Again, Again’s New LP Shows Promise For Duo’s Future

Courtesy: Waldmania PR

Family music act Again, Again released its sophomore album, Your Voice is Magic Friday independently.  The 10-song record is a presentation that is worth hearing at least once.  Its appeal comes in part through its featured musical content which will be examined shortly.  The lyrical content that accompanies the record’s musical content adds to the album’s appeal and will be discussed a little later.  The sequencing of that content brings everything together and rounds out the record’s overall presentation.  It will also be examined later.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation.  All things considered, they make Your Voice is Magic an appealing new offering from Again, Again that is worth hearing again and again.

Your Voice is Magic, the new album from Again, Again, is an interesting new presentation from the up-and-coming family music duo Anne Montone and Jennifer Cook.  The record’s musical arrangements form its foundation.  For the most part, the musical content featured throughout the body is decidedly pop in its sound and approach.  However, there are some variances throughout.  One of the songs that breaks from the norm here comes late in the album’s run in ‘Captain Bubble Beard.’  The arrangement hear actually is a sea shanty style work, complete with something similar to an accordian and steady drum beat that is meant to sound like feet on a ship’s deck.  The vocal delivery here is even sung in similar fashion as that of a shanty, making for even more engagement and entertainment.  ‘Chosen,’ the album’s penultimate entry, boasts a sort of sound and style that is somewhat neo-folk in its sound and approach.  That is evidenced through the simple, subtle use of the vocals and guitars.  The seeming keyboard and synthesized strings also add to that sense, making for even more interest.  It is a change of pace that audiences will find welcome from the rest of the album’s content in its own right.  The lullaby approach of the album’s finale, ‘Monsters Aren’t Real’ is welcome in its own right, what with its gentle approach.  Rather than just being another run-of-the-mill overly saccharine sweet style work that it could have been, it instead has the most subtle playfulness in that gentle approach, giving it a unique identity from other lullabies out there and from the rest of the album’s entries.  As if all of this is not, the album’s opener, ‘Signs Up High,’ is a subtle pop rock style composition that has its own appeal, too.  When it and the other songs examined here are considered along with the arrangements in the rest of the record, the whole makes clear why the album’s musical content is so important to its presentation. 

While the musical content featured throughout Your Voice is Magic is clearly an important part of the album in its own right, it is just one of the important items to note.  The lyrical themes that accompany the album’s musical content are just as worth examining.  That is because of their diversity.  As the album opens, the pair tackles the familiar topic of peaceful protest in ‘Signs Up High.’  The theme is made clear as Cook and Montone sing about marching for change and reminding listeners about knowing the difference between right and wrong.  The mention of the signs is literally a reference to holding signs declaring that message of belief in certain topics.  The promotion of standing up for one’s beliefs is key especially in the current age when so many people want to shout down those who peacefully protest.

‘Pronoun Party,’ which immediately follows, takes on the equally familiar topic of inclusion.  In this case, it does so by “inviting” everyone to the “Pronoun Party.”  In this case, the pronouns are the words that people in the LGBTQ+ community use to identify themselves.  That topic is sure to cause its own share of discussion among listeners, considering how divisive the topic is among both liberals and conservatives both between the two sides and even among the parties.  The inclusion theme continues in a different fashion in ‘Girl Included,’ which is a work that promotes gender equality among males and females.  The accessible way in which the duo tackles the topic is certain to appeal to the act’s targeted audiences.  As if all of this is not enough, Cook and Montone also take on the topic of adoption in ‘Chosen’ and that of personal hygiene in ‘Wash Your Hands March.’  Again, here is more example of the diversity in the album’s lyrical themes.  All things considered here, the lyrical themes featured throughout Your Voice is Magic give audiences just as much to appreciate as the album’s musical content if not more.  To that end, those themes prove to be just as important as the album’s musical content.

While all of the content that makes up the body of Your Voice is Magic is clearly important on its own and collectively, the sequencing of that content is just as important as the content.  That is because it plays into the album’s general effect.  Throughout the album’s run, which barely tops the 30-minute mark (30 minutes, 43 seconds to be exact), Cook and Montone keep the record’s energy flowing even as the styles and sounds of the arrangements change so subtly from one to the next.  In the same vein, the more notable changes in the songs’ lyrical themes change enough to keep audiences engaged and entertained, too.  The result thereof is that the general effect will ensure listeners’ maintained engagement and entertainment just as much as the album’s content.  All things considered the record proves to be a mostly enjoyable addition to this year’s field of new family music albums.

Your Voice is Magic, the new album from up-and-coming family music act Again, Again, is a mostly enjoyable presentation from the duo.  The record’s appeal comes in part through its musical arrangements.  The arrangements are important because of their accessibility even being mostly poppy in their presentation.  Each one boasts its own subtle difference from its counterparts throughout.  The lyrical themes that accompany the musical arrangements are even more diverse, making for even more engagement.  The sequencing of all of that content completes the picture painted by this album and brings everything full circle.  Each item examined is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation.  All things considered they make Your Voice is Magic a welcome addition to this year’s field of new family music albums.

Your Voice is Magic is available now.  More information on the album is available along with all of Again, Again’s latest news at:

Website: https://againagain.net

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/againagainmusic

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com

Jenn Cleary’s Sophomore LP Will Make Audiences Of All Ages Happy Every Day

Courtesy: Waldmania PR

Family music entertainer Jenn Cleary is scheduled to release her sophomore album, Happy Day June 17 independently.  Set for release a little more than a year after the release of her debut album, All Together Now, the 10-song record is a presentation that will make audiences happy every day.  That is due in part to the album’s musical body, which will be discussed shortly.  The record’s lyrical themes add their own interest to the record’s presentation and will be examined a little later.  The album’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’s presentation.  All things considered they make the album a successful second offering from Jenn Cleary.

