kid's music reviews / OWTK Kindie Album Reviews

Dreyer Family Band – Family Photograph CD Review

A song centered around the affectionate phrase “I Love You” could easily land in a pile of mushy, overly sentimental bile, but in the nimble hands of The Dreyer Family Band, the phrase…well, just keep reading.

There are some parents who can verbalize their intense love for their children and do so without making the listener vomit.
There are some kids, especially in the 3-7 age range, capable of seeing the magic in the ordinary things – turning a pile of balled up socks into scoops of ice cream. To these amazing youngsters, “a heart shaped stone is like a diamond ring.”

Combine these beautiful children with those talented grown-ups and you have the kind of song that’ll remind you how happy you should be every time your lucky enough to have your little ones around, clinging to your legs, looking up at you with wide, hopeful eyes transmitting so much pure sweet adoration that it makes you want to wrap them up in your arms ’till the end of days.

Full Disclosure: tears were streaming down my face after typing those last couple sentences, all while listening to “The I Love You Song” 3 times straight. The emotion of parenthood flows thanks to “Family Photograph”. Is there a better compliment for anything in the world than the fact that it can stir feelings so genuine? I say no.

There are 16 more songs on the debut album from the Dreyer Family Band, many of them instant classics. “LoudHouse”, “Cutie Baby” and “Boo-Hoo”, a jazzy 1950s-ish romp through a baby’s bumps and bruises, all shine as whimsical and wonderful examples of witty songwriting. “Family Photograph” is diverse stylistically (from mountain music to the Latin guitar & grooves in “Glitter” to the Sesame Street appropriate “Peace and Love”) yet works as a cohesive album.

The story behind the album is almost as interesting as the music itself. A bi-coastal family writes songs based on their parental experiences to make a musical scrapbook as a personal family keepsake and end up producing one of the better family records of the year. “Family Photograph” isn’t a children’s record, it’s a family album meant to be enjoyed by everyone from grandparents down to toddlers.

One of the more moving moments on the record happens at the very end, on the song “Photograph”. It’s a piano driven number sung by one of the Dreyer Fathers (in a Joe Cocker-esque voice). In it we see with our ears a dad looking through photos, remembering fondly the infancy of his now-grown kids and wishing he could “do it again from beginning to end” because “even the hard parts make [him] smile”.

Again, I cannot express enough how truly surprised I am that an album containing such honest, straightforward love and joy ended up being so darn listenable and, well, joyous. There are no corny, sappy moments here – not a single one!

Never before has an album bathed in such warmth been so darn cool.

The Dreyer Family Band “Family Photograph” is recommended for anyone who loves their kids and loves music. How’s that for casting a big ol’ net?

Simply put, this record is great. Go and get it today!

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