Veteran children’s entertainer Raffi has a new compilation record on the way. Rounder Records will release Best of Raffi next Friday, Feb. 10 in stores and online. This 16-song collection is hardly the first from the Canadian singer-songwriter, but it is still enjoyable in its own right. That is due in part to the songs that make up the record’s body. That will be discussed shortly. The musical styles that are presented throughout the songs are just as important to note as the songs themselves. That will be discussed later. The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements. Each element is important in itself to the overall presentation of this latest compilation from Raffi. All things considered, this new collection of songs may not be a new record in the purest sense of the term, but it is still an enjoyable collection nonetheless.
Raffi’s new hits collection Best of Raffi is hardly the veteran children’s entertainers first-ever compilation record. Even with that in mind it is still an enjoyable collection of songs from his extensive catalogue. Speaking of that extensive catalogue, the 16 songs that make up the body of this collection serve as its cornerstone. The collection takes audiences all the way back to Raffi’s 1976 record Singable Songs For The Very Young with ‘Mr. Sun’ and ‘Down By The Bay’ and even all the way up to his most recent album, 2016’s Owl Singalong. Obviously considering just how extensive Raffi’s catalogue is, there was no way that every one of his records could be represented in this collection. However, he (and the people at Rounder Records) are to be commended for the effort made to represent as much of that catalogue here as possible. Counting Owl Singalong, no fewer than nine of Raffi’s albums are represented in this record, with at least one song pulled from each record. Others get two nods. 1980’s Baby Beluga gets three nods with ‘Thanks A Lot,’ Raffi’s cover of Harry Belafonte’s beloved ‘Day O’ and the album’s famed title track. What is interesting to note of Raffi’s cover of ‘Day O’ is that lyrically speaking, the song has been changed around some. The mention of the giant tarantula has been entirely removed as has the mention of the worker drinking rum. Yes, both are in the original song, which in reality was not a children’s song. Getting back on topic, though not every one of Raffi’s albums is represented here, the albums that are collectively speaking, a healthy representation of his body of work. Keeping that in mind, they make this compilation a good introduction to Raffi for anyone not overly familiar with him or his body of work. This is just one way in which this recording proves itself worth being added to any family’s music library. It is just one of the record’s most important elements. The musical styles that are presented within the featured songs are just as important to discuss as the songs themselves.
The songs that make up the body of Best of Raffi are important in their own right to the record’s presentation. That is due to the fact that they represent so much of Raffi’s body of work. While this is clearly important to the record’s presentation, it is just one of the record’s key elements. The varied musical styles presented throughout the record are just as important to note here as the featured songs. ‘Down By The Bay’ boasts a folk style arrangement that Pete Seeger fans will enjoy just as much as Raffi’s fans. The arrangement at the center of ‘Baby Beluga’ is reminiscent (and here’s a wild connection) of The Beatles’ ‘When I’m Sixty-Four.’ Raffi’s gentle vocal delivery set against the horns and strings in ‘One Light, One Sun’ instantly conjures thoughts of some of the greatest ballads ever performed by Frank Sinatra and Harry Connick, Jr. These are just a few examples of the various musical styles presented throughout this collection. The easy-listening arrangement at the center of ‘Rise and Shine’ shows even more variance in Raffi’s stylistic approach over the years, as does the light, jazzy arrangement at the center of ‘Bananaphone.’ The arrangement, driven largely by its piano and drum lines, will put a smile on any listener’s face with its fun feel. It’s just one more way in which Raffi and Rounder Records display the extent of Raffi’s musical talents in this record. It goes without saying that the record’s other songs show just as much variety. All things considered, the arrangements presented in each of this record’s songs show clearly why they are so vital to the record’s presentation. That variance adds even more to the record’s depth. On a similar vein, the record’s sequencing proves to be just as important to its presentation.
The songs that are presented in Raffi’s new hits collection and their musical styles are both critical in their own way to the record’s overall presentation. The songs are a healthy representation of his work up to this point. The arrangements show an equally wide array of influences, thus showing the reach of his talents. While both elements are undeniably important to the record, they are not the record’s only important elements. The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements. Listeners will note in going through the record’s 16-song body that Raffi and the people behind the record’s production put a lot of thought into its sequencing. From start to finish, the energy stays just enough at each point. That is thanks to the thought put into each song’s placement in regards both to its energy and its style. At no point does the record ever get too slow or too fast. What’s more, at no point do the songs’ styles ever echo one another immediately. They vary just as much as the energy exuded within each arrangement. Keeping that in mind, the sequencing proves to be just as important to keeping listeners engaged as the songs and their arrangements. All things considered, Best of Raffi proves, while hardly his first hits compilation, to still be a good introduction to Raffi and his music.
Rounder Records’ new Raffi compilation record Best of Raffii is a good introduction to the veteran children’s entertainer and his music. That is proven in part through the songs featured on the record. The songs represent a solid cross-section of Raffi’s body of work. The arrangements presented in the songs are just as diverse as the songs themselves. They present a wide range of talents and influences from Raffi. Both elements were clearly taken into account with the record’s sequencing, the last of the record’s most important elements. Each element is important in its own right to the record’s overall presentation. All things considered, this record proves to be an enjoyable collection nonetheless, and an equally welcome introduction to Raffi and his music. It will be available next Friday, Feb. 10 in stores and online. More information on Best of Raffi is available online now along with all of Raffi’s latest news and more at:
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