Happy Day, the second new album from Jenn Cleary, is a positive new presentation from the family music entertainer. The record’s success comes in part through its featured musical arrangements.  Speaking more specifically, the diversity in the arrangements is what makes them so important.  The album opens with a mid-tempo kindie rock composition in the album’s title track but then quickly changes things up immediately after in ‘Magical Music Train.’  The bluesy harmonica line and the guitar line give the arrangement in this case an identity totally separate from that of the album’s opener.  The addition of what sounds like a Hammond B3 organ to the mix adds even more to the engaging and entertaining blues approach here and ensures even more, older audiences’ engagement and entertainment.  ‘Plant A Garden’ changes things yet again, taking listeners on a zydeco ride.  Cleary and her fellow musicians take another hard right yet again in the very next song, ‘I Like Candy,’ this time in a more country western direction.  ‘Take A Walk in the Woods,’ which serves as the album’s midpoint, keeps the changes coming, this time offering audiences a semi-country rock approach. From there to the record’s end, the sounds and styles continue changing just as much all the way through.  By the record’s end audiences will agree that the varied arrangements presented throughout the album’s body make for reason enough to hear this presentation.

As much as the album’s musical arrangements do to appeal to audiences, it is just part of what makes the record worth hearing.  The lyrical themes that accompany the record’s musical arrangements add their own share of interest to the presentation.  From the serious to the silly, Cleary presents themes that will resonate with audiences of all ages.  What’s more she does this in a way that makes them accessible to just as many audiences.  Case in point is the light, flowing ‘Turtle Time.’  The song is a reminder to audiences of all ages that we all need time to slow down after being so overly exposed to the now, now, now nature of the world today. That nonstop energy of the workday and school day.  She even notes in her song that parents need that turtle time just as much as children. 

On a separate note, a song, such as ‘I Like Candy’ promotes proper dental health and proper eating habits all in one.  She sings from the vantage point of a child who loves all kinds of candy but ends up paying for it in the end at a dentist appointment.  The dentist goes so far as to tell the child to cut back on sweets and try to eat healthier.

On yet another note, a song, such as ‘Fly, Seagull, Fly,’ which comes across as a sort of neo-folk style composition, is a celebration of the simple things in life.  The song’s subject is out on the beach, watching a seagull flying casually up in the blue sky.  The seagull is a representation of those simple things that we should all take into account daily and appreciate.  It really is a unique way to approach such a deeper concept that will connect with a wide range of audiences.  It is yet another example of what makes the album’s lyrical themes so important to its presentation.  When it and the other themes pointed out here are considered along with the rest of the album’s themes, the whole leaves no doubt as to the noted importance.  It is just one more part of what makes the album appealing.  The album’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.

Throughout the course of the album’s run, the sequencing creates a fully immersive and positive general effect.  This is the case even as the sounds and styles of the songs change from one to the next.  Other than the record’s finale, ‘It’s Time To Go To Sleep,’ the only other point at which the album’s energy pulls back (and fittingly so) is ‘Turtle Time.’  The relaxed sense of the arrangement does well to help translate the message of needing that time to slow down and just relax.  To that end, the stability of the album’s musical content even amidst its constantly changing sounds and styles, the sequencing ensures audiences’ engagement and entertainment in its own right.  When the success thereof is considered along with the impact of the album’s overall content, the whole makes Happy Day a successful sophomore offering from Jenn Cleary.

Happy Day, the new album from Jenn Cleary, is a welcome addition to this year’s field of new family music albums.  Its appeal comes in part through its featured musical arrangements.  The record’s musical arrangements stand out because of their variety.  From one to the next, Cleary offers audiences something different throughout the album.  That in itself is reason enough for audiences to hear the album.  The lyrical themes that accompany the album’s musical content are just as varied.  They range from the serious to the silly.  What’s more they are delivered in a fashion that makes them accessible to audiences of any age.  The album’s sequencing puts the finishing touch to its presentation.  It ensures the album’s energy remains stable throughout its run even as the sounds and styles change.  The result is a positive general effect that is just as important as the album’s content.  Each item examined is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation.  All things considered they make the album a presentation that will make the whole family happy every day.

Happy Day is scheduled for release June 17. More information on the album is available along with all of Cleary’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://jenncleary.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/JennClearyMusic

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/jenncleary

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.     

Daria Honors Hospital Employees With New Single

Courtesy: Waldmania PR

Family music entertainer Daria (no last name, just Daria) released Friday, a new tribute to the medical personnel who continue to treat COVID-19 patients. 

The tribute came in the form of the simply-titled song, ‘Thanks to the Doctors and Nurses.’  The song presents a musical arrangement that will appeal to folk music fans of all ages.  That is evidenced through Daria’s vocal delivery style and the simple use of the guitar and Latin percussion.  The vocals harmonies in the vocals alongside that simply instrumentation lends the whole to comparison to works from the likes of Woody Guthrie, Raffi, and Pete Seeger.

The lyrical theme that accompanies the song’s musical arrangement is straight forward as Daria sings that “there can be health/There can be happiness” before praising the nation’s doctors and nurses for “bringing the medicine/And saving our lives” in the song’s chorus.  In addition she sings of those personnel, “helping all the patients/With smiles and bandages/Kindness inside of them.”  While the pandemic finally seems to be on the decline and will hopefully end sooner rather than later, it is still ongoing, so this song will certainly encourage those front line personnel as they continue to fight the battle against COVID-19.

