Alastair Moock’s Latest LP Is More Enjoyment Than Pain

Courtesy: Moockshake Music

Family entertainer Alastair Moock released his latest full-length studio recording April 3, and the 15-song record ­– Be A Pain — could not have come at a more important time in America’s history.  This nation is going through a period of great upheaval, and it is scary to think where it is headed just as much for adults as it is for children.  Thankfully, Moock is trying to help keep the future from being too bleak through his new album through its lyrical content.  That content will be addressed shortly.  The musical arrangements that accompany that content will appeal to adults just as much as it will to children, if not more so.  It will be addressed a little later.  The record’s sequencing joins with its content to make the album whole and wholly memorable.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the overall presentation of Be A Pain.  All things considered, they make this album one of this year’s best and most important family music albums.

Alastair Moock’s latest full-length studio recording Be A Pain is one of the best of this year’s field of new family music albums.  It is also one of the most important family music albums to come along in a while due to the age in which is has been released.  This record encourages the world’s youth, through its lyrical content, to step up and not be afraid to rattle some cages. That lyrical content additionally encourages young people to shoot for the stars.  Moock and company mince no words in the album’s opener and its title track – ‘What Is A Leader?’ and ‘Be A Pain’ respectively – as to the noted statements.  Children are featured in the album’s opener explaining in their own innocent yet thoughtful words, what they believe makes a leader.  Even coming “from the mouths of babes,” the statements speak volumes.  That is because they show that young people have more grasp on certain subjects than we as adults give them credit for.  ‘Be A Pain’ encourages listeners to not be afraid to stand up and speak their minds.  This is such an important thing to tell young people, especially when educators and others are essentially telling young people daily that they should conform rather than think for themselves.  Moock is doing the exact opposite of those individuals, telling young people that it is okay to think for themselves and speak out when they see wrong being committed.  ‘No Wall’ takes on Donald Trump’s embattled border wall at the U.S. – Mexico border by reminding listeners that “there is no wall between you and me.”  He is joined by Sol y Canto and Alisa Amador for the song, whose clear metaphorical language – some of which is even sung in Spanish – promotes unity rather than separation.  It is yet another powerful protest song that will appeal just as much to adults as it will to younger listeners.  It is a work that harkens back to work from the likes of Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan and other similar acts, and does such a wonderful job echoing their messages in the process.  It’s just one more way in which the lyrical content featured in this record proves so important, and is certainly not the last key example of what makes that content so important to address.  ‘Get To Work,’ ‘What We Tell Our Children’ and ‘Lead With Love’ could also be used to highlight the importance of the album’s lyrical content, as could any of the album’s other songs.  Keeping all of that in mind, there is no doubt left at this point, that the album’s lyrical content is pivotal to its presentation.  It forms a fully solid foundation to the record that is strengthened even more by its accompanying musical arrangements.

The musical arrangements featured throughout the course of Be A Pain’s 51-minute run time are works that will appeal to fans of country, bluegrass and Americana.  This is important to note because for all intents and purposes, Be A Pain is a protest record that will appeal to the whole family.  Famed protest performers, such as Dylan and Seeger were themselves known for performing exactly that same kind of music for their songs.  To that end, what Moock is essentially doing here is paying tribute to those and other well-known acts of the 1960s and 70s who rose to fame through their protest songs.  The old school country arrangement at the heart of the album’s title track is among the most notable of the musical arrangements.  Its twang and the twang in Moock’s vocal delivery style couple to make the song stand out so strongly.  Moock even diretly pays tribute to Seeger in the song ‘Go Pete Go.’  He uses the same style arrangement that Seeger used in his works while also pointing out all that Seeger did during the course of his life and career.  That banjo-driven arrangement is yet another work that is certain to appeal widely to listeners of all ages.  The Americana/country hybrid approach to ‘Kids Can Do Great Things’ is yet another way in which the album’s musical proves so important.  It is a simple approach, and because it is so easy, it is so accessible.  Audiences get Moock here along with a guitar and what sounds like a cajon drum.  The instrumentation and the arrangement together are so simple and accessible that they are collectively easy on the ears.  It’s just one more way in which the musical arrangements featured in Be A Pain prove to be just as important as its companion lyrical content.  When the two are considered together, the whole of that content proves more than enough to make this record worth hearing.  Keeping this in mind, the album’s overall content is not its only important content.  Its sequencing rounds out its most important elements.

