Koo Koo Kanga Roo’s New LP Deserves More Than A ‘Slow Clap’

Courtesy: Uniroo Records

Family music entertainment act Koo Koo Kanga Roo’s forthcoming album Slow Clap is an oddly titled album.  That is because the 11-song record, titled Slow Clap, is deserving of anything but a slow clap.  For those who might not know, a slow clap is a gesture that is meant to insult a performer or speaker.  Keeping that in mind, this 33-minute record deserves the most sincere kind of clapping because it is that enjoyable.  The record’s appeal comes in part through its overall musical presentation, which will be discussed shortly.  The album’s lyrical content also plays into its appeal.  It will be discussed a little later.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements and will also be discussed later.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the album.  All things considered, they make this record one more of the best of this year’s new family music albums.

Koo Koo Kanga Roo’s fifth album (and 15th – yes, 15th — overall studio recording counting all of its EPs and albums) is a presentation that the band’s established audience base will find enjoyable just as much as those who might be less familiar with the duo’s catalog.  That is due in part to the album’s overall musical presentation.  The album’s musical arrangements are everything that audiences have come to expect from the duo – Bryan Atchison and Neil Olstad.  As pointed out on the band’s Wikipedia page, the danceable arrangements with all of their keyboards and steady beats, pair with the duo’s vocal delivery style to really maintain that familiar Beastie Boys meets Sesame Street approach.  Every work is infectious in its own right and is so subtly different from its counterparts.  From the 80s hip-hop/Run DMC style approach of ‘Sticky Icky’ to the more club style sound and approach of ‘Sneaking Downstairs’ to the 90s pop/hip-hop hybrid sound of ‘200 Worms’ and more, the arrangements presented throughout this record offer audiences of all ages so much to appreciate.  They are just a portion of what makes this record so appealing.  The lyrical content that accompanies the album’s musical content builds even more on that appeal.

The lyrical themes featured throughout Slow Clap are silly from beginning to end.  While some audiences’ minds might immediately turn to something bad when they think of ‘Sticky Icky,’ the reality is far more tame.  The song is in fact about honey, and how sweet it is even as it gets on everything.  The fact that Atchison and Oldstad could use the song’s title as a double entendre of sorts and get away with it is impressive in itself.  That the song is in reality just about honey makes for even more entertainment. 

‘Pranks A Lot’ is another example of the importance of the record’s lyrical content.  This song focuses on the time honored prank of the ding dong ditch.  That is simply ringing someone’s doorbell and running.  Sure, it’s immature, but that’s something that kids do.  What’s interesting here is that the one pulling the prank gets his in the end.  How that happens will not be revealed here.  That will be left for audiences to discover for themselves.  On a side note, audiences familiar with KC and the Sunshine Band will catch the subtle tribute to the band’s hit song ‘Boogie Man’ in relation to how the prankster gets “punished” in the end.  Getting back on topic, what grown up has not done the old ding dong ditch?  Keeping that in mind, this song is that much more certain to engage and entertain audiences.

‘Password,’ which closes out Slow Clap, is yet another example of the role of the album’s lyrical content.  As the title infers, this song’s lyrical content celebrates that simple joy that every child has gotten from the game of password; standing outside a clubhouse or some such, making sure only certain people know how to get in, or maybe making sure only certain people know certain facts through the use of the password.  This is all one of those rites of passage for every child.  The duo’s celebration of that rite here is so entertaining.  It is just one more example of the entertainment value presented by the album’s lyrical content.  When it, the content in the other songs noted here and in the rest of the album’s songs are considered together, the album’s overall lyrical content strengthens the album’s presentation that much more.  It still is just one more part of what makes the album successful.  The songs’ sequencing rounds out the most important of the album’s most important elements.

