Messages of confidence, empowerment, and positivity are key for everyone in our daily lives. For children, those messages are especially important. That is because our childhood years are those most important formative years. Those years determine at least in part the people that we grow into. As such, award-winning family music entertainer Stacey Peasley has crafted a whole album’s worth of those messages in her new album Make It Happen! Those messages form the foundation of her record, which is scheduled for release Friday. They will be addressed shortly. The musical arrangements that accompany the album’s hugely important positive lyrical messages play their own part in this record’s overall presentation. They will be discussed a little later. The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements. It will also be addressed later. Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of this record. All things considered, they make the album in whole a positive new offering from the veteran family entertainer.
Family entertainer Stacey Peasley’s latest album Make It Happen! — her fifth — is a solid new presentation from the veteran singer-songwriter that will appeal to a wide range of audiences. That is due in part to its overall lyrical themes. The themes follow one central topic, that of empowerment and self-confidence. The matter is handled through a variety of means throughout the album’s 28-minute run time. ‘What Girls Do’ is among the most notable of the album’s entries that takes on the topic. It reminds young women that they can do anything. Considering that the gender gap still exists in the workplace, including even in pay, and that there are still those who believe in specific set gender roles, this song’s lyrical content is as welcome and needed as any other discussion on female empowerment. ‘Play the Game’ addresses self-confidence and empowerment in another way, this time doing so by putting the messages into a song about sports. Peasley sings here, “So much heart and soul/Letting it all out/Waited for this day/Never an doubt/unified and strong/Leaders of the pack/Now it’s time to shine/Never holding back/I am ready to play the game.” The message is clear. Despite the nerves that can take hold even in such a situation, a person just needs to have confidence. It reminds young listeners that it is okay to have that confidence. ‘Swimming Pool’ takes the album’s central lyrical theme in another direction, encouraging children to not be afraid of what is an otherwise very scary moment. It presents a positive message for children to recite to encourage excitement about the new experience rather than fear. As if all of this is not enough, a song, such as ‘Happy Tears’ lets young listeners know that it is okay to express their emotions, even if those emotions might be saccharine sweet. This is another issue, which America must overcome – the stigma of expressing emotions by certain groups. Peasley reminds listeners here that it is okay for anyone to do something like crying happy tears and show affection. It is one more way in which the album’s lyrical content proves its importance.
Of course while that central theme of self confidence and empowerment does run through much of this record’s lyrical content, Peasley also offers other equally accessible themes and topics. Case in point is ‘Choo Choo.’ The song is exactly what it sounds like; a song about taking a ride on a train. ‘At the Parade on yet another note simply celebrates the joy of communing with others at a parade. ‘Goodie Bag’ is yet another example of how Peasley expands echoes the excitement and anticipation of getting a bag of…well…goodies at a party. Between these more relaxed songs and the overarching theme that is presented throughout the record, the whole makes the album’s lyrical content unquestionably strong foundation for this album. Building on the strength of the album’s lyrical content is its musical arrangements.
The musical arrangements that are featured throughout Make It Happen! are even more diverse than its lyrical content. From start to end of the 10-song record, audiences are treated to a wide array of musical styles. The album’s opener/title track launches the album with a mainstream pop style arrangement, before giving way to a more familiar kindie rock approach in its follow-up, ‘Boo Boo.’ The changes continue from there on to the album’s end. For instance, ‘Goodie Bag’ brings in a touch of vintage ska while ‘Swimming Pool’ pulls influence from the likes of Jimmy Buffett in its musical arrangement. On yet another note (no pun intended) ‘Choo Choo’ lends itself to comparisons to Tina Turner’s hit song ‘Rollin on the River.’ That is just this critic’s interpretation. Other listeners might hear more of the piano-driven Americana style. That would be a right interpretation, too. Simply put, from one song to the next, Peasley’s new album offers listeners constant stylistic change, which in itself, ensures listeners’ engagement. That constant change, together with the equally engaging and entertaining lyrical content, make the record’s presentation even more positive. The overall content is not the last of the album’s most notable elements. The sequencing thereof puts the finishing touch to the album’s presentation.
The sequencing of Peasley’s new album is important to note because it ensures that the record’s overall content avoids any monotony. That applies in regards to not just the content, which contains its own variety, but to the energies within the songs. From the album’s opener to its midpoint, the album’s energy remains relatively upbeat and stable. However, as the record progresses from that point through its next three songs, the energy gradually declines, becoming more reserved in nature. The last two songs pick the energy back up once more, taking audiences back to the levels at which the album started. This is important to note because it shows that a clear, deliberate approach to the album’s sequencing. It almost makes the album a sort of three-movement presentation. First is the higher energy (the “A”) section, and then following that is the “B” section with the more reserved energies. The “A” section returns in the album’s last two songs, even though the musical arrangements are distinctly different than those in the album’s lead “movement.” It really makes for an interesting approach to the sequencing. That approach, coupled with the album’s overall content, makes the record in whole a presentation that holds its own against this year’s current field of new family music albums.
Stacey Peasley’s new album Make It Happen! is a positive new presentation that listeners of all ages will enjoy. That is proven in part through its lyrical content. The lyrical content promotes self-confidence and empowerment, as well as just general fun. The themes vary throughout the album, keeping things interesting just in this aspect. The musical arrangements that accompany the album’s lyrical content adds its own appeal. That is because it is even more diverse than the album’s lyrical themes. There is vintage ska, there is some kindie pop, country, and even some R&B influence among the many stylistic approaches here. The sequencing of the album’s content puts the finishing touch to the album’s presentation. It ensures the noted variance in the album’s content while also presenting a very specific approach to the record’s body in regards to the energies in the songs’ arrangements. Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the record. All things considered, they make the album a presentation that holds its own against this year’s current field of new family music albums. Make It Happen! is scheduled for release Friday.
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