Today, for your listening pleasure, I have a review of The Baby Grands' sophomore album entitled "II." This duo from Georgia has a unique style that I can only describe as inspired by the "Nashville Sound."
Though they cover a lot of musical ground on this album (from funky tunes like "Hey!" to acoustic ballads like "Goodbye" or straight ahead rock tunes like "Brain Freeze"), there is an unmistakable new-country vibe that reminds me of groups like Lady Antibellum, Sugarland, Brad Paisley, Keith Urban or The Jayhawks. Thankfully there isn't too much "country-twang" to the vocals (for me at least), but the liberal use of slide guitar and harmonica on "Pounding Heart," and "Paper Airplane," conjure up images of the heartland. On "Palindrome Express," there is a classic rock-a-billy sound that fits well with the sound of an 18-wheeler rolling down the road. Though "II" is a musical slice of Americana, there is an international/multi-cultural theme to the first two tracks.
I love both the title of this album (very Led Zeppelin), and the name of the band, but I want to warn my readers not to let the "Baby" in their name fool you. The lyrics and imagery are definitely for an older crowd. This is more of a kindergarten/elementary school album than for the infant/toddler age range (though I am sure the lush arrangements and finely crafted tunes will get them moving).
The Mike Brady Wrap-up: By now I have reviewed music from all around the country. Each time I think I have a grasp on the kids' music scene, a new group comes along and expands my definition of what kids' music is these days. We as artists, are straddling two worlds, trying to please kids and parents alike. As an adult, you can take your pick of styles and genres that you enjoy and there will likely be a family act to fit the bill. With The Baby Grands offering a bit of southern rock and country, there is a whole new genre to recommend to my readers. A strong duo with great harmony, clever and educational lyrics, and a clear style, The Baby Grands have a lot to be proud of with "II."
Kid Quote of the Day: At the end of a guitar lesson my student and I met his mother and brother downstairs. I noted that the younger boy had on two different shoes. My student pointed out the crocodile printed on one and the dog printed on the other, "See Mr. Nick, Santo has a Sally Croc and a Lucy Croc [referring to the songs "Alligator Sally" and "I've got a little Dog"]." ~Jiam (age: 6)
Talk about your superfans! I've been immortalized in shoe form.