Slow Clap’s sequencing is important because it ensures the songs’ lyrical and musical content keep listeners fully engaged and entertained.  As noted, the lyrical themes featured throughout this record are all fun, random topics to which adults and children alike will find fun and funny.  From the fun of playing on a slip and slide on a hot summer day in ‘Backyard Swimsuit (ft. Sims), to the joy of downing an ice cold glass of lemonade (also on a summer day), to everything else noted, the lyrical themes featured here are accessible to listeners of all ages.  The record changes the topics up from one to next, making sure things don’t get redundant at any point in that aspect.  What’s more, the sequencing makes sure that the subtle changes in the danceable musical are just enough that they keep the album’s musical content fresh throughout, too.  The changes are just enough that they keep the album moving and changing throughout.  The impact of the attention to the sequencing in both aspects shows clearly why it is important to the album, too.  When the overall impact of the album’s sequencing is considered along with that of the album’s overall content, the whole makes Slow Clap a record for which listeners will clap quite a bit.

Koo Koo Kanga Roo’s forthcoming album Slow Clap is a presentation that deserves lots more than a slow clap.  Rather, it deserves a full round of applause.  That is proven in part through its musical arrangements.  The record’s musical arrangements are danceable compositions that touch on old school hip-hop, EDM, and even general club sounds.  This variety gives audiences plenty to appreciate and proves to be everything that audiences have come to expect from the duo throughout its life.  The lyrical themes that accompany the album’s musical content make for their own appeal.  That is because they present topics that are accessible to listeners of all ages.  They will bring out the kid in every grown-up listener while putting a smile on any young person’s face at the same time.  The sequencing of all of the noted content brings everything together, putting the finishing touch to the album.  It ensures that the album’s musical and lyrical content changes just enough from one song to the next to the result that it collectively keeps listeners fully engaged and entertained.  Each item examined is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation.  All things considered, the album proves to be one more of this year’s top new family music albums.  Slow Clap is scheduled for release Friday through Uniroo Records.

More information on Koo Koo Kanga Roo’s new album is available along with all of the duo’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://kookookangaroo.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/KooKooKangaRoo

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/KooKooKangaroo

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.

‘Garbage Guts’ Is Among The Most Unique Of 2021’s New Family Music Records

Courtesy: 8 Pound Gorilla Records

Family music act Formidable Vegetable is scheduled to release its new EP Garbage Guts Friday through 8 Pound Gorilla Records.  The six-song EP is quite the interesting addition to this year’s field of new family music records.  Running approximately 16 minutes, the EP stands out in part because of its featured musical arrangements.  They will be discussed shortly.  The record’s lyrical themes also play into its interest.  It will be discussed a little later.  The record’s sequencing puts the finishing touch to its presentation.  Each item noted here plays its own important part to the album’s overall presentation.  When they come together, they make the EP in whole an enjoyable offering for any young listener.

Formidable Vegetable’s forthcoming EP, Garbage Guts is an interesting addition to this year’s field of new EPs.  It will appeal just as much to younger listeners as to grown-ups.  That is proven in part through its featured musical arrangements.  The arrangements in question are varied throughout the record’s nearly 20-minute run.  The EP opens and closes on a Dixieland note in ‘We’re All Friends’ and ‘Our Street’ respectively.  Along the way, listeners are treated to a bit of hip-hop and EDM together in the EP’s lead single, ‘Get a Goat.’  The act’s familiar Dixieland gets an electronic update in ‘No Such Thing as Waste’.  The use of the keyboard, strings and electronics gives the song an infectious new style that even adults will enjoy.  It is a great sound that easily lends itself to thoughts of works from the likes of Cherry Poppin’ Daddies and Squirrel Nut Zippers.  ‘Fonky Food’ meanwhile changes things up again by taking listeners back to the 1970s with its funk-based arrangement.  To a point, this arrangement lends itself to a comparison to works from Formidable Vegetable’s fellow family music act Secret Agent 23 Skidoo.  Between this arrangement and all of the others noted here, the whole of Garbage Guts’ musical presentation ensures listeners’ engagement and entertainment in its own way.  It is just one part of what makes the EP notable.  The record’s lyrical content adds to its interest, too.