‘Thanks to the Doctors and Nurses’ is available now.

More information on Daria’s new single is available along with all of her latest news at:

Website: https://dariamusic.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dariasmusic

Twitter: https://twitter.com/dariasmusic

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.  

Laurie Berkner Announces Details For Upcoming Holiday Livestream Shows

Photo Credit: Jayne Thornton

Family music entertainer Laurie Berkner will celebrate the holiday season with two new livestream concerts next month.

The concerts are scheduled to take place at noon and 5 p.m. ET on Dec. 18. The concerts will livestream through Berkner’s official website.

Berkner talked about the upcoming livestream concerts in a prepared statement.

“With all that’s going on in the world, I feel so lucky to still be able to share our annual Holiday Concert and celebrate with families this year!,” the statement reads. “These will be my final virtual family concerts of 2021, and I’m so proud and moved by the community that we have built together in these past months. Seeing videos of kids and families sharing loving moments and dancing together to my music makes all of the hard work that we put into each of these livestreamed events completely worth it. I truly can’t wait!”

Tickets are available here The pre-show lobby will feature music, video, and holiday-themed games. Special post show virtual meet-and-greet tickets are also available.

Regular admission virtual tickets include access to one of both performances on one device and an exclusive “welcome” video from Berkner.

The meet-and-greet packages feature a group of extras noted below.

– Two-Minute Virtual 1-on-1 Private Meet & Greet with Laurie Berkner after the show. Participants will be called directly when it is their turn.
– Virtual Photo Opportunity with Laurie Berkner.
– Recording of video session emailed to ticket holder 3 days post-event.
– Opportunity for parents to chat with fellow families in the Virtual Waiting Room while awaiting their turn in line.
– Live tech support.

“Doors open” an hour prior to showtime. A pre-show will run for audiences’ entertainment and to test connections.

In related news, Laurie Berkner premiered her take on the traditional Hanukkah song, ‘Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel‘ Nov. 5.

More information on Berkner’s new concerts are available along with all of her latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.laurieberkner.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/LaurieBerknerBand

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/LaurieBerkner

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.

Audiences Will Find Themselves Having Seconds And Thirds Of Ben Tatar And The Tatar Tots’ New Album

Courtesy: Ben Tatar Music

Food is a big part of life for everyone.  It is not just something needed to live.  It is part of cultures the world over.  From New Year’s Day to New Year’s Eve, food is celebrated with festivals and as part of various holidays and seasons.  It is even celebrated in song and dance.  Speaking of song, Ben Tatar is among the many acts that use song to celebrate food.  Tatar — an elementary school music educator and family music entertainer — and his friends “The Tatar Tots” are scheduled to release their second food-centric album, Seconds, Friday independently through his own label, Ben Tatar Music.  Like so many family music offerings already released this year, the 10-song record proves itself a *pardon the awful pun* tasty musical treat for the whole family in part through its musical arrangements.  They form the album’s foundation and will be discussed shortly.  The food-themed lyrical topics featured alongside each arrangement do their own part to make the album so enjoyable.  They will be discussed a little later.  The record’s sequencing rounds out the record’s most important elements and will also be discussed later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation.  All things considered, they make Seconds a successful second musical helping from Tatar and company that will leave a great taste in every listener’s mouth.  Yes, those awful puns were intended, too.

Seconds, the latest album from Ben Tatar and the Tatar Tots, is a fun new serving of food-centric songs from the group.  Again, yes, that pun was intended.  Coming more than seven years after the release of the group’s debut album, Food!, the 32-minute presentation succeeds in part through its featured musical arrangements.  The arrangements are important to examine because of their diversity.  They offer something for audiences of all ages.  Case in point is the record’s midpoint, ‘The Breakfast Song (Start It Right).’  The song’s arrangement is a gentle, flowing, keyboard-driven arrangement that throws back to some of the easy listening sounds of the 1970s.  The steady 4/4/ time kept on the ride cymbal alongside the subtle use of the clarinet and bells add even more to that sense and sound.  Meanwhile, Tatar’s vocals here are so similar in sound and style to those of Ben Folds and other similar singers, but even with that, still sound like they belong in the 70s.  Tatar and company go even farther back in the American songbook from there as the record’s second half opens in ‘Bake Me A Cake.’  This song is a full on vintage big band swing style composition that is so catchy in its own right.  The solos from the saxophone and accents from the trumpets alongside the swinging work of drummer Mike Bruno make the song so fun.  As if all of this is not enough, the record opens with an equally enjoyable Dixieland style arrangement in ‘Jambalaya’ fittingly.  ‘Peanut Butter,’ its immediate follow-up, takes audiences on a disco ride while ‘Can You Write a Song About Broccoli?’ changes things again in its vintage Four Tops/Temptations style arrangement.

The record’s second half offers just as much diversity in its musical content.  ‘Back to The Buffet’ conjures thoughts of James Brown to a point while its follow-up, ‘Thinking of Pizza’ interestingly offers audiences something almost Caribbean in nature.  Considering where pizza came from, it makes this perhaps the most unique of the album’s musical arrangements.  ‘Oh Cookie,’ the album’s penultimate entry, offers audiences something of a kindie-pop style composition.  It gives way to another dose of Dixieland circa the 1920s in the record’s finale, ‘Sweet Nectarine.’  The specific production used in the vocals here conjures thoughts of vocals used in so many songs of the age.  It is a full-on throwback to the golden age of music.  Looking at everything here in full, it becomes clear that that musical arrangements featured in this record are diverse and offer something for so many listeners.  They are just part of what makes the album succeed.  The equally diverse food-centric lyrical topics that accompany the record’s musical content add to the album’s success.

