Reviewed by Gregory Keer
The illustrations on the cover of Brady Rymer’s CD joyfully depict a diverse range of parents and children. They also come from the artistic talents of Zoe Kakolyris, who has Asperger’s Syndrome and is also profoundly deaf. Given this immediate introduction to the theme of children of all abilities, Rymer could certainly have delivered an album of well-meaning but emotionally cloying songs. But he didn’t.
Instead, Rymer has given us his best family album yet. It rocks (hard), grooves (just try to keep from getting up to dance), and soars (especially on the slower tempo tunes). There really isn’t a misstep in the collection, from the anthemic title track to the gospel-inflected “I Don’t Like Change” to the folk fragility of “Soft Things” (with Laurie Berkner as one half of the duet). Rymer was inspired to write and perform these songs through his work with students at the Celebrate the Children School in New Jersey and a number of the pieces refer to children on the Autism spectrum, such as the terrifically catchy “Picky Eater” and “Tune Out” (featuring funk keyboard legend Bernie Worrell).
The Grammy-nominated Rymer is sending five percent of the profits from this album to Autism Speaks. Help celebrate this month of Autism Awareness by snagging a copy of this outstanding disc. And take a look at the celebratory video on his Web site.
http://www.bradyrymer.com – $14.98 – Ages 2-9