The lyrical content featured in Garbage Guts is just as diverse as the EP’s musical arrangements.  ‘We’re All Friends’ promotes and celebrates unity and friendship.  The song even notes that in order to keep friends, people should be treated equally and fairly.  It even stresses that family can be friends and “unexpected places.”  Something truly   interesting here is the subtle way in which the song reminds young listeners that real friends are better than “friends” they might have online.  This simple line can lead to a much bigger discussion on internet safety. Of course that is a latent function of the song’s lyrical content, but it is there.  

“Get a Goat’ changes things up lyrically by presenting a message that promotes environmental awareness.  It does this so simply by just telling young listeners to…well…get a goat.  For those who might not know, goats are natural lawn mowers.  They eat grass and lots of it, so to that end, many people actually incorporate the use of goats for their lawn care.  That is because the only gas involved with them is the gas they give off.  Yes, that was a terrible joke.  The waste that they give off can even be potentially used for fertilizer, so they are, again, ecologically safe.  Now while the song’s lyrical content does not come right out and make this clear, the understanding of goats’ usefulness is mostly commonplace, so that makes this song’s lyrical theme still notable in its own right despite its overly simplistic nature.

‘Shoogieman’ continues to exhibit the diversity in the EP’s lyrical content by addressing the importance of good dental hygiene.  As with so many other songs, it does this by personifying the bacteria and germs that can and do damage a person’s teeth.  Even more interesting is that older audiences might catch the use of KC and the Sunshine Band’s timeless song ‘I’m Your Boogie Man’ for the basis for this work.  There is obviously a clear stylistic difference between the songs in the musical arrangements, but those lines when the “shoogieman” sings, “I’m your shoogie man,” the re-imagining is just as evident.  When all of this is considered along with the other noted lyrical themes and those not directly addressed here, the whole of the EP’s lyrical content proves overall, it is just as important to the record’s presentation as its musical content.  The overall content pairs with the EP’s sequencing to put the final touch to the record.

Listeners will note through the EP’s sequencing that it keeps things changed up from one song to the next.  This applies, as noted, to the musical and lyrical content. The upbeat vibe that the songs create is the one thing that stays constant since the arrangements’ energies remain so upbeat.  The most that the record lets up comes in its finale, ‘Our Street.’  Even in that case, the record doesn’t let up too much.

The lyrical content that is featured throughout the record play into the EP’s sequencing because while they do generally follow one overarching theme – that of promoting environmental awareness – the manner in which it does this does change from one song  to the next.  As noted ‘Get a Goat’ promotes the use of goats for lawn care instead of lawn mowers and other machines that require the use of oil and gas.  ‘No Such Thing as Waste’ promotes environmental awareness by promoting recycling.  ‘Fonky Food’ goes in yet another unique direction by promoting the use of fermentation to make food, such as sourdough bread and sauerkraut.  It serves as a reminder that while yes, some food is not safe to eat when it ferments, there is some fermented food that is good.  To this end, the song is a starting point for discussions on avoiding food waste, which is an ecological problem in its own right.  Staying on the topic of food, the EP also takes on the topic of locally sourced foods in the EP’s closer.  Relying on locally-sourced resources reduced gasoline and oil usage, leading to reduction in carbon footprints (and potentially costs to consumers), so here again is an ecologically-minded song even here.  Looking back through all of this, it becomes clear, again, that while the songs featured here do largely follow one central theme, they change from one to the next in how that lyrical theme is approached.  What’s more, the addition of the two non-ecologically-based songs breaks things up even more, making for even more interest.   Keeping everything in mind, it keeps clear why the record’s sequencing is so important to the EP’s presentation.  Together with the EP’s songs and lyrical content, the sequencing finalizes the EP’s presentation and proves one last time why this record will appeal to any family.

