The Not-Its Are “It” In Phil’s Picks 2018 Top 10 New Family Music Albums List

Courtesy: Burnside Distribution/Sugar Mountain PR

Family music is one of the most surprisingly entertaining genres that exists today across the musical universe.  That statement is just as true today as it ever has been thanks to this year’s crop of new albums.  Between the arrangements, which will entertain listeners of all ages and the lyrical themes, to which young listeners especially will connect, family music albums prove that they are just as viable as those of their mainstream counterparts.

That is why this year, just as in years past, Phil’s Picks is making sure to give those albums their own time in the light.  This year’s list features new releases from acts such as Mister G, The Not-Its, The Okee Dokee Brothers and plenty of others who might not be so well-known.

Topping this year’s list is the new album from Seattle’s own The Not-Its.  As noted in a previous review of that album, it is a full-on celebration of childhood and the innocence connected to that time in life.

The Okee Dokee Brothers’ latest album Winterland was a risk for the duo because of the success of the group’s “adventure albums” that preceded the record.  Yet, it was a risk that proved to pay off thanks to its musical and lyrical content, which uses winter themes to delve into some very deep and very grown-up topics.

Cheri Magill’s new indie-pop styled record Tour Guide takes third place in this year’s list thanks to its arrangements and its own celebration of childhood (and even parenthood).

The records noted here are just part of this year’s list.  The other 12 records featured in the list are noted with these records below.  As always, the list features 15 total albums, with the Top 10 being the top albums and the following five being honorable mentions. without any further ado, here is Phil’s Picks’ 2018 Top 10 New Family Music Albums.

PHIL’S PICKS 2018 TOP 10 NEW FAMILY MUSIC ALBUMS

  1. The Not-Its — Ready or Not
  2. Cheri Magill — Tour Guide
  3. The Okee Dokee Brothers — Winterland
  4. Mister G — Fireflies
  5. Red Yarn — Red Yarn’s Old Barn
  6. Hullabaloo — 20 Songs in 20 Days
  7. Splash and Bubbles — Rhythms of the Reef
  8. Steve Elci and Friends — Jump in the Puddle
  9. Ants, Ants, Ants — Why, Why Why
  10. Mi Amigo Hamlet — Happy Land is Tierra Feliz
  11. Suzi Shelton — Hand in Hand
  12. Sara Lovell — Wild is Everywhere
  13. Animal Farm — We Are One
  14. Liz Beebe — Hush NowLullabies For Sleepy People
  15. The Green Orbs — thumb Wrestling Champions

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Animal Farm’s Sophomore Album Is Certain To Unite Listeners Of All Ages And Races

Courtesy: Bespectacled Records

This coming Friday, family entertainment act Animal Farm will release its sophomore album We Are One.  Produced by famed producer Mike Hagler (Wilco, Neko Case), the 14-song record, which has already won the prestigious 2018 NAPPA (National Parenting Products Awards) Award, will be released via Bespectacled Records.  Hagler’s work with the group — David Ladon, Seth Adams,  Stephanie Young, Thor Breme – has resulted in a record that is another sure success from Animal Farm.  That is proven in part through the record’s musical diversity.  This will be discussed shortly.  The lyrical content presented throughout the record are just as diverse, showing even more the record’s success.  Its sequencing rounds out its most important elements.  Each element is important in its own way to the whole of this record.  All things considered, We Are One proves to be another positive new effort from Animal Farm

Animal Farm’s sophomore album is yet another strong, positive new offering from the musician-educators turned entertainers.  That is due in part to the diversity exhibited in the album’s songs.  From one song to the next, listeners engagement is ensured thanks to that diversity.  The record opens with a laid back, almost Rusted Root/Jack Johnson sort of composition in ‘Snow Bird.’  That arrangement in itself will engage grown-ups just as much as their younger counterparts.  From there, the musical styles continue in their variance from pop rock in ‘Awesome Possum’ to an almost reggae style composition in ‘Slow Down (Snail Song)’ and beyond.  The beyond in question includes an R&B style work in ‘Screen Time,’ a funny show tune sort of arrangement in ‘It Always Could Be Worse’ and a folk sort of work in ‘Nocturnal Me’ among so much more.  Simply put, from song to the next, this record keeps things interesting for listeners of all ages with its music alone.  Of course the arrangements presented throughout the record are collectively only part of what keeps the record interesting.  Its equally varied lyrical themes are just as interesting as its musical themes.

The central theme of We Are One is one of unity.  That theme is delivered through various lyrical topics that connect everybody around the world in one way or another.  Case in point is the album’s opener ‘Snow Bird.’  This song comes across as a piece about that human desire to see the world and learn what’s out there.  That is just part of the human condition regardless of where one comes from.  ‘It Could Always Be Worse!’ is even more direct, with a theme reminding people that as much as they might want to complain about this or that, things can always be worse.  It reminds listeners to appreciate that things are not, in fact, worse.  ‘Screen Time’ is another important addition to the record in regards to its lyrical content as it directly addresses the epidemic of addiction that is plaguing the world over.  Sure, it’s short and simple, but it says plenty in what little space it takes up.  ‘Monkey See, Monkey Do’ addresses the issue of global deforestation and its impact in a way that makes it accessible for grown-ups and children alike.  If that’s not enough proof of the importance of the album’s lyrical themes, then perhaps the easygoing theme of not rushing through life and the seeming allegory about looking past our differences to be friends in ‘Paws and Think’ (which is so truly relatable today to even adults) will prove that importance even more.  Between all of these examples and those not noted, the whole of the record’s lyrical themes prove to definitely be accessible to listeners of all ages around the world.  When this is considered alongside the importance of the record’s equally varied musical arrangements, the two elements together show clearly why this record, soon to be released, has already received an award if not more awards.  They still are not all that should be considered in examining the album’s whole  Its sequencing is the last of its most important elements.

 

The sequencing of We Are One is important to note because it plays just as much as the record’s musical and lyrical content in keeping listeners engaged and entertained.  From start to end, audiences will be happy to note the balance in the album’s musical energy and, again, that variance in the record’s lyrical themes.  It starts off easygoing with ‘Snow Bird.’  From there the energy rises and falls just enough in each arrangement that it leaves listeners wondering what’s coming next in the best way possible.  Even as the energy changes, the songs’ energies are never too much or too little, again ensuring that maintained engagement and entertainment.  By the time the record ends, listeners now that they will want to experience this record again and again.  Keeping that in mind, it becomes clear that the time and thought put into the record’s sequencing paid off just as much as the time and effort put into the creation of the album’s songs.  When it is considered along with that time, thought and effort, all three elements together make We Are One a record that is an enjoyable work for the whole family, fully deserving of its latest award win and certainly more to come.

Animal Farm’s sophomore album We Are One is a record that is certain to unite listeners of all ages in their enjoyment of its content.  It will also unite them in agreeing that it deserves its 2018 NAPPA Award and definitely any more awards that it garners.  That is proven through the record’s musical variety and the equally varied musical themes.  The themes themselves are crafted in a way that makes them sometimes accessible more to grown-ups than to kids and vice versa and even at other times to listeners of all ages.  That shows how much time and thought was put into the creation of the album’s lyrical themes.  When all of this is considered alongside the record’s so well-balanced sequencing, all three elements make the record in whole a work that certainly will unite listeners, which is what music is supposed to do.  It will be available this Friday, August 24 via Bespectacled Records.  More information on We Are One is available online now along with all of Animal Farm’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.animalfarmband.com

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

 

 

 

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.