The food-centric topics featured in Seconds are just as enjoyable for audiences as the album’s diverse musical arrangements.  This has already been hinted at in the discussion on the arrangements.  From the tasty jambalaya that is associated with Louisian and the state’s creole culture, to the musical celebration of the various types of green vegetables are out there in ‘I Got The Greens,’ to the celebration of one of everybody’s favorite Italian foods in ‘Thinking of Pizza’ and beyond, the themes take audiences around the culinary world, again, offering something for everybody.  Now on the surface, this is good because again it is a celebration of so much food, as with the group’s debut album.  On a deeper level though, the various food-centric topics make for great starting points on discussions of the importance of said foods in various parts of the world.  In other words, they can be used as part of bigger discussions on a deeper matter, such as cultural diversity and related topics.  So the diverse topics are not just songs about different foods.  They create their own food for deeper thought.  Yes, that terrible food-related pun was also intended.  That the lyrical themes have that duality about them makes their importance even clearer.  Even with that in mind, the album’s lyrical content is not the end of the record’s appeal.  The record’s sequencing brings everything together and completes the album’s presentation.

Seconds’ sequencing is important because it plays just as much of a prominent role in the record’s general effect as the record’s content.  It ensures that the record’s pacing remains stable from start to end while also keeping the sounds and lyrical content changing from one to the next.  The album does gradually relax early on, but even with that, the energy still remains relatively stable throughout the album.  Meanwhile, the arrangements change in sound and style as do the lyrical topics change so steadily.  Keeping all of that in mind, the record’s sequencing proves important because of the stability that it ensures throughout the record’s 30-minute-plus run time.  When the record’s sequencing is considered along with its content, the whole makes the record in whole a fun new offering from Ben Tatar and the Tatar Tots.  It becomes a record that audiences of all ages will enjoy.

Ben Tatar and the Tatar Tots’ sophomore album, Seconds, is a welcome new helping of musical entertainment for the whole family.  Is that enough food-related puns yet?  The record succeeds in part because of its musical content.  The record’s musical arrangements are diverse throughout and will appeal to audiences of all ages.  The record’s lyrical content makes for its own engagement and entertainment.  That is because not only is it diverse, but also serves as a great starting point for any discussion on cultural diversity, considering the connection that food has to ever people’s culture.  The record’s sequencing takes all of the content in mind as it joins everything together, ensuring audiences’ full engagement and entertainment.  Each item examined here is important in its own way to the whole of the album.  All things considered, they make Seconds another enjoyable addition to this year’s field of new family music albums.

Seconds is scheduled for release Friday through Ben Tatar’s own label, Ben Tatar Music.  More information on the album is available along with all of Ben Tatar’s latest news at:

Website: https://www.bentatarmusic.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BenTatarMusic

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BenTatarMusic

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.  

G’Raph’s Debut Album Will Leave Audiences Mostly Happy

Courtesy: Waldmania PR

Family music entertainer G’Raph (a.k.a. Raphael Groten) is scheduled to release his debut album, Happily Ever Now Friday.  The independent,13-song record is unquestionably among the most unique entries so far among this year’s field of new family music albums.  That is due in large part to its featured musical arrangements, which will be discussed shortly.  The lyrical themes that accompany the record’s musical content make for their own share of interest and intrigue.  They will be addressed a little later.  The record’s production rounds out its most important elements and will also be discussed later.  Each noted item is important in its own way to the whole of this presentation.  All things considered, they make the album worth hearing at least once.

Raphael Groten’s debut family music album is an interesting start to his career within the noted genre.  Its interest comes in large part through its featured musical arrangements.  The arrangements are important because of their variety and their general presentation.  From one song to the next, audiences get something different in terms of sound and stylistic approach.  At the same time, each composition is so subtle.  This actually becomes a little bit problematic for the record’s presentation.  ‘I Love You, Baby’ for instance, conjures thoughts of works from famed composer/singer Randy Newman.  That is due to the use of the Dixieland style instrumentation and approach taken here and Groten’s own subtle, playful vocal delivery.  There is a certain sense about the whole that immediately brings about such comparison.   ‘The Minor ABCs’ changes things up quite dramatically.   Instead of the familiar, happy ABC song that everyone learns and knows from childhood, this rendition puts the song in a semi-flamenco style presentation and in minor chord fashion at that.  The decidedly percussive nature of the delivery puts the song into quite new terrirory.  On yet another note, ‘Baby Blues’ offers up a song about…well…the trials of being a baby against the musical backdrop of a 12-bar blues arrangement.  That blues arrangement works, and even though it clearly won’t connect with babies, it will put a smile on many listeners’ faces.  The very brief Sesame Street lick that opens the song adds even more interest to the arrangement and shows that much more the variety in the record’s musical arrangements.  Taking these arrangements and all of the others featured throughout the album into account, the result is a clear picture of the diversity in the album’s musical arrangements.  That diversity is reason enough for audiences to hear this record at least once.

Now for all the good that the diversity in the arrangements does for the album’s presentation, there is one issue that arises in listening to each composition.  That issue is that so much of the record’s musical content is overly relaxed.  Not every song is like that, but by and large, much of the record’s musical content does follow that approach.  The result is that it causes the album to drag a bit, feeling longer than its 52 minute run time.  As a matter of fact, 52 minutes is in itself an exceptionally long run time for a family music album.  Most albums within the genre run between 30 and 40 minutes in length with either multiple short songs or a handful of three- to four minute songs that are themselves energetic enough to keep listeners engaged and entertained.  To that end, the overarching approach that Groten has taken to the arrangements does detract from the presentation.  It is not enough to make the album a failure, but at the same time cannot be ignored.