The sequencing of Be A Pain is important to note because it does just as much to ensure listeners’ engagement and entertainment as does the album’s content.  The album starts strong on a solid mid-tempo note in ‘What Is A Leader.’  The energy established in that song carries over into ‘Be A Pain’ with that song’s classic country style arrangement.  Moock pulls back the energy quite noticeably as the album transitions into ‘Everybody Was a Kid’ while also reminding in its own solid way that we as adults need to remember we were young once, too.  The record’s energy picks back up as it moves into ‘Get To Work,’ and continues into ‘Go Pete Go.’  The energy pulls back again, albeit slightly in ‘One Foot / Lead With Love,’ with is for all intents and purposes a simple yet damning indictment of Donald Trump’s poor leadership.  The song’s arrangement is a bluesy-mid tempo work that only pulls back the energy because the style here is so different from much of the rest of the album’s work.  To that end, it still actually keeps the record’s energy solid.  ‘No Wall’ slows things down again before giving way to the more upbeat ‘I Am Malala.’  From that point on, the album’s mood and energy becomes increasingly laid back and reserved right to the album’s end.  That gradual change does not go unnoticed, and is good in its own right to the whole of this record.  When it is considered along with the rest of the crests and troughs presented throughout the record, the whole of the record’s sequencing shows great time and thought was put into making sure the album’s energy did not just stay one way throughout or too long.  It changes just enough in terms of levels and in terms of times to ensure listeners will remain engaged.  When this is considered along with the value of the album’s overall content, the album’s appeal becomes that much clearer, leaving no doubt as to why the album is such a positive and important presentation among this year’s new family music offerings.

Alastair Moock & Friends’ new album Be A Pain is a powerful new offering the stands head and shoulders above this year’s crop of new family music albums.  That is due in part to its lyrical content, which encourages listeners of all ages to stand up and do the right thing.  It also encourages young people to make the best of themselves and their lives over the course of its 15-song, 51-minute body.  The inspiring songs are modern protest songs that also serve to inspire listeners to be their best and make the most of their lives.  The musical arrangements that accompany the accessible and moving lyrical content is in itself a throwback to the music that was used in so many classic protest music.  In other words, this record stays true to its influences musically as well as lyrically.  The album’s sequencing does just as much to ensure listeners’ engagement as the album’s content, by rising and falling at all of the right points throughout.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of this record.  Collectively, they make Be A Pain the best of this year’s new family music albums so far.  It is available now through Moockshake Music.  More information on the album is available along with all of Alastair Moock’s latest news at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.moockmusic.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AlastairMoockMusic

Twitter: http://twitter.com/alastairmoock

 

 

 

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

Alastair Moock Announces New LP Release Date

Courtesy: Moockshake Music

Family entertainer Alastair Moock will release his new album next month.

Moock is scheduled to release Be A PainAn Album For Young (And Old) Leaders April 3.  The album focuses on famed leaders of the past and present, such as Billie Jean King, Pete Seeger and Malala Yousafzai for its foundation.  It uses them to encourage young listeners to continue making the change that the featured leaders have themselves made.

The record features guest appearances from figures, such as Sean Staples, Sol y Canto and Rani Arbo to add  to the experience.

In coordination with the album’s forthcoming release, Mook recently launched a crowd-funding campaign that has since raised more than $11,000.  That money will enable him to provide free copies of his new album for his “Be A Pain” educational program to under served schools nationwide.  The program also features free programming about social justice.

In related news, Moock’s crowd-funding program from his 2013 album Singing Our Way Through raised almost $30,000, which was used to provide free music to children’s hospitals and children’s cancer organizations.

More information on Alastair Moock’s forthcoming album is available online along with all of his latest news and more at:

 

Website: http://www.moockmusic.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/amook

Twitter: http://twitter.com/alastaimoock

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://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.

Moock’s New Album Is All Kinds Of Enjoyable

Courtesy: Moockshake Music

Courtesy: Moockshake Music

2015 has been quite the fruitful year for the world of children’s music. New releases from veteran acts such as Recess Monkey, Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band, and Josh and the Jamtones have joined releases from others such as Jazzy Ash, The Bazillions, and fellow veteran performers Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer among others to form a field that has offered up quite the selection of music for audiences of all ages. Now another veteran artist by the name of Alastair Moock has added yet another new release to this year’s field, making things even more interesting for those keeping track. The album in question, All Kinds of You And Me, comes only a few months after fellow veteran entertainers Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer released a similar album in the form of Dancin’ in the Kitchen: Songs For All Families. While the two acts’ new albums are similar in their lyrical topics, it can be said that Moock’s new album manages to maintain its own identity apart from that of Frink and Marxer’s new album thanks to the fact that it takes the foundation established by Fink and Marxer’s lyrics and builds on it with even more interesting topics. It also builds on the pair’s foundation with its mix of musical styles. That is the second reason that audiences will enjoy this album. Last but hardly least of note of this album is its run time. The album doesn’t even hit the one-hour mark. Rather it clocks in at forty-five minutes. The album’s longest track, its closer ‘This Land Is Your Land,’ comes in at just over five minutes. And the shortest comes in at just under the three-minute mark. That each of the album’s songs runs at a relatively normal time makes each one all the more apt to keep listeners of all ages locked in from the album’s opener to its end. Moock’s lyrical and musical approach to each number does just as much to keep listeners engaged. All three elements considered together show All Kinds of You and Me to be one of this year’s bravest and most confident children’s records. What’s more that confidence and bravery pay off in spades, proving it to be one more of this year’s best new children’s albums.

