Moock’s New Album Is All Kinds Of Enjoyable

Courtesy: Moockshake Music

Courtesy: Moockshake Music

2015 has been quite the fruitful year for the world of children’s music. New releases from veteran acts such as Recess Monkey, Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band, and Josh and the Jamtones have joined releases from others such as Jazzy Ash, The Bazillions, and fellow veteran performers Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer among others to form a field that has offered up quite the selection of music for audiences of all ages. Now another veteran artist by the name of Alastair Moock has added yet another new release to this year’s field, making things even more interesting for those keeping track. The album in question, All Kinds of You And Me, comes only a few months after fellow veteran entertainers Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer released a similar album in the form of Dancin’ in the Kitchen: Songs For All Families. While the two acts’ new albums are similar in their lyrical topics, it can be said that Moock’s new album manages to maintain its own identity apart from that of Frink and Marxer’s new album thanks to the fact that it takes the foundation established by Fink and Marxer’s lyrics and builds on it with even more interesting topics. It also builds on the pair’s foundation with its mix of musical styles. That is the second reason that audiences will enjoy this album. Last but hardly least of note of this album is its run time. The album doesn’t even hit the one-hour mark. Rather it clocks in at forty-five minutes. The album’s longest track, its closer ‘This Land Is Your Land,’ comes in at just over five minutes. And the shortest comes in at just under the three-minute mark. That each of the album’s songs runs at a relatively normal time makes each one all the more apt to keep listeners of all ages locked in from the album’s opener to its end. Moock’s lyrical and musical approach to each number does just as much to keep listeners engaged. All three elements considered together show All Kinds of You and Me to be one of this year’s bravest and most confident children’s records. What’s more that confidence and bravery pay off in spades, proving it to be one more of this year’s best new children’s albums.

Veteran singer/songwriter Alastair Moock’s latest full-length studio recording All Kinds of You and Me is one of this year’s best new children’s albums. The twelve-track, forty-five minute recording is not the first of its kind to be released this year. Fellow veteran performers Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer released an album in Dancin’ in the Kitchen: Songs For All Families only months before this album’s release. While the two albums are similar in regards to their lyrical content, they are also quite different. That is proven first through the fact that Moock doesn’t stick to just the concept of the different kinds of families that make up America’s population. He does cover this topic. That can’t be ignored. However, he doesn’t stop there. Instead he branches out paying tribute to Malala Yousefzai in ‘I Am Malala’ and even to Woody Guthrie in his cover of ‘This Land is Your Land’ and its narrative intro ‘You and Me.’ There’s even a playful little piece about the different holidays in the simply titled ‘Every Day’s A Holiday.’ While those songs each help to make Moock’s new album stand out among this year’s field of new children’s releases, the songs about families and America’s social norms do just as much to help it stand out. Moock tackles the rigid social norms and gender roles that dominate American families in the album’s opener ‘It Takes All Kinds,’ and in the two songs that follow, ‘PEOPLE’ and ‘You Might Be A Girl.’ These songs are brave to say the least. They take a similar track as that taken by Fink and Marxer. But unlike them he takes more of stand against those norms established by American culture in these songs. Every one of the songs noted here shows in its own way to play an important part in what makes All Kinds of You and Me a standout recording. While each of the noted songs plays its own role, that is not to say that the others don’t play a role, too. Quite the opposite actually. Each one of the album’s twelve total tracks plays its own part in the whole of the album’s impact with all twelve showing clearly why the lyrical approach to this album makes it one that every family should take in together. Any family that does will be glad that it did. That is because of the foundation for discussion that each song’s lyrical content forms. It’s just the starting point of what makes this record such an interesting listen. The musical approach taken by Moock throughout the record is just as important to its success and enjoyment.