Formidable Vegetable’s new forthcoming EP, Garbage Guts is an interesting addition to this year’s field of new family music offerings.  Part of its appeal comes from its featured musical arrangements.  The arrangements show a variety of styles from one to the next.  The record’s lyrical content is diverse in its own right.  It largely follows the central theme of environmental awareness while presenting that message in various fashions.  The sequencing of all of that content completes the picture painted by the noted content.  It ensures that the different topics keep changing just enough from one to the next, putting the final touch to the presentation.  When it is considered along with the rest of the EP’s content, that whole makes the record in whole a work that is among the more unique of this year’s new family music records.  Garbage Guts is scheduled for release Friday.

More information on Formidable Vegetable’s new EP is available along with all of the group’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.formidablevegetable.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/formidablevegetable

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.

Every Family Will Enjoy Listening To Stacey Peasley’s Debut record “Together”

Courtesy:  Stacey Peasley

Courtesy: Stacey Peasley

Children’s entertainer Stacey Peasley recently released her sophomore full-length album Lucky Day to the masses.  That album proved to audiences why given the chance, Peasley could be one of the next big names in the world of kindie-rock.  Peasley’s 2011 debut Together is just as good as that album if not actually better than Lucky Day.  Together is anchored by Peasley’s funky, celebratory ‘Dance Party.’  The song harkens back to the days of Kool and the Gang, KC and the Sunshine Band, and Sly and the Family Stone just to name a few groups.  ‘Fun, Fun, Fun’ is an equally up-tempo piece that boasts a poppy 90s vibe.  And while hardly the longest song, its equally upbeat, optimistic lyrics will put a smile on the face of listeners of all ages.  Rounding out the whole album is a sweet, lullaby of sorts in the song ‘Snuggle Daddy.’  After all of the fun of the album’s previous group of songs, this song is a fitting closer.  It’s one of those songs that some parents might even find a guilty pleasure as it will make them think of their own children when they’re at school or asleep in their beds.  It might even bring a small tear of joy to some parents’ eyes.  And that’s perfectly fine, too.  That’s because it is just that wonderful of a song.  Of course it and the other songs noted here are not all that families will appreciate about Together.  There is also a fun little song about bath time simply titled ‘Soapy Bubbles’ and a bittersweet and somewhat heart wrenching song about a child in a broken family titled ‘Far Away.’  This song is especially interesting considering that so few kindie-rock entertainers delve into that topic.  It is a tough song to hear.   That song alongside the others featured as part of Together make this record quite the impressive first effort from Stacey Peasley.

Together is a wonderful first effort from Stacey Peasley.  From beginning to end, every one of the album’s offerings make the album a joy to hear in its own way.  The album is anchored most strongly by the funky and fittingly titled ‘Dance Party.’  This song will have parents, children, and even grandparents dancing and smiling, well, together.  Musically, the song harkens back to the days of musical greats such as KC and the Sunshine Band, Sly and the Family Stone, and even Kool and the Gang with its mix of horns, keyboards, drums and easygoing guitars.  Peasley herself even seems to channel some of the great vocalists of days gone by as she sings, “Come on everybody/We’ve got dancin’ to do/There’ll be no sittin’ down/We’ve got to get up and move/Listen to the instruments play their tune/They can play all day/Your imagination is all you need/Grab a microphone and you can take the lead/Go ask your mom and dad/And you know they’ll be glad/They’ll spend the day with you/Put on your dancing shoes/And have a dance party.”  It would be so easy to see this song in a live setting.  Both kids and grown-ups will be dancing and singing along so happily, the lights on the stage flashing in time with the band.  And even a music video in the same vein would make sense.  It’s just a fun, infectious song that will instantly get stuck in listeners’ heads and on their lips.  It’s just one of the songs that make Together such a fun album for the whole family.