Veteran singer/songwriter Alastair Moock’s latest full-length studio recording All Kinds of You and Me is one of this year’s best new children’s albums. The twelve-track, forty-five minute recording is not the first of its kind to be released this year. Fellow veteran performers Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer released an album in Dancin’ in the Kitchen: Songs For All Families only months before this album’s release. While the two albums are similar in regards to their lyrical content, they are also quite different. That is proven first through the fact that Moock doesn’t stick to just the concept of the different kinds of families that make up America’s population. He does cover this topic. That can’t be ignored. However, he doesn’t stop there. Instead he branches out paying tribute to Malala Yousefzai in ‘I Am Malala’ and even to Woody Guthrie in his cover of ‘This Land is Your Land’ and its narrative intro ‘You and Me.’ There’s even a playful little piece about the different holidays in the simply titled ‘Every Day’s A Holiday.’ While those songs each help to make Moock’s new album stand out among this year’s field of new children’s releases, the songs about families and America’s social norms do just as much to help it stand out. Moock tackles the rigid social norms and gender roles that dominate American families in the album’s opener ‘It Takes All Kinds,’ and in the two songs that follow, ‘PEOPLE’ and ‘You Might Be A Girl.’ These songs are brave to say the least. They take a similar track as that taken by Fink and Marxer. But unlike them he takes more of stand against those norms established by American culture in these songs. Every one of the songs noted here shows in its own way to play an important part in what makes All Kinds of You and Me a standout recording. While each of the noted songs plays its own role, that is not to say that the others don’t play a role, too. Quite the opposite actually. Each one of the album’s twelve total tracks plays its own part in the whole of the album’s impact with all twelve showing clearly why the lyrical approach to this album makes it one that every family should take in together. Any family that does will be glad that it did. That is because of the foundation for discussion that each song’s lyrical content forms. It’s just the starting point of what makes this record such an interesting listen. The musical approach taken by Moock throughout the record is just as important to its success and enjoyment.

The lyrical content of Alastair Moock’s latest LP is within itself plenty of reason for audiences of all ages to hear this record. That is because of the number of topics covered by Moock throughout the course of the album’s twelve tracks and forty-five minutes. He tackles the strict gender roles and social norms established within American culture in the album’s first three songs before going a little more playful as the album advanced. He even pays tribute to human rights and women’s rights activist Malala Yousafzai and to folk legend Woody Guthrie in the album’s closer among much more content. It is just one portion of what makes this record so enjoyable, though. The album’s musical content makes it just as enjoyable. By and large, Moock presents a folksy, bluegrass style sound throughout the record. Though, he does break off at a few random points. The album’s opener presents a fun, rockabilly sound while ‘PEOPLE’ boasts a lighthearted Dixieland style sound. ‘You Might Be A Girl’ is just as enjoyable in regards to its music as it boasts something of an old school R&B influence. That is of course this critic’s own interpretation. And then there’s the dreamy, dulcet tones of ‘My Life(Is A Lot Like Yours)’ that will conjure thoughts of Allison Kraus and Norah Jones. That is a tribute to vocalist Jennifer Kimball’s extraordinary talents. ‘All In A Day’ also boasts that old school R&B influence. It conjures thoughts of Otis Redding. For all of the interest that the noted songs generates, the most intriguing of the album’s songs (in terms of their musical content) is ‘I Am Malala.’ The song largely boasts a gentle, beachy sound that conjures thoughts of Jimmy Buffett by and large. Though, interestingly enough the song switches things up in its final bars, sounding more like the opening bars of ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’ than that beachy sound that makes up the rest of its body. All of these examples together paint a rich musical picture that is just as certain to keep listeners engaged as that painted by the album’s lyrical content. The album’s musical and lyrical content taken jointly into consideration, they give listeners of all ages plenty of reason to hear this brave, enjoyable record.