The lyrical content of Alastair Moock’s latest LP is within itself plenty of reason for audiences of all ages to hear this record. That is because of the number of topics covered by Moock throughout the course of the album’s twelve tracks and forty-five minutes. He tackles the strict gender roles and social norms established within American culture in the album’s first three songs before going a little more playful as the album advanced. He even pays tribute to human rights and women’s rights activist Malala Yousafzai and to folk legend Woody Guthrie in the album’s closer among much more content. It is just one portion of what makes this record so enjoyable, though. The album’s musical content makes it just as enjoyable. By and large, Moock presents a folksy, bluegrass style sound throughout the record. Though, he does break off at a few random points. The album’s opener presents a fun, rockabilly sound while ‘PEOPLE’ boasts a lighthearted Dixieland style sound. ‘You Might Be A Girl’ is just as enjoyable in regards to its music as it boasts something of an old school R&B influence. That is of course this critic’s own interpretation. And then there’s the dreamy, dulcet tones of ‘My Life(Is A Lot Like Yours)’ that will conjure thoughts of Allison Kraus and Norah Jones. That is a tribute to vocalist Jennifer Kimball’s extraordinary talents. ‘All In A Day’ also boasts that old school R&B influence. It conjures thoughts of Otis Redding. For all of the interest that the noted songs generates, the most intriguing of the album’s songs (in terms of their musical content) is ‘I Am Malala.’ The song largely boasts a gentle, beachy sound that conjures thoughts of Jimmy Buffett by and large. Though, interestingly enough the song switches things up in its final bars, sounding more like the opening bars of ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’ than that beachy sound that makes up the rest of its body. All of these examples together paint a rich musical picture that is just as certain to keep listeners engaged as that painted by the album’s lyrical content. The album’s musical and lyrical content taken jointly into consideration, they give listeners of all ages plenty of reason to hear this brave, enjoyable record.

Both the lyrical and musical content presented throughout the course of Alastair Moock’s new album make for plenty of reason for families to hear this record. While both elements are equally important to the whole of the record’s success and enjoyment, there is still one last element that should be examined in the whole of its presentation. That element is the record’s overall run time. The album clocks in at forty-five minutes. That is actually a relatively standard length both in regards to the realm of children’s music and that of music for adults. The album’s longest song is its closer, the cover of Woody Guthrie’s ‘This Land is Your Land.’ It comes in at five minutes and three seconds. The album’s shortest song is its second track ‘PEOPLE.’ That song comes in at two minutes and twenty-two seconds. Some might ask what significance any of this plays in the grand scheme of the album. It significance is that when set against the songs’ musical and lyrical content together, it can help to determine just how long the songs (and the album in whole) are likely to keep listeners engaged. Being that the songs’ musical and lyrical content is not over the heads of its intended audiences and the songs themselves are in fact really standard length, it means a greater chance of keeping audiences’ ears from beginning to end. Sure, five minutes for a song–especially a children’s album–might seem like a lot. But the simple redundancy of the song’s chorus makes it (‘This Land is Your Land’) one that will definitely keep young listeners’ ears for the full length of its run time. That, friends, is the importance of the album’s run time. And on a smaller scale the run time of each of the album’s songs. Those run times, set against the songs’ musical and lyrical content, make one whole record that stands out against its counterparts within the realm of children’s music this year. In turn, the combination of all three elements makes this record one of this year’s best new children’s records.

All Kinds of You and Me is a record that can be said to be all kinds of enjoyable from beginning to end. That is thanks to the album’s mix of musical stylings and lyrical themes. The run times of each of the album’s twelve total songs makes a total run time that together with the album’s musical and lyrical content is sure to keep listeners fully engaged regardless of their ages. All things considered, All Kinds of You and Me proves in the end to be all kinds of enjoyable for listeners of all ages and in turn one of this year’s best new children’s records. It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered direct via Alastair Moock’s official website at http://www.moockmusic.com. More information on All Kinds of You and Me is available online now along with all of the latest news from Alastair himself at:

Website: http://www.moockmusic.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alastair-Moock-Music/43677062968