Getting back on a more positive topic, the lyrical content that accompanies the record’s musical arrangements adds to the presentation’s appeal.  ‘Hands in the Water,’ which opens the record, and ‘Don’t Pick Your Nose’ each present themes of personal hygiene.  Whether that was a reaction to everything going on in the world is anyone’s guess.  Regardless, getting an early start to teaching good personal hygiene is always a good thing.  ‘Monster Truck,’ which serves as part of the album’s midpoint along with ‘The Minor ABCs,’ is about just that.  It is a fun little song about a monster truck that in this case actually is a monster and a truck in one.  It is a silly song that will leave any young listener laughing.  As a matter of fact, it might even be a good choice for any Halloween party for said listeners since it is so family and kid friendly while also bringing up a “monster” theme.  On yet another note, ‘I’m Not Perfect’ takes on the all too familiar theme of self confidence and acceptance.  It is a theme that is always needed and welcome for young audiences.  It is just another example of the diversity in the album’s lyrical content.  Between this theme, the others noted here, and the rest of the album’s lyrical content, the whole makes fully clear why the record’s lyrical themes are so important to the album’s presentation.  They offer just as much variety as the record’s musical arrangements.  The result is that it makes the album that much more engaging and entertaining.


Taking into account the impact of the diversity in the album’s lyrical and musical content, there is obviously much for audiences to appreciate in Happily Ever Now.  For all of the positive that this collective content makes for the album, it is only a part of what makes the album work.  The production thereof rounds out the album’s most important elements.  As noted already, much of the album’s arrangements are very subtle and laid back in their presentations.  That extra relaxed approach that Groten took to so much of this record meant that close attention had to be paid to every single arrangement.  That is so that the few items presented in each arrangement was balanced with its counterparts.  Luckily, such attention was paid to each song.  As a result, the arrangements each do their best to keep listeners engaged and entertained even as subdued as they remain.  Keeping that impact in mind along with the impact of the record’s overall content, the whole makes the album a work that will make audiences mostly happy.

Raphael Groten’s (a.k.a. G’Raph) debut family music album, Happily Ever Now, is an interesting first offering from the veteran musician/singer/songwriter.  It is a mostly successful effort due in part to its musical arrangements.  The arrangements stand out because of their diversity.  They take listeners on journeys into a variety of different musical genres from one to the next.  That in itself will keep listeners engaged and entertained.  At the same time, the approach that Groten took to the songs is somewhat problematic.  The problem arises in the stylistic approach that he took to the arrangements.  By and large, the arrangements are overly relaxed.  This is not enough to make the record a failure, but it will definitely hinder the ability of the arrangements to fully engage and entertain listeners.  It shows that even with relaxation, there is such thing as too much of a good thing.  Moving on, the lyrical content that accompanies the album’s musical arrangements are also diverse.  They cover a wide range of topics, giving audiences even more reason to give the album a chance.  The record’s production brings everything together and gives the record a mostly positive general effect.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation.  All things considered, they make Happily Ever Now a work that will leave audiences mostly happy.

Happily Ever Now is scheduled for release Friday.  More information on the album is available along with all of Groten’s latest news at https://www.raphaelgroten.com.  

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.  

Jenn Cleary’s Debut Family Album Is A Positive First Family Outing

Courtesy: Waldmania PR

Singer/songwriter/activist Jenn Cleary has spent the better part of her adult life making music and working to improve life for families in places around the world.  Now this year, she is bringing those two sides of her career together with her debut family music album, All Together Now.  Scheduled for release Friday, the self-released record blends Cleary’s socially conscious leanings with a diverse range of musical arrangements to make the general presentation appealing for her target audiences.  The sequencing of the noted content brings everything together and completes the record’s presentation.  All three noted items are important in their own way to the whole of this presentation to make the album a presentation that holds its own against the many other family music albums that have been released so far this year.

Jenn Cleary’s debut family music album (and fourth overall album) is a presentation that holds its own against this year’s current field of new family music albums.  That is proven in part through its featured lyrical themes.  From start to end, the 31-minute record’s themes range from the silly to the serious.  The more serious themes come early on in the record’s first four songs.  From understanding and appreciating the role of bees to the environment, to keeping the world’s waterways clean, to simply understanding and appreciating the diversity in the world’s ecosystems, and the need to protect them, Cleary makes the messages clear in these songs.  She also closes the album with a more serious topic in the matter of the non-nuclear family in ‘Families of All Kinds.’  This song continues the normalization of the reality that families are not just two parents and a certain number of children.  Considering that there are still those in the 21st century who stick to that stereotype, a song such as this is just as relevant and welcome as ever.  In-between all of that, Cleary inserts the more silly works, one of which is a simple work that celebrates the joy of something as simple as blowing bubbles.  There is also a celebration of using one’s imagination in ‘Dinosaur Friend.’  Between this topic, the others noted here, and those featured in the rest of the album’s works, the whole paints Cleary’s new album as an interesting lyrically diverse presentation.  That diversity in itself will help the album connect with a wide range of audiences.  It is just one of the aspects that will connect with audiences.  The album’s musical content is just as diverse as its lyrical content.