Both the lyrical and musical content presented throughout the course of Alastair Moock’s new album make for plenty of reason for families to hear this record. While both elements are equally important to the whole of the record’s success and enjoyment, there is still one last element that should be examined in the whole of its presentation. That element is the record’s overall run time. The album clocks in at forty-five minutes. That is actually a relatively standard length both in regards to the realm of children’s music and that of music for adults. The album’s longest song is its closer, the cover of Woody Guthrie’s ‘This Land is Your Land.’ It comes in at five minutes and three seconds. The album’s shortest song is its second track ‘PEOPLE.’ That song comes in at two minutes and twenty-two seconds. Some might ask what significance any of this plays in the grand scheme of the album. It significance is that when set against the songs’ musical and lyrical content together, it can help to determine just how long the songs (and the album in whole) are likely to keep listeners engaged. Being that the songs’ musical and lyrical content is not over the heads of its intended audiences and the songs themselves are in fact really standard length, it means a greater chance of keeping audiences’ ears from beginning to end. Sure, five minutes for a song–especially a children’s album–might seem like a lot. But the simple redundancy of the song’s chorus makes it (‘This Land is Your Land’) one that will definitely keep young listeners’ ears for the full length of its run time. That, friends, is the importance of the album’s run time. And on a smaller scale the run time of each of the album’s songs. Those run times, set against the songs’ musical and lyrical content, make one whole record that stands out against its counterparts within the realm of children’s music this year. In turn, the combination of all three elements makes this record one of this year’s best new children’s records.

All Kinds of You and Me is a record that can be said to be all kinds of enjoyable from beginning to end. That is thanks to the album’s mix of musical stylings and lyrical themes. The run times of each of the album’s twelve total songs makes a total run time that together with the album’s musical and lyrical content is sure to keep listeners fully engaged regardless of their ages. All things considered, All Kinds of You and Me proves in the end to be all kinds of enjoyable for listeners of all ages and in turn one of this year’s best new children’s records. It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered direct via Alastair Moock’s official website at http://www.moockmusic.com. More information on All Kinds of You and Me is available online now along with all of the latest news from Alastair himself at:

Website: http://www.moockmusic.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alastair-Moock-Music/43677062968

Twitter: http://twitter.com/AlastairMoock 

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.

Moock’s Cancer Support Compilation A Wonderful Set Of Songs

Courtesy:  Moockshake Music

Courtesy: Moockshake Music

Having cancer or knowing someone with cancer is a very emotional situation.  It is an especially emotional situation for children and their parents when children are diagnosed with the disease.  It can lead to so many emotions both within children affected by it and within their parents.  That mix of emotions can lead to even deeper problems for all involved in the long run.  Thankfully, there are support groups both for cancer patients and for their families out there among other tools.  Now thanks to singer-songwriter Alastair Moock, children diagnosed with cancer and their parents have one more tool to help cope with their situation.

Alastair Moock’s new album, Singing Our Way Through: Songs for The World’s Bravest Kids is a heartwarming and moving collection of songs for young cancer patients and their parents.  The thirteen-song compilation offers families lots of songs that will help them cope with everything from the emotions of the diagnosis to the hospital visits.  Both children and parents will appreciate the positive messages conveyed through each song.  The musical style of each song differs from the one before, as do the lyrics.  But the one thing that remains the same is the positive emotion generated through the songs.  Each one does its own to help keep moral high during even the toughest of times.  Whether they’re more comical, such as the hip-hop tinged ‘B-R-A-V-E’ and the folksy ‘Take Care of Your Grownups’ or something more deeply moving such as the gospel-inspired ‘Joy Comes Back’ and the country-western style of ‘Home When I Hold You’, there is something on this record for any family dealing with the emotional stresses of cancer.  There is even a take on the theme from Disney/Pixar’s hit movie Toy Story, ‘You’ve Got a Friend In Me.’  Put into the context of this album, it is given a wholly new meaning that is so much deeper yet still just as fun as the original tune.  It’s one more great addition to the compilation.

The songs culled for this compilation each offer an emotional support for children and parents in their own way.  They’re just part of the whole that makes this such a special collection of songs, though.  Just as impressive as the songs themselves is the fact that Moock included within the compilation’s packaging, the story of what motivated him to assemble the songs.  He explains that it was the diagnosis of one of his own children—one of his twin five-year old daughters—that led him to make this wonderful piece of musical therapy for parents and children alike.  He explains in his story that when he and his wife were told of his daughter’s diagnosis, “it felt like we were drowning.”  He goes on to explain that after the first seemingly empty week, he finally was able to collect himself and moved forward in his own healing by getting to work on this release.  The full story is available online now at http://www.singingourway.com.  Audiences can keep up with the latest from Alastair there or on his other website, http://www.moockmusic.com.  The story and the music on this album together will move anyone that has a heart and will remind the rest of us just how unfair it is for us to take for granted everything that we have versus everything these young individuals and their parents have to endure.  It will also help bring so much joy to those same children and parents and help make things at least a little bit easier.  It is available now and can be ordered online via the websites above.

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.