Laurie Berkner Cements Her Place In The Family Music Community Again On Her Latest LP

Courtesy: Two Tomatoes RecordsWaldmania PR

Veteran family music entertainer Laurie Berkner has made quite the successful career for herself over the years, producing so much music for listeners of all ages.  Her music has made her one of the most respected figures in the world of family music.  Let’s Go!, her latest album — scheduled for release Friday through Two Tomatoes Records – continues to cement her reputation and her place in the family music community.  That is proven in part through the record’s musical arrangements.  They will be addressed shortly.  The lyrical content that accompanies the record’s musical arrangements also plays into the album’s appeal.  It will be discussed a little later.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.  It will be discussed later, too.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of Let’s Go! All things considered, they make the album another successful offering from Laurie Berkner.

Laurie Berkner’s latest album Let’s Go! – her 14th album – is proof of why she remains one of the most respected figures in the family music community today.  That is proven in part through the album’s featured musical arrangements.  The arrangements – 16 in all – continue to offer audiences the familiar blend of kindie pop and pre-school style arrangements for which she has come to be known throughout her career.  Building on that is the fact that the sounds within the arrangements consistently give audiences something different from one to the next.  This will be addressed a little more later in the discussion on the album’s sequencing.  Adding to the appeal even more in noting the arrangements is that they are generally relatively short in their presentation.  The shortest of the featured arrangements clocks in at only 39 seconds, while the longest comes in at three minutes, 23 seconds.  In other words, not only are the album’s musical arrangements familiar in their stylistic approach, but they are also varied in their sounds and anything but long.  Those relatively easy run times ensure listeners’ engagement and entertainment in their own way, ensuring even more appreciation for the noted stylistic approaches and sounds.   Keeping all of this in mind, the musical arrangements that are featured in Let’s Go! go a long way toward making this new offering from Laurie  Berkner worth hearing.  They make up only a portion of what audiences will appreciate from this recording.  The lyrical content that accompanies the album’s musical arrangements adds to the record’s appeal even more.

The lyrical content that accompanies the musical arrangements in Let’s Go! are important to examine because as Berkner noted during a recent interview, she crafted this record during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and was very careful about the record’s lyrical themes.  She was even tentative about releasing the album’s title track as a single, noting, “A pandemic is a strange and challenging time to make and release a new album.  What’s really important? What’s going to change completely by tomorrow? I didn’t expect a song about handwashing to end up on this album, or a song about wearing a mask, and I waited to release the title track until after we were no longer under strict stay-at-home orders because … well, where were we going to GO?”  That tentative nature paid off.  Yes, there is a pair of songs here that are related to the pandemic – ‘The Superhero Handwashing Song’ and ‘The Superhero Mask Song’ – but by and large, the lyrical themes are more everyday and in turn accessible.  As the title hints, the album’s title track/opener is a work that reflects a child’s desire to just get out and get active.  The song’s’ subject goes so far as to state that he/she is “at the door” before asking, “Where are you?/I’m ready/Let’s go/I can’t wait/How much longer will it take?”  Every parent can relate to this situation, the child just so excited to get out and go on whatever outing may be taking place.  It can be annoying, yes, but is also so endearing.  No parent can deny that feeling of joy that a child’s excitement generates in themselves. 

On a completely different note, ‘It’s Hard To Be 3’ will connect with younger listeners.  The song comes from the vantage point of a 3 year-old.  The child states here that for everything he/she says, the grown-ups say the exact opposite, adding, “If I say dog/they say cat/If I say this/They say that/If I say yes/They say no/If I want to stop/They want me to go/So I’ll say something I’m sure I know/It’s hard to be three.”  This statement seems minimal on the surface, but in the bigger picture, it is important because it reminds grown-ups of what is so easy to forget – they need to take the time to try to communicate with their children and empathize with their struggle as they develop.  It really serves as a wonderful starting point on those all-too-important discussions with parents about parental psychology and family dynamics.  To that end, it is another key way in which the album’s lyrical content proves so important to its whole. 

‘Beautiful Light’ is yet another key way in which this record’s lyrical content proves so important to the album’s presentation.  This song is a simple yet so moving song that promotes self-confidence in children.  Those reminders are just as important for children, if not more so, as for adults.  Berkner reminds children they are “beautiful lights” and that they “shine so brightly.”   The young person here reminds himself/herself, in relation,  “I’ll make my  beautiful way this world/I have a beautiful heart just like you/A heart that’s beating and connecting/A heart that knows what’s true/A heart that laughs/A heart that lives/A heart that loves/A heart that gives/I have a beautiful heart just like you.”  All of this collective content is sure to put a smile on any child’s (and grown-up’s) face.  Anyone who is not touched by this song is either just cold or not human, and as of yet, beings from other worlds have not been proven to exist here on Earth.  It is certain overall to motivate and move any listener.  What’s more it shows even more, the diversity in the album’s lyrical content and the accessibility thereof.  Keeping that in mind, this song works with the others noted here and the rest of the album’s lyrical themes to show the importance of the album’s lyrical content.  The lyrical content, together with the record’s musical arrangements, join to point to one more of the album’s important elements, its sequencing.

