Kindie rock stars Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights are scheduled to release their latest full-length album next month. Brooklyn Baby! is scheduled to be released May 19, 2017 in stores and online. The group’s sixth full-length studio recording and Leeds’ eighth overall full-length studio recording, this latest offering from Leeds and company is another enjoyable offering for audiences of all ages. That is due in part to the record’s varied musical styles. This will be discussed shortly. The album’s equally varied lyrical themes are just as important to discuss in examining this album as its musical arrangements. The album’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements. Each element is important in its own right to the recording’s whole. All things considered, they make Brooklyn Baby! a record that proves to be one of this year’s top new children’s albums.
Brooklyn Baby! is one of this year’s top new children’s albums. That is due in part to the varied musical arrangements presented throughout the course of its 13-song body. From one song to the next, Leeds and her band mates—Ian Baggette (bass/vocals), Dan Barman (drums/percussion), Jeff Litman (guitar) and Scott Stein (keyboards)—take listeners through a constantly varying array of genres. The arrangement in the album’s opener for instance is the type of work that would appeal to fans of Sheryl Crow Shania Twain with its pop-country-esque sound and Leeds’ vocal delivery. By contrast, ‘Rainbow Bagels From Outer Space’ boasts an arrangement that is just as *ahem* out of this world as its title. The arrangement in question is a punk-style composition that clearly pays homage to famed New York-based punk forefathers The Ramones. The fact that the song’s run time is only 1:49 hints at that tribute even more. Anyone who is familiar with The Ramones music will understand that reference. On a completely different note (yes, that bad pun was intended) ‘Apples in My Apples’ presents an arrangement that will appeal to fans of John Fogerty. This proven diversity is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg in exhibiting the album’s overall musical diversity. ‘Subway,’ the album’s second song exhibits a light, jazzy arrangement that is driven by a pair of maracas and an organ. ‘Pizza,’ by contrast, is an up-tempo, keyboard-driven pop composition that will put a smile on any listener’s face. The guitar-driven arrangement exhibited in ‘Shayne Punim’ is just as fun for listeners of all ages. One could ramble on aimlessly for much longer about each arrangement presented in this record. All things considered, the arrangements presented here are quite varied. That maintained variance is certain to keep listeners engaged and entertained. It is just one of the elements that ensures listeners’ maintained engagement. The record’s lyrical topics are just as varied as its musical arrangements.
The varied musical arrangements presented throughout the course of Brooklyn Baby!’s 43-minute run time do plenty to keep listeners fully engaged in the record. It is just one of the items that ensures listeners’ engagement. The record’s lyrical themes are just as varied as its musical arrangements. By and large, this record’s lyrical themes are love letters to Brooklyn. That is obvious in ‘Ferry Nice,’ ‘Subway,’ and ‘Stoop,’ all of which come early in the album’s run. They aren’t the only songs that pay homage to one of New York’s great five boroughs. ‘Pizza,’ ‘Hipster in the Making’ and the album’s title track show even more that this album is a virtual love letter to Brooklyn. However, that love for Brooklyn is just one of the themes woven into the record. Leeds ties her love for not just Brooklyn but New York in whole into a much bigger theme of unity in ‘Love is Love.’ She writes here, “It doesn’t matter if your house is big or small/It doesn’t matter if you live in New York or Nepal/It doesn’t matter if you’re short or if you’re tall/It shouldn’t matter at all/Cause love makes us family.” She goes on from here to sing about the irrelevance of people’s religious differences, their cultural differences and their home nations, adding those differences are what should bring everyone together. This is an important message to which especially adults should listen considering the nation’s current political climate (not to get too political). ‘Apples in my Apples’ comes across as a commentary about issues with produce and other foods provided to the nation’s grocery stores. That can be inferred as she sings in the song’s chorus, “You don’t know what you’re getting that the grocery store/It ain’t like what it used to be/When everything was pure.” Her comments about non-GMO corn, grass-fed cows, free-range chickens and other related matters make even clearer the message in this music. There’s no denying that at times, it feels a bit preachy. But she does make a valid point. On a less controversial note, Leeds also pens a love letter to libraries in ‘Library Book.’ This song sees Leeds singing about the joys of going to the library, finding so many books and simply learning. In an age when so much of what people consume (including books) has gone digital, having such a lyrical topic pointing out the importance of the printed word and the buildings that house it. Between these songs and those that profess Leeds’ love to Brooklyn, the whole of the record’s lyrical themes proves to be just as diverse as the record’s musical arrangements. Keeping that in mind, it becomes clear why those diverse lyrical themes are so important to the record’s whole. They still are not the last important element to consider. The record’s overall sequencing is just as important to discuss here as the record’s musical and lyrical content.
The musical and lyrical content presented throughout Brooklyn Baby! are both key elements to its presentation. That is because of the diversity exhibited in each. While they are clearly important elements, they are not the record’s only important elements. The record’s overall sequencing is just as important to discuss as its music and lyrics. For the most part, the arrangements presented throughout this record are mid-tempo works. What is interesting is that the tempos and their associated energies vary just as much as the arrangements and lyrics within each work. Case in point is the record’s first three songs. The dreamy vibe of ‘Ferry Nice’ set against the more light-hearted, playful vibe of ‘Subway’ and the gentle flowing energy of ‘By Myself’ offers up such a wide variety of energies right off the bat. The energies exhibited throughout the next three songs varies just as much right up to the album’s midway point that is ‘Pizza.’ That song stands out perhaps more than any others here because of the infectious groove established through its arrangement. The laid back, almost beachy Jack Johnson style energy exhibited in ‘Shayne Punim’ set against the wild energy of ‘Rainbow Bagels From Outer Space’ and the flowing ballad behind ‘Love is Love’ creates just as much contrast as that presented between the record’s other songs. The energies exhibited in the record’s final set of songs contrast one another just as blatantly as those of the other noted works, too. All things considered, much thought and time was put into Brooklyn Baby!’s sequencing. The songs’ arrangements present just as much variety in their energies from one to the next as there is in themselves and their lyrical themes. Keeping all of this in mind, the whole of this record proves to be yet another enjoyable offering from Joanie Leeds & The Nightlights, and one more of the year’s top new children’s albums.
Brooklyn Baby!, the latest full-length studio recording from Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights, offers plenty for listeners of all ages to appreciate. From its musical arrangements to its equally varied lyrical themes and its smart sequencing, it will certainly impress fans new and old alike. Simply put, variance serves as this album’s strongest point. That variance, in its musical arrangements and energies and in its lyrical themes, makes this record enjoyable from start to finish. It ultimately makes this album another enjoyable offering from Joanie Leeds & The Nightlights, and one of the year’s top new children’s albums. It will be available May 19 via Limbostar. More information on this album is available online now along with all of the group’s latest news and more at:
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