My oldest daughter is at that age. You know the one, when a young girl is usually overcome by the pop music pool’s shallow end. In fact, her 2nd grade class science song this year is set to the beat of “I’ve Got A Feeling”, a tune that also appeared on a buddy’s CD-R birthday mix goodie bag giveaway. The Bear would put that one track on often, singing her own solids/liquids/and gases lyric (go ahead and fit those words right in there yourself, it’s rather fun) right over top of will.i.am and crew. Because I live by the simple musical rule of: if it’s blasted throughout NBA arenas, it has to be god awful, I would privately scowl every time I heard it come on in my house while maintaining my “I love you, you’re so cute” exterior. Oscar worthy performances, every single one. Then a CD arrived like a bag of pop rocks injected directly into the blood stream: Mista Cookie Jar’s Ultramagnetic Universal Love Revolution. The L.A. kindie musician’s sophomore disc was given to me by the fly fella himself at Kindiefest last month and in no time at all became the go-to album for pre-breakfast dance parties, mid-day moshing, and bedtime sing-alongs. And the best part, will.i.am hasn’t been heard from since. Not once. The Bear hasn’t practiced singing her science song at all. Um, whoops. Sorry, teach. And I am sincere when I tell you that I had nothing to do with his disappearance. Instead, it’s Mista Mista Cookie Jar who vanquished him faster than common sense in the build up to the 2nd Iraq War.
Ultramagnetic Universal Love Revolution is an un-bloated, non-obnoxious Black Eyed Peas as inspired by a psychedelic Jackson 5. This disc is the missing link in kindie culture, that much needed bridge between the Recess Monkey/Justin Roberts-types brilliantly wooing the 7-and-under crowd and whatever quality adult music kids will find as they approach teenhood. The funktastic songs hereforthwithin are ultra hip and stylish in every way, with wicked beats and solid flow. Lyrically, MCJ follows the classic hip-hop trope of calling out/spelling/rhyming/using one’s stage/MC name throughout many of the songs but when it happens here it never feels self-aggrandizing. Not even a little bit. This goes back to the un-bloated remark – Mista Cookie Jar’s style is playful to the end as heard specifically on the outstanding slow-jam “Call Me Mista Cookie Jar.”
While the album’s momentum dips a bit starting with track 9, the first 8 songs are just about the greatest thing you’ll blast out of your minivan this summer. The very 70’s, R&B-tinged “Lover Not A Fighter” brings that peaceful mantra into you family’s sibling relationships and at the same time reclaims it from creepy dudes trying to pick up girls at a bar. I’m not sure which one I’m happier about. The tune features my girl’s favorite moment on the album, when MCJ’s step-daughter Eva Flava kicks it and works a Polly Pocket reference into her blistering solo.
I wince at the idea of my two girls someday needing serious help or advice yet I also get excited for the chance to be that dad – a rock for his daughters, no matter what the issue. “Ur the Music” is the anthem for exactly this emotion. With its gem of a line “No matter where I go / or what I do / I’m coming back right here for you…you’re the music in my soul”, it’s a song that sends chills down my spine, and then makes my heart grow a few sizes bigger when Ms. Flava takes the last verse without changing the lyrics at all – meaning the child becomes the rock, always leaving her door open to help dear old dad should he ever be “struggling in the dark”. Beautiful, just beautiful.
Meet a “stone cold freak”, the coolest kid on Earth, “Lucas!”, and get ready to invite a new invisible brother to the dinner table and make room for him between booster seats in the car. What? Your kids don’t do bizarre stuff like that? Um, nevermind then. Moving on…
If you missed this the first time around, enjoy the sandy, sun-splashed video for “Happy Place,” the incredible 1st single from Ultramagnetic Universal Love Revolution:
They (and we) get only one shot at this innocent childhood thing, so why are we as parents rushing our kids through it by exposing them to all kids of shit that will only accelerate the onset of adulthood and the breadbasket of complications that come part and parcel with it? Download this amazing album and keep top-40 radio’s sex-laded crap at bay, and keep your kids as kids for a just bit longer.
*OWTK received a copy of Ultramagnetic Universal Love Revolution for review consideration. The opinions above are honest and unbiased, as always.