All Together Now opens with a semi-country style work in ‘Our Wild Family.’  The combination of the piano, harmonica, vocals, and drums works well to present that subtle sound and approach.  Cleary moves in a more bluesy direction in ‘Scar’s the Word For That,’ showing that diversity a little more.  ‘Clean Water’ changes things up again, taking the record is amore pop direction.  On an even more interesting note, Cleary offers up some zydeco in ‘Backyard Farm.’  ‘Dinosaur Friend’ keeps the musical diversity moving by using a bit of a folk/country hybrid approach in its musical arrangement.  ‘Less Gravity’ keeps the changes coming, this time taking listeners back to the 1960s in its danceable arrangement. Looking through all of this and the musical arrangements in the album’s other songs, the diversity in the record’s musical content becomes clearer.  Hearing that diversity will lead to full appreciation for that aspect of the album, too.

While the general content featured throughout this record does plenty to keep listeners engaged and entertained, they are only a portion of what makes the record interesting for audiences.  The sequencing of said content brings everything together and completes the album’s presentation.  A close listen to the record reveals a very deliberate approach to the sequencing.  For the most part, the sequencing keeps the album’s energy at a relatively stable mid-tempo rate.  However, there is a clear break point in the record in ‘Love Right Now.’  This song features a distinctly subdued sound and approach that is completely unlike the album’s other arrangements.  It serves as a good way for Cleary to keep listeners engaged.  From there, the record returns to its noted, more up-tempo feel that makes up the record’s first half.    In the process, the sequencing ensures the lyrical themes and musical styles and sounds change just enough to keep things interesting.  Keeping this in mind, no doubt is left as to the importance of the album’s sequencing.  When it is considered along with the album’s musical and lyrical content, the whole makes this album a successful first family outing for Cleary.

Jenn Cleary’s debut family album, All Together Now is a positive offering from the singer/songwriter/activist.  That is proven in part through the album’s musical arrangements.  The arrangements in question are somewhat diverse, offering audiences a touch of country, folk, and even some pop.  The lyrical content that accompanies the album’s musical content adds its own touch to the presentation.  That is because it is also diverse.  There are environmentally aware messages alongside messages making clear, the importance of family and familial love.  There are also lighter messages that push the importance of having simple fun.  The record’s sequencing ensures that musical and lyrical diversity is itself kept diverse throughout the album.  It changes up all of that content throughout while also keeping the album’s energy stable throughout.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the album, clearly.  All things considered, they make All Together Now a positive first family outing for Cleary.

All Together Now is scheduled for release Friday.  More information on the album is available along with all of Cleary’s latest news at:

Website: https://jenncleary.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JennClearyMusic

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jenncleary

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.     

Beth Jean’s Sophomore Album Shows Promise For Her Future In The Family Music Community

Courtesy: Jetti Winkle Music

More than a year after shutting down due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Broadway is slowly turning its lights back on and welcoming audiences back to its theaters.  News agencies nationwide have been reporting the news in the past week or so.  The timing of that tentatively optimistic news comes at a fitting time for family music entertainer Beth Jean.  That is because Jean’s new theater-inspired album, Let’s Put on a Show, is scheduled for release Friday, right around the same time that the noted news about Broadway’s re-opening has come along.  The theater inspiration goes so far that the album’s track listing is presented in the fashion of a playbill, playfully dividing the album into two separate acts.  This general presentation aspect will be discussed a little more shortly.  It sets the foundation for the album’s foundation.  Building on that foundation is the record’s musical content.  It will be discussed a little later.  The lyrical themes featured alongside the album’s musical content rounds out the album’s most important elements.  It will also be discussed later.  When it is considered along with the record’s musical content and its general presentation, all three elements collectively make Beth Jean’s new album a presentation that will leave any young listener wanting to put on his or her own show.

Beth Jean’s latest album, Let’s Put on a Show, is a presentation that is sure to appeal to her young audiences.  For that matter, it is just as likely to appeal to some older audiences.  That is proven in part through its general presentation.  Jean presented the album’s packaging – specifically the track listing – as if it was a playbill.  That goes in conjunction with comments that she recently made about the album being inspired by her own love of theater.

“I adore classic Broadway musicals with their big tap numbers, belt-at-the-top-of-your-lungs show tunes, and glitzy, sequined costumes,” said Jean. “I like the idea of people listening to this album and envisioning their own shows. It reminds me of growing up, pre-YouTube, and imagining what the choreography looked like and what the storylines were of the Broadway albums that I listened to. If there’s a message in Let’s Put On a Show, it’s ‘Be yourself, and don’t be afraid to sing and dance your heart out to these fun, silly songs! Embrace what makes you – you!’”  That love of theater is show, again, in the fact that Jean presented her new album’s track listing in the fashion of a playbill.  Now it should be noted here that the album is not a play or even a concept album.  This was just a fun way for Jean to follow the album’s noted overarching theme.  It is more or less just an aesthetic element, but still does its own share to help set the mood for the record.  To that end, it is its own important aspect to the album’s presentation.  It is just one of the items that makes Jean’s new album appealing.  The musical content presented throughout the album adds its own appeal to the record.

The musical arrangements featured in Let’s Put on a Show are important to address because of their variety.  There are some songs whose arrangements will appeal to pre-K age listeners with their light, playful arrangements.  Among the more notable of those songs are works, such as the early entry, ‘You Are Magic!,’  ‘I Am A Hamser, Yes I Am!,’ and ‘Tweet a Little Tweet Tweet.’  These songs will especially appeal to fans of Jean’s fellow family music counterpart, Laurie Berkner.  Along with those arrangements that are geared younger, Jean also features some kindie-pop style works that will appeal to kindergarten students in works, such as ‘Never Give Up,’ ‘The Best Mustache in Michigan,’ and ‘Whoopsie Daisy.’  Jean even goes somewhat 90s in this record in ‘No Gravity’ what with the keyboard lines and general vocal approach.  So simply put, what audiences get here is an album that ensures listeners’ engagement and entertainment just as much through its musical arrangements as through its general presentation.  These two elements are just a portion of what makes the album work.  The lyrical diversity featured in the album is just as important to its presentation as the record’s musical arrangements and its general presentation.

