Artist: BAND: SOUNDZANIA
Album: SOUNDZANIA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Genre: Children's (ages 5-13)
Sounds Like: imagination movers
Technical Grade: 8/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 8/10
Commercial Value: 8/10
Overall Talent Level: 8/10
Songwriting Skills: 8/10
Performance Skill: 8/10
Best Songs: Recess Time, The Coolest Teacher, Library Time
A group of ex-rock and roll dads traded 'the smoky-club lifestyle...for the smelly-diaper lifestyle' and formed a band to explore the unique joys and challenges of fatherhood. Sounds familiar, right? Soundzania pulls it off rather well, however, with a mix of appealing tunes, fine production and arranging, and interstitials which break up the flow of the album nicely.
I'm a big fan of absurd interruptions and/or the sub-one minute song on a children's album. This album has perhaps even too much of that. The appealing first tune, Bus Ride, is followed by a rather shapeless 'wild sound' section of kids getting ready for school, saying goodbye to mom, getting on the bus, all recorded with admirable clarity, but...it could have used a button, a zinger. Later on, the Soundzania crew have fun with postponing the Procrastinator's Club meeting and someone misplacing a pet snake. Predictable humor, perhaps, but...to intended audience of 6 year olds, maybe not!
Recess is a fine uptempo number. The Coolest Teacher has a nice latin feel to it. Magical Eating Place is a nice idea for a song about a cafeteria, and gets going with a nice quasi-reggae feel. But i wish the lyrics delivered the promised magic! It was pretty much a song about a cafeteria. I was looking for flying linguine and blue plate specials appearing from a cloud of smoke!
Library Time had a nice guest vocal and harmonies from Cecy Snyder. The logic of Cat Got your Tongue was a little convoluted, but the song paid off with a sweet violin part and nice hoedown feel on the chorus.
All in all a nice effort by the rock dads of Ashland, VA. Cute cover art and cd artwork and a sound that's sure to appeal to the 4-8 year old set.