Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

My Kinda Music

My Kinda Music

Fall 2017 Music
Ages: 2 - 12 yrs.
CD Price: $9.99

This genre-crossing (island rhythms, rock and folk) album from raspy-voiced veteran singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Walter Martin ("We're All Young Together," 2014; Arts & Leisure, 2015), folds musical and lyric expertise into a laid-back, hand-made style reminiscent of Dan Zanes, but uniquely Martin's own. Interesting instrumentation is a hallmark, and percussion plays an especially expressive role throughout, making a fateful car trip in the comically spooky "The Everglades" even spookier, and giving a dancing beat to the heart-filled "Trip on a Ship" (with vocalist Laura Gibson). Martin pays a visit to "The Wishing Well" (quiet birdsong, building to a dynamic rock 'n roll finish, a melody you want to hear again and again), receives vocal coaching in "Hey, Matt" ("just close your eyes…and sing what you feel"), and explores his "Family Tree" —sweeping harmonies, guitar strum, banjo plunk—in an inspired, genealogical celebration that begins when "Great Great Great Great Grandaddy/paddled over here from across the sea." You might not think that the offbeat last track, "It's a Dream," would work as a lullaby, but don't listen to it in the car: you may find yourself soothed to sleep. Romp to the beat or settle in for dream time, this album is a highly original, captivating invitation to both.

Lynne Heffley   ©2017 Parents' Choice
A freelance writer and editor for the arts and non-profit organizations, Lynne is a former staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, where she established the paper's first weekly children's arts and entertainment beat.

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