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CD REVIEW: John Wakefield - A Curious Children's Album
By Cyrus Rhodes - 07/25/2012 - 01:26 PM EDT

Artist: John Wakefield
Album: A Curious Children’s Album
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: R&B
Sounds Like: Randy Newman, Lyle Lovitt, Dr. John
Technical Grade: 10/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 9/10
Commercial Value: 10/10
Overall Talent Level: 10/10
Songwriting Skills: 9/10
Performance Skill: 10/10
Best Songs: Hard Head, Get Nothin’ Done, Just Wait
Weakness: A few Winded Songs
CD Review:

LA Based Percussionist, Producer, Singer-Songwritter John Wakefield with the team of some amazing artists, singers and musicians from the LA area release A Curious Children’s Album in 2012. According to Wakefiled “If Randy Newman and Tom Lehrer were raising a baby, ‘A Curious Children’s Album’ is what they’d make!” Wakefield had been cultivating his songwriting behind the scenes while working over the years in numerous orchestras backing such artists as Michael Crawford, GarthBrooks, Delaney Bramlett, Andrea Bocelli, Dianne Reeves, Liz Story and Arkenstone. This should be a real treat.

The CD kicks things off with “iDrool” an upbeat intro piece that serves up classic Americana vibe that delivers slamming horn solos, driving rhythm and rich harmonies and hooky melody from Wakefield. Track 2 “Hard Head” keeps things moving with its smooth flowing rhythm, heartfelt vocals painted against classic R&B groove. Track 3 shifts gears up a notch with “Don’t Forget” a  slamming groove with smooth as silk rhythm section and passionate vocals that flows and ebbs it’s way through to emotional fruition. This CD makes a solid first impression dishing out 3 solid tracks in arrow. As this CD slowly unfolds I can hear many different musical soundscapes reminiscent of such classic acts like Randy Newman, Lyle Lovitt and even Dr. John and John Prine. The music itself is an amazing blend of modern acoustic folk, with Americana roots with an unmistakable R&B vibe. The musicianship of all the players involved is equally as impressive. Wakefiled brings a slew of impressive session players to the table. You will notice lush layers of instrumentation layered everywhere, from impressive solo guitar licks, well placed harmonies, impressive percussive accents, harmonica, horn section, piano, impressive harmonies all built upon a think as a brick rhythm section. But the most impressive thing about A Curious Children’s Album is the impressive songwriting and vocal persona from Wakefiled. From clever “Gravity” to grooving “Get Notihin’ Done” and “I’m Just Waking Up” to rocking “Just Wait” to “You Light up My World” to jumping “Here Comes Chubby” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track 12 It’s My Turn” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.

All songs over 3.5 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line.

From start to finish A Curios Children’s Album by John Wakefield is one impressive catalog of music. The music is consistent, uplifting and extremely entertaining. Note for note, song for song there isn’t really a weak piece on this entire catalog. The writing and playing abilities of Wakefield and company are rock solid. The lyrics are catchy and the melodies are well crafted and hooky. Last but not least the songwriting and vocal presence from front John Wakefield an company are world-class. At the end of the day  A Curious Children’s Album proves no matter how old you are – we’re all still kids deep down inside. What and amazing and brilliant concept to write an album from.

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