The lyrical themes that are featured in Let’s Put on a Show are important because, as noted, they are diverse.  At the same time, they are also largely uplifting.  ‘Never Give Up’ openly reminds young listeners to…well…never give up on anything in life.  That can be in regards to something they are doing at a given moment, or even on long-term goals that they might have.  She comes right out and tells her young listeners, “never give up/Every time you find sunshine” before later telling them, “You can do anything.”  This supportive message is just as welcome here as any other instance in which it is presented. 

On a completely different topic, Jean playfully sings about penguins in ‘Waddlin’ We Go (The Penguin Song).’  The penguins sing about how they waddle and slide around their cold, icy home.  The use of the ukulele alongside the silly, smile-inducing lyrical topic ensures in its own right, listeners’ enjoyment and engagement.  It is yet another way in which the diversity in the record’s lyrical diversity is displayed, in turn showing even more why that diversity is so important to the album’s presentation.

Things get even sillier later in the album’s run as Jean presents a song about a little garden gnome in the aptly titled ‘Garden Gnome.’  The little gnome’s story about its life in front of a house is a sweet, innocent story that is just as sure as the other songs noted here and the rest of the album’s works, to put a smile on listeners’ faces.  Between the sweet, silly story and its innocence, the story here shows once more what makes the lyrical content in Jean’s new album so important.  In considering this content, that in the other songs noted here and that in the rest of the album’s songs, no doubt is left as to the importance of the album’s overall lyrical content.  It clearly does just as much as the album’s musical arrangements and its general approach to make the record fully entertaining and engaging.

Beth Jean’s sophomore album Let’s Put on a Show – her sophomore album – is a positive new offering from the up-and-coming family entertainer.  That is proven in part through the album’s general presentation, which sets the tone for the record with its theater-themed packaging (including the plabybill style track listing).  The musical arrangements that are featured in Jean’s new album does its own part to engage and entertain listeners, too.  That is because of their diversity.  There is some kindie-pop style music here, as well as stylistic approaches that will appeal to pre-k level listeners, as well as even a 90s pop rock style arrangement or two.  That diversity in itself will definitely ensure its own appeal.  Add in the fact that Jean presented some of the songs very much in a musical theater style and the importance of the record’s musical content gains even more importance.  The diverse lyrical content rounds out the album’s most important elements.  It rangers from the silly to the more serious throughout, giving listeners plenty to anticipate throughout, too.  When this element is considered along with everything else noted here, the result is a record that shows  real promise for Jean’s future in the family music community.  Let’s  Put on a Show is scheduled for release Friday through Jetti Winkle Records.

More information on Jean’s new album is available along with all of her latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.bethjean.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/bethjeanmusic

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.

Beth Jean Announces New Album Release Date, Specs

Courtesy: Waldmania PR

Family music entertainer Beth Jean will release her latest album this spring.

Jean is scheduled to release her new album Let’s Put On a Show April 9. Her sophomore album, it was inspired by her love of theater.

Jean talked about how that love of theater played into the album’s creation through a prepared statement.

“I adore classic Broadway musicals with their big tap numbers, belt-at-the-top-of-your-lungs show tunes, and glitzy, sequined costumes,” said Jean.  “I like the idea of people listening to this album and envisioning their own shows. It reminds me of growing up, pre-YouTube, and imagining what the choreography looked like and what the storylines were of the Broadway albums that I listened to. If there’s a message in Let’s Put On a Show, it’s ‘Be yourself, and don’t be afraid to sing and dance your heart out to these fun, silly songs! Embrace what makes you – you!’”

Fans of The Muppets will enjoy the album’s title track. According to information provided about the song, it was inspired by “The Magic Store” from The Muppet Movie. Jean even performs a tap number in the middle of the song.

The Star Trek-inspired song ‘No Gravity’ and ‘You Are Magic!’ pay homage so to speak, to TV shows from the 1980s. ‘Never Give Up’ and ‘Whoopsie Daisy!’ remind young listeners to keep their heads up no matter what.

Other notable works featured in the song are songs, such as ‘Wadddlin We Go (Penguin Song),’ ‘Tweet a Little Tweet Tweet,’ and ‘I Am a Hamster, Yes I Am Sir!”

Let’s Put On a Show is aimed primarily at listeners between the ages of 9 and 11. The 25-minute record will retail for MSRP of $9.99.

More information on Jean’s new album is available along with all of her latest news at:

Website: https://www.bethjean.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bethjeanmusic

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.

Audiences Of All Ages Will Enjoy Tim Bredrup’s Second Round Of Tunes With Tim

Courtesy: Waldmania PR

Family music entertainer Tim Bredrup (a.k.a. Tunes with Tim) released his second album today.  The independently released, 11-song record –We’re All Human — is a presentation that pre-schoolers and their parents will equally enjoy.  That is due in part to its diverse musical content, which will be discussed shortly.  The lyrical content that accompanies the record’s musical content adds its own touch to the album’s presentation and will be discussed a little later.  The sequencing of the collective content puts the finishing touch to the album’s presentation, bringing everything full circle.  It will be discussed later, too.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the album.  All things considered, they make We’re All Human an easy, early candidate for a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new family music albums.