The sequencing of Let’s Go! is important to note because it brings together everything already examined and completes the record’s presentation.  It has already been noted that in regards to the record’s musical arrangements, each song gives listeners something different.  The drums, bass, and guitars in the album’s opener will get children moving.  At the same time, older audiences will agree that they join to make a sound that is comparable to the Strangeloves’ timeless hit single, ‘I Want Candy.’  The rhythm from the timbales and the guitar riff is undeniably similar to Berkner’s song here.  ‘When It’s Cold,’ which immediately follows, changes things with a lighter, piano-driven work.  The bluesy approach and sound here immediately changes things up.  Ironically, it has its own classic rock-style sound and approach here.  Meanwhile, a song, such as ‘I Saw a Butterfly’ changes things again, this time presenting more of a neo-folk approach.  That inference is made through the use of the fiddle, mandolin and guitar alongside Berker’s vocals.  It’s yet another way in which the sequencing of the album’s musical arrangement proves so important.  That aspect of the sequencing shows that Berker, Producer Dave Darlington, and all others involved clearly thought about spreading out the stylistic approaches to ensure listeners’ engagement and entertainment even more.  It is hardly the last way in which the sequencing of the arrangements prove important.  ‘Jumping Jack’ accounts for the noted kindie pop sound previously noted that the record exhibits.  ‘Happy New Year,’ which comes late in the album’s run, presents an infectious, funky, Latin-tinged sound and stylistic approach.  Once more, here is proof of the time and thought put into the record’s sequencing at least in the matter of the album’s musical arrangements.  It ensures the diversity in the record’s musical arrangements does its own part to keep listeners engaged and entertained.

Staying on the topic of the musical arrangements, the sequencing of the arrangements also plays into the sequencing in terms of the arrangements’ energies.  The energies in the album’s plays directly into the album’s pacing.  As already noted, the album is composed of 16 songs that run a total of 33 minutes.  In other words, the record is actually a relatively short presentation.  Even in that relatively short run time, the album’s energies are well-balanced, rising and falling in all of the right points.  This strengthens the role of the album’s sequencing that much more.

The sequencing’s importance is proven one last time in examining the album’s lyrical themes.  Right from the outset, the album takes on a child’s building energy as he/she gets more excited about going out on a family adventure.  From there, the album presents a song about a child just being cold (not in the heart strings fashion, but just the reaction to winter), and then to a child’s excitement at trying to decide what to be for Halloween.  That is just the first three of the album’s songs.  From there, the album turns to the COVID-19 pandemic, but only for the moment, before turning to the fascination of simply seeing a butterfly fluttering along and then to the excitement of going on vacation.  From that point on, the lyrical themes change just as much from one to the next right to the album’s end.  Simply put, audiences will note here that just as much thought was put into the album’s sequencing in regards to its lyrical themes as to its energies and musical diversity.  All things considered, the sequencing of Let’s Go! does just as much if not more than the album’s content to make it appealing.  It puts the finishing touch to the album, bringing everything together to complete the album.  When all things are considered wholly here, the album in whole leaves no doubt as to its success.

Laurie Berkner’s latest album Let’s Go! is another strong new offering from the veteran family music entertainer.  It offers much for listeners to appreciate, not the least of which is its diverse musical content.  The album’s featured musical arrangements present Berkner’s familiar blend of kindie pop and pre-school stylistic approaches, while clearly also showing other influences.  That means that they will appeal just as much to grown-ups as to children.  The lyrical themes that flesh out the album are just as diverse as the album’s musical arrangements.  They speak to and for children in so many ways.  The album’s sequencing puts the finishing touch to its presentation as it brings everything together, completing the record’s presentation.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation.  All things considered, they make the album unquestionably one more of the album’s best new family music offerings.  Let’s Go! is scheduled for release Friday through Two Tomatoes Records.

More information on Berkner’s new album is available along with all of her latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.laurieberkner.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/LaurieBerknerBand

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/LaurieBerkner

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

1 thought on “Laurie Berkner Cements Her Place In The Family Music Community Again On Her Latest LP

  1. Pingback: Laurie Berkner Announces Details For Latest Virtual Concerts | philspicks

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