Twitter: http://twitter.com/AlastairMoock 

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On The Bright Side Is One Of The Year’s “Brightest” New Children’s Albums So Far

Courtesy:  Oddvious Records

Courtesy: Oddvious Records

Kindie-rock band The Bazillions’ new album On The Bright Side is one of the real *ahem* bright spots (bad pun fully intended) of this year’s new crop of children’s records. Released just last week, the Minneapolis, MN-based band’s new album is an album that listeners of all ages will enjoy. Whether for the easygoing vibe of the album’s superhero-themed opener ‘Superhero Rock Band,’ the light-hearted child’s view of teachers in ‘My Teacher Is An Alien,’ or for the 90s pop-rock sound of its latest single ‘Q and U,’ the twelve-track record offers plenty for listeners of all ages to enjoy from beginning to end with each track. That also includes the likes of its simple yet deep closer about baseball and family, ‘Sons and Daughters,’ the musical science lesson that is ‘Water Cycle’ and the semi-folk style ‘Family Tree.’ These are just a few more examples of what makes On The Bright Side one of the *bright spots* of this year’s crop of children’s albums so far. Regardless of whether they pick one of these songs or any of the remaining half dozen other songs not noted here, audiences of all ages will agree that in hearing all twelve of its tracks, On The Bright Side proves to be one of the best of this year’s crop of new children’s albums so far.

The Bazillions’ latest new release, its third full-length studio recording, is one more of the best of this year’s crop of children’s records so far. That is because in regards to both its musical and lyrical content, it offers something for listeners of all ages from beginning to end. That is obvious right off the top in the superhero-themed opener ‘Superhero Rock Band.’ Considering the song’s title, one would think it to be a full-on, up-tempo rocker for the whole family. But surprisingly, it actually proves to be quite the easygoing piece. This in fact goes right along with the song’s lyrics in which front man Adam Marshall sings, “After a long day of fighting crime/They needed a way that they could unwind/With drums and electric guitars/They just wanted to rock/Without being rock stars.” He goes on to sing of each member of the cross-comic “super group” throughout each of the song’s verses, telling which instrument each member picked up. The very fact that Marshall sings in the song’s lead verse that the super powered crime fighters just wanted to relax and jam out goes perfectly with the song’s easygoing musical vibe. What’s more, the clarity of the song’s lyrical content coupled with that easygoing musical content leads to a vivid picture that will put as much of a smile on any grown-up comic book fan’s face as those of their younger counterparts. Its catchy choruses add even more enjoyment. Together with the song’s overall easygoing musical vibe and its lyrical content, which is accessible to listeners of all ages, the song in whole proves in the end to be just one prime example of why On The Bright Side is one of the best of this year’s crop of children’s albums. It is just one example of what makes this record so enjoyable for audiences of all ages, too. The band’s latest single ‘Q and U’ is another example of why On The Bright Side is such an enjoyable listen for the whole family.

‘Superhero Rock Band’ is both a great opener for The Bazillions’ new record On The Bright Side and an equally impressive example of what makes the record its own bright spot within the realm of children’s music. It obviously offers listeners of all ages plenty of enjoyment. While it offers up so much enjoyment for families, it is just one example of what makes the record in whole so fun. The whimsical ‘My Teacher Is An Alien’ is another good example of what makes it so enjoyable. The song’s musical content by itself is just one way in which the song proves its enjoyment. Its semi-pop rock vibe will take listeners right back to the early 1990s with its catchy hooks and choruses. Its lyrical content is its real heart. Marshall sings from the vantage point of a child in this song; a child that believes his or her teacher is an alien from outer space. It’s so fun for audiences of all ages because even older audiences today will have to admit to themslves that they, too had their own belief about their teachers. Who didn’t look in shock as their teachers were seen shopping for groceries outside of school? Who didn’t think teachers lived secret lives and hid great secrets in the teachers’ lounge at school? Anyone that denies this is lying to himself or herself. Marshall sings of the child’s view, “And when the day is done she gets into her car/Soon it will become her spaceship to the stars/To Venus but probably Mars/And when she’s far away (antennae on her head)/She turns a shade of green (she turned a shade of green)/And plans the next school day (and writes a test instead)/And it is sure to be alien to me.” Every grownup has been there. Every child is there. It is a belief that transcends generations and will live on in every single one. Because of that, the combination of both the song’s musical and lyrical content makes it again another clear example of why On The Bright Side is such a fun record for the whole family.

