Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Preschoolers wearing berets and black turtlenecks

For your consideration, I have a long overdue review of King Pajama and their recent release Something Sweet.

King Pajama is a duo from the Big Apple who offer their listeners a unique and jazzy brand of imaginative songs. Something Sweet has the unmistakable air of a New York cabaret act. I can imagine a crowd of preschoolers wearing berets and black turtlenecks sipping juice from martini glasses as they listen to songs like "Outer Space Boogie," or "Trip Around The World."

Lead singer, Nina Zeitlin, has a smokey, soulful voice and her harmonies conjure up hints of Manhattan Transfer especially on the title track. Jason Blechman, the man at the keys and composer/lyricist of all the songs on the album definitely stretches the concept of what kids' music can be. As a trained jazz arranger I found Something Sweet to be surprising and unexpected at times which is rare for the typical 3-chord sing-along fare of most kids music. The lyrics that compliment this progressive music are imaginative and sometimes silly. On songs like "Some Pieces" and "Time Goes" King Pajama dives into some common but puzzling questions that kids often dream up.

The Mike Brady Wrap-up: Something Sweet could quite possibly be the most unique album I have review here at Singing in the Bathtub. With that said it's certainly not for everyone. Listeners who enjoy showtunes, vocal jazz and rich harmonies will not be disappointed. Because of the complexity of the music, I didn't find myself singing/humming any of the tunes after the CD had finished. This is definitely not a sing-along kind of album. Equally, some of the lyrics might be on the verge of being too mature for the average pre-K listener. As a fellow musician I can respect and admire the work that went into this album. It's nice to hear a group that has a different slant on the concept of kids' music. A pop/rock, acoustic guitar driven album, Something Sweet is not, but a unique and jazzy album like this certainly deserves a listen!

Kid Quote of The Day: "Oh let me see your new glasses Mr. Nick," Mrs. Trescott, the teacher from room 13 asked, "Very nice!" "It makes you look like a GEEK!" ~Henry (age: 4)... how did he know that was the look I was going for? Though I prefer the term "Hipster-Nerd."

1 comment:

Anne Deysher said...

I like both the band's name and the album name as well. There are definitely at least two kinds of kids' music - that which can be sung along to and that which is good for listening to. Is it a good one for the car CD player?