Reviewed by Gregory Keer
If you take in all the crazy fun details on the I Spy-like CD packaging, you’ll find a line on the bottom right of the back cover saying, “May contain tracks of nuts.” While this new album careens over multiple musical styles, leader Ashley Albert and her crackingly good musicians make it all come together like the best party on a CD platter your kids could try this year.
There are 13 cuts on this album, the follow-up to the successful Make Your Own Someday, but I have to call out “Mini Van Hot Rod” has my favorite songs. Maybe it’s my need to reinvent myself as a cutting-edge minivan dad, but the tune revs high, with Albert singing like Gwen Stefani as she hip-ifies the ubiquitous family vehicle. Staying lyrically colorful, the Jimmies swing out, big-band style on “Fine Art,” which celebrates kid creations.
The everyday drudgery of keeping clean gets the hip-hop treatment on “Wash Up” while “Every Day’s a Holiday” goes edgy country to talk about making the daily activities as festive as a winter holiday. A reggae sway, with an Auto-Tune effect, puts a cool breeze into “Career Day” and “Kids Wanna Rock” provides air-guitar delight in a song about letting kids do their thing.
Albert, who composed or co-wrote all the tunes in addition to singing, built a career performing on commercial jingles and voicing characters for cartoons. She puts all that experience in capturing people’s attention into this candy store of an album for kids. This one will be on many top 10 lists for the year, including my own.
www.gimmejimmies.com – $14.99 (CD) – Ages 3 to 9