Courtesy: Concord Music Group/Craft Recordings
Family entertainer Lindsay Munroe debuted the video for her latest single ‘Little Red Caboose’ Thursday. The song, which is part of the annual National Train Day celebrations planned to take place nationwide, is the latest single from her new album I Am Kind. The 16-song record was released digitally April 24, and is scheduled for a physical release June 12 through Concord Music Group and Craft Recordings. The album is another positive entry in this year’s field of new family music albums. That is proven in part through the songs that make up the record’s body. This item will be addressed shortly. The arrangements in the featured songs are just as important to note as the songs themselves, and will be discussed a little later. The record’s sequencing puts the finishing touch to its presentation and will be discussed later, too. Each item noted here is key in its own way to the whole of this record. All things considered, they make I Am Kind another record that any family will welcome into its home.
Lindsay Munroe’s new family music offering I Am Kind is its own unique presentation that the whole family will enjoy. That is proven in part through the songs that make up the album’s body. The songs that make up the record’s body are familiar works that any listener will recognize. Among the most notable of the record’s featured songs are works, such as ‘The More We Come Together,’ ‘Peace Like A River’ and ‘De Colores.’ Another well-known standard featured as part of the album’s body is the song ‘Frere Jacques.’ Joan Baez and so many other well-known performers have taken on ‘De Colores,’ and have done so just as well as Munroe. ‘The More We Come Together’ is a work that every early childhood educator has taught children. The same applies with ‘Frere Jacques.’ ‘Peace Like A River’ is actually a well-known spiritual that has been performed by so many artists across the proverbial board, as is ‘This Little Light.’ Older standards are not the only works featured in the record’s 30-minute run time. It also has some more modern work, such as ‘OK To Make Mistakes,’ which has been made well-known thanks to PBS Kids’ animated series Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. Between these songs and the rest of the album’s works not addressed here, it can be said that the songs featured in this record give audiences plenty of familiarity. That sense of familiarity is important in that it will encourage audiences’ engagement quite a bit. That ensured engagement will lead to plenty of entertainment for listeners, too.
For all of the engagement and entertainment that the songs featured in Munroe’s new album bring listeners, her arrangements of the songs add even more pleasure to that listening experience. Munroe’s performance of ‘Peace Like A River’ is one of the album’s most notable arrangements. This timeless African-American spiritual song has been performed in so many fashions throughout the ages, and while its precise origin is unknown, it has inspired a countless variety of renditions. Munroe’s is without doubt, moving, with its Appalachian style approach. This approach is right up there with singer-songwriter Lynda Randle’s 2013 performance of the song even though the two takes present the song in two wholly different styles. Randle’s rendition is one of the gold standards of the song in this critic’s ears. Munroe’s rendition of ‘Peace Like A River’ is just one of the songs featured in this record that shows the value of the overall arrangements. Munroe’s take of the equally timeless traditional Spanish song ‘De Colores’ is another work that does so well here. The original song is said to be associated with Mexican folklore. Also associated with Mexico is the accordion in said music. Munroe incorporates that element into her rendition here, adding to the authentic Spanish/Hispanic sense. The accordion seems to be the only instrument used in this rendition, and its use alongside the simple harmonies gives this song so much depth and enjoyment. Next to the renditions produced by Munroe’s friend and fellow family entertainer Raffi, and that crafted by Joan Baez, Munroe’s version proves one of the most notable takes. Munroe’s new single ‘Little Red Caboose’ is another example of the importance of the arrangements featured in her new album. The song features Munroe playing her ukulele and singing. She is joined by a group of children to help her, as well as another performer making the sounds of the engine pulling the caboose and of a trumpet. Whether the song is based on the children’s book by the same name is anyone’s guess. It is known that this is Munroe’s own take on the song, which itself is another standard. Her take stays relatively true to its source material, too while also giving the song its own identity thanks to its arrangement. It’s just one more way in which the album’s arrangements prove vital to its presentation. When it is considered with the other arrangements discussed here and the rest of the album’s arrangements, the album’s overall musical content proves just as important to its presentation as its song choices. The songs and their arrangements are clearly important to the presentation of I Am Kind. For all of their importance, they are not the album’s only important elements. The record’s sequencing does just as much for its presentation as its content.
Audiences will note that there are variances, albeit slight, in the record’s energies thanks to its sequencing. The record’s first trio of songs maintains a solid energy and pacing from one to the next before a noticeable change gradually starts happening in Munroe’s take of ‘The More We Get Together.’ Things slow down a little more as the record moves into ‘This Little Light’ and ‘De Colores.’ The record’s energy reaches its lowest point in ‘Waiting Nicely’ before starting to pick back up gradually in ‘Peace Like A River.’ Things pull back again for a bit until the album reaches its penultimate track, ‘Problem Solvers.’ That increased energy only lasts a short time before the record ends in ‘I Can Dream.’ The song is so reserved in its energy, but that is meant to be since it is a song that encourages young people to rest their minds and bodies. It’s a song that would work well on Sara Lovell’s new album Night Life. The overall picture of the record’s sequencing is that thanks to the sequencing, the record’s energies rise and fall at just the rate points and pacing from start to end. That well-thought out sequencing puts the finishing touch to this record and ensures that much more that listeners of all ages will remain engaged and entertained. Considered along with the record’s content and performance thereof, the album in whole proves deserving of another slot on any critic’s list of this year’s top new family music albums.
Lindsay Munroe’s new album I Am Kind is its own unique album. It is a work that the whole family will enjoy. That is proven in part though the album’s featured songs, which are all familiar standards performed by Munroe. Munroe’s arrangements of the songs adds even more interest to the album. The record’s sequencing gives it the final touch. Each item noted here is key in its own way to the whole of the record. All things considered, they make I Am Kind its own unique presentation.
More information on Lindsay Munroe’s new album is available online along with all of her latest news at:
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