While it boasts a slightly different sound than ‘Dance Party,’ Together’s penultimate song ‘Fun, Fun, Fun’ is just as fun and memorable a song.  Whereas ‘Dance Party’ was more of a throwback to the great names of funk, ‘Fun, Fun, Fun’ boasts more of a poppy 90s vibe.  The mix of the song’s piano line, guitar, and tambourine backed by Marty Beller’s drumming by itself makes the song so infectious.  Lyrically, Peasley perfectly captures the joys of childhood friendship as she sings, “When my friends and I get together/We always have a really good time/We laugh and play/And spend the day/With one thing on our mind/We have fun, fun, fun/As long as we can/When we get together/The day never ends/Fun, fun, fun/Until the sun sets/You’re my best friend/Til’ the very end.”  Kids will relate to these words just as much as parents to these words.  For kids, it celebrates the joys that they are currently feeling as they develop friendships and learn about the joys of having that social circle and those relationships.  For parents, it will take them back to their own childhoods.  What better way to get rid of the stresses of the work week than reminisce about better times? Kudos to Stacey Peasley for that.

‘Dance Party’ and ‘Fun, Fun, Fun’ are two great examples of what makes Together an album that every family will in fact enjoy listening to together, thus the album’s title. The album’s gentle closer ‘Snuggle Daddy’ is one more example of what makes this album so enjoyable for families. It would be a surprise if this song doesn’t put a smile on a parent’s face and a slight tear of joy in said parent’s eye. Peasley sings of the joys felt by a young child spending those all-important minutes before bed with his or her father. What really makes this song great isn’t just the song’s gentle musical side or even its lyrical side, but the fact that it could come from the angle of a young boy or girl. The song’s gentle, almost sleepy vibe is a perfect complement to the lyrics. Peasley sings from the vantage point of the child, “AFtermy bath/Before I go to bed/I like to lay close/And rest my head/On my daddy/Snuggle daddy/Sometimes we hide/So mommy can’t see/Under the blankets/It’s just me and my daddy.” She goes on to sing of the child happily reading a bedtime story and more before heading off to dreamland. It’s such a short song. Yet it is so emotionally powerful. Being such a powerful piece, it is a wonderful finale from Peasley on her debut. And alongside the likes of ‘Dance Party’ and ‘Fun, Fun, Fun’ it makes even clearer why any parent should listen to this record. It will bring such joy to not only children but parents, too.

The songs noted here are three fine examples of what makes Together such a standout release from Stacey Peasley. Especially being an independent release it is a surprise that none of the major children’s music labels picked her up. Perhaps after hearing the noted songs, those same labels will give her more of a chance. The same can be said of the heart wrenching ‘Far Away’ and the fun bath time song ‘Soapy Bubbles’ ‘Far Away’ comes across as delving into the difficult topic of a young child being stuck between two divorced parents. That’s a tough topic for kids, which is why so few children’s entertainers tackle the subject in their music. Mrs. Peasley is to be highly commended for such bravery. And on the totally opposite side of things is the much more lighthearted bath time song ‘Soapy Bubbles.’ This fun little romp is sure to put just as much of a smile on the face of any listener regardless of age. Peasley sings of the joys a child feels playing with bubbles in the bathtub. What parent can’t relate? This parent certainly can, watching his own son’s eyes glimmer with joy as he blows them around the tub. It’s just a fun song. And it’s one more addition to an album that while it has been out for a few years is still just as good as any album that has been released this year. As a matter of fact, had it been released this year, it might have even made this critic’s list of the year’s top new children’s albums.

Audiences will get a chance to hear all of the songs noted here and even more later this year when Stacey Peasley performs live at the Long Island Children’s Museum Show. That concert is scheduled for Saturday, December 27th at 11am. It is an all-ages show. To get more information on this show, more upcoming dates, and to keep up with all of the latest updates from Stacey Peasley, audiences can follow her online at http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Stacey-Peasley-Band/60359963730 and http://www.staceypeasley.com. Fans can also order both of her current releases through her official website. 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.