Tim Bredrup’s sophomore album We’re All Human is a strong new offering from the up-and-coming family music entertainer.  It is a presentation that will appeal just as much to pre-school audiences as to their parents.  That is due in no small part to the album’s featured musical arrangements.  As already noted, the record’s featured musical arrangements are quite diverse.  From rock, to hip-hop, to reggae, and beyond, the diversity in the record’s musical arrangements will ensure audiences’ engagement and entertainment in itself.  ‘Rub-A-Dub We’re in the Tub’ for instance presents listeners a musical arrangement that will take adults back to the beach music sounds of the 1960s.  ‘Sweet Dreams to You,’ which closes out the album, is a light, acoustic work whose light bells, vocals and guitar present such a relaxing lullaby style composition.  ‘PBJ’ gives listeners the noted hip-hop infusion.  It conjures thoughts of works from Bredrup’s family music contemporary Agent 23 Skidoo in its stylistic approach or maybe even the Alphabet Rockers.  The album’s title track, by comparison, is such a moving composition with its ever so slight cymbal roll accents and equally light vocals and guitar.  It honestly lends itself –at least to this critic – to comparisons to works from John Lennon.  On yet another note, ‘Ziggy Zaggy Zoo’ lends itself immediately to works from one of the most well-known names in the world of family music, Raffi.  ‘The Manners Song’ presents the aforementioned reggae influence.  Between everything mentioned here and the rest of the record’s arrangements, audiences of all ages get plenty to appreciate at least musically.

The vast spread of musical content featured in Tunes with Tim’s new album We’re All Human is just one aspect that makes it successful.  The lyrical themes that accompany the record’s musical content gives listeners of all ages its own share of entertainment and engagement.  ‘When The Baby’s Sleeping’ is one of the most notable works in regards to the album’s lyrical content.  It is a song about the different situations in a household when an infant is sleeping and awake.  Bredrup’s lyrical (and musical) presentation here will put a smile on any parent’s face.  That is because every parent will relate to the different energies and how people in a household have to act when an infant is asleep versus awake.  The album’s title track, by comparison is its own work that promotes unity over division among the world’s peoples.  The aforementioned ‘Manners Song’ is exactly as its title notes.  It is a song that promotes proper manners, which is always important for any child (and even some adults) to learn.  ‘The Train Song’ is exactly what its title insinuates, too.  It is a song about riding a train.  It is set to the melodies of ‘Old McDonald’ and ‘B-I-N-G-O.’  So that will add to the song’s appeal even more.  Once more here, audiences get another example of the overall diversity in the album’s lyrical content.  Bredrup clearly never sticks to just one topic, instead giving audiences plenty to appreciate lyrically just as with the album’s musical content.  Keeping all of the record’s collective content in mind, it does much to keep this album appealing.  The sequencing of that content brings everything together.

The sequencing of We’re All Human is important because it is what ensures the album maintains its engagement and entertainment throughout.  It succeeds at that goal, too.  As noted, the album’s lyrical content is just as diverse as its musical counterpart.  The sequencing is partially to thank for that.  Bredrup continuously changes up the album’s lyrical themes so as to make sure listeners get something original throughout in that aspect.  Examining the album’s musical arrangements, their energies and styles changes up just as constantly as the album’s lyrical content.  ‘Let’s Get Ready To Go,’ the album’s opener, starts the album off on a relaxed note before making things very interesting with the up and down energy of ‘When The Baby’s Sleeping.’  The variety in that song’s energy, which matches so well with the song’s lyrical content, then gives way to the more mid-tempo vibe of ‘Ziggy Zaggy Zoo.’  The Ben Folds-esque ‘The Sneeze Song (Ah-Choo) keeps that mid-tempo energy running as the album progresses.  ‘PBJ’ changes the album’s mood, turning things in a hip-hop direction, but still keeping the album’s energy even with the distinct stylistic change.  Even as laid back  as the song is, it still works so well to keep listeners engaged and entertained.  The album’s energy gradually pulls back to its slowest and  most reserved point in ‘We’re All Human’ before things pick back up in ‘The Train Song.’  The classic rock-infused ‘Do The Wigglebutt’ picks the energy up even more with its driving guitar line.  From there, the album’s energy pulls back and becomes even more relaxed in the record’s penultimate song ‘Rub-a-Dub We’re in the Tub’ before ultimately setting audiences down gently with the album’s lullaby closer ‘Sweet Dreams to You.’  That finale, after so much up and down, is sure to help young listeners get down for a nap or even for the night.  Simply put, the constant change in the album’s lyrical themes through its sequencing, and the balance in the energies in the album’s arrangements shows that much time and thought was put into the album’s sequencing.  That time and thought paid off, as it perfectly brings everything together.  To that end, the content featured in We’re All Human and its sequencing makes the album a successful offering that will appeal to pre-schoolers just as much as their parents.

Tunes with Tim’s (a.k.a. Tim Bredrup) sophomore album We’re All Human is a strong return for the up-and-coming family music entertainer.  It is a presentation that will appeal to a wide range of listeners.  That is due in no small part to the diversity in the record’s featured musical arrangements.  The lyrical content that accompanies the record’s musical content is diverse in its own right.  The sequencing of the noted content brings everything full circles and completes the album’s presentation, ensuring even more, listeners’ engagement and entertainment.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the album.  All things considered, they make We’re All Human an easy, early candidate for any critic’s list of the year’s top new family music albums.  It is available now.  More information on We’re All Human is available along with all of Tim Bredrup’s latest news at:

Websitehttp://tuneswithtim.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/TunesWithTim

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/TunesWithTim

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.