley Crue’s ‘Home Sweet Home.’ There are even other sections in the song that conjure thoughts of Elton John due to the piano arrangement in said sections. It is enough to really stand out quite starkly from the album’s other songs. Whether through that song or any of the others cited here, it should be clear just why the musical arrangements presented in Ranger Rick’s Trail Mix Vol. 1 is so important to its presentation. The arrangements in question are collectively just one part of what makes this record so “wildly” fun. The topics that are tackled in the course of the record’s thirty-five minute run time are just as important to its presentation as its varied musical styles.
The varied musical styles presented throughout the course of The Whizpops’ new record are important in their own right to the record’s overall presentation. They boast sounds that some might find very familiar and sounds that are entirely original. They are, collectively speaking, just part of what makes this album such a “wildly” fun offering from the band. The topics (animals) that are tackled in the record play their own part in the album’s fun. What’s really interesting in noting the different animals here is that not all of them live in the forest. The walrus and polar bear are both native to the Earth’s Arctic region while the Monarch Butterfly is native to many regions of the United States, even breeding in Mexico. Even more contrast is that of the bison, swift fox, California Condor, and Pika. These animals are spread out across America’s various regions from the plains (Bison, Swift Fox, and Black Footed Ferrit) of the Midwest to the mountains and cooler climes of the Rocky Mountains and Pacific Northwest (Pika—pronounced py-kuh), to the west coast and southwest (California Condor) the animals featured here come from every corner of the country and beyond. That’s just the top of the iceberg, too. The song’s don’t just feature the animals in question but what makes each animal unique from the others. The case of the ‘California Condor’ is just one example of that specific notation. The song notes how the California Condor is nature’s garbage man. ‘Bison’ addresses the impact that humans have had on the once great masters of the plains. ‘Gulo Gulo’ discusses Wolverines’ scavenging nature and the importance of that behavior within their larger ecosystem. ‘Black Footed Ferret’ approaches the relationship that the role of the animals in question to their prey (prairie dogs) and other unique properties of the ferret. It’s just one more way in which the album’s lyrical content proves so important to the album’s presentation. The rest of the album’s songs could be cited just as easily in that statement, too. All things considered the combination of the songs’ musical and lyrical content makes even clearer why this new record is such a “wildly” fun new offering from The Whizpops. They are not the only key elements to the record’s presentation. The album’s sequencing is the last of its most notable elements.
The musical and lyrical content presented in The Whizpops’ new record are both key in their own way to the album’s overall presentation. That is because of the entertainment and educational content that they offer. They are not the album’s only important elements. The album’s sequencing is just as important to note as its overall content. Audiences will note in listening through the record that it maintains a relatively steady energy throughout the majority of the record’s body. The only point at which it even remotely lays back is in ‘Monarch.’ And even at that point, the energy only pulls back a little at the most. That reserved vibe follows the band on through to the end of the album even as powerful as that last song becomes in its chorus. The end result of the album’s sequencing is an album that will keep listeners engaged with its expertly balanced energy. That energy, when coupled with the album’s musical and lyrical content, makes for an album that will not only keep listeners engaged but entertained, too. All things considered, Ranger Rick’s Trail Mix Volume 1 a “wildly” fun new offering from The Whizpops.
The Whizpops’ new album Ranger Rick’s Trail Mix Volume 1 is a “wildly” fun new offering for audiences of all ages. That is due in part to a musical variety that will entertain listeners of all ages. There are some original pieces that will entertain younger listeners set right alongside other pieces that older audiences will appreciate, too. That is thanks to the the similarity of those songs, stylistically speaking, to acts that only those older audiences will know (I.E. Weezer, Maroon 5, Motley Crue, Elton John). That mix of far-reaching musical content is just one part of what makes the album so enjoyable. The album’s lyrical content plays its own important part in the record’s presentation, too. That is because of the equally wide range of animals featured throughout the body of the record. The expertly-balanced energy in the album’s sequencing rounds out the record’s presentation. It is just as certain to keep listeners engaged as the songs’ musical and lyrical content is to keep them entertained. Each element proves its own importance in the bigger picture of the record. Altogether they make this album, again, a “wildly” fun record for audiences of all ages. It is available now in stores and online. More information on Ranger Rick’s Trail Mix Volume 1 is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news at:
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