‘Superhero Rock Band’ and ‘My Teacher Is An Alien’ are both clear examples of why The Bazillions’ latest LP is one of the brightest points in this year’s crop of new children’s albums. That is due to the mix of lyrical content that will reach younger audiences just as much as those children at heart that hear it. It is also thanks to musical content that perfectly mirrors the vibe generated via the song’s musical content. Speaking of that musical content, the infectious choruses that are woven into the song add even more enjoyment to the song. All three elements combined within the course of the single song make it a clear example of why this record is one of the best of the year’s new children’s albums. Of course it is just one example of what makes this record so enjoyable for listeners of all ages. The album’s latest single ‘Q and U’ is an equally clear example of what makes it so easy on the ears. Just as with its opener, this song proves to be such a good example of what makes this record so enjoyable primarily through its musical content. Some might call this a bit of a stretch, but those older audiences that grew up in the 90s won’t be able to deny the similarity in this song’s musical content to that of say Gin Blossoms and others of that ilk. In turn those same audiences will also be unable to deny their enjoyment because of that similarity of sound. The fact that the members of The Bazillions yet again showed their ability to reach listeners of all ages with just the song’s musical content makes clear yet again why On The Bright Side is one of this year’s best new options for families. Its lyrical content proves this even more as it teaches young listeners a fun little grammar lesson about one of the most intriguing letter combinations–the Q and the U. Marshall sings about the pairing, “They’ve quickly become quite unique/And their quirkiness adds to their mystique/They’re frequently at the aquarium/Because they’re quite a big fan of Aquaman, yeah!” The use of the pairing within the song in such subtle fashion is smart to say the least. The fact that Marshall would throw in yet another comic book reference with the mention of Aquaman makes for even more enjoyment. He goes on to sing, “They squeak and squeal/And squish and squeeze/Like a squiggly squid in the sea/Thir quest for quiche is unquenchable/And their questions are quaint and quotable, yeah!” This is the same approach as in the song’s lead verse. The playful nature of the approach makes the song all the more enjoyable. When coupled with the song’s musical content, both elements show with full clarity why ‘Q and U’ is yet another example of what makes The Bazillions’ new album so fun. Families can check out the song and its brand new companion video now online for themselves online via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P09WT0rtqnM.

All three of the songs listed here show in their own way why On The Bright Side is one of the best new children’s albums of the year so far. One would be remiss to ignore the album’s other tracks, though. The deeply-moving ‘Sons and Daughters’ uses a baseball backdrop to begin a discussion about family and about equality. ‘Water Cycle’ is a great piece for any elementary and perhaps even middle school science teacher to use in his or her lesson plans. The semi-folk style ‘Family Tree’ teaches both the importance of knowing one’s familial roots. All three of these songs show just as much in their own way what makes On The Bright Side so enjoyable for listeners of all ages. Regardless of whether one chooses one of these songs, one of the ones more directly noted previously or any of the remaining half dozen songs not noted here, listeners will agree in hearing On The Bright Side in whole that it is indeed one of the year’s best new children’s albums so far. It is available in stores and online now and can be ordered direct from the band’s online store at http://thebazillions.bigcartel.com/product/cd-on-the-bright-side. More information on On The Bright Side is available online along with the latest news from the band at:

Website: http://www.thebazillions.com

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

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