Best New Children's Music 2012 / OWTK Kindie Album Reviews

Sugar Free Allstars – “Funky Fresh and Sugar Free” CD Review


The Sound: Imagine the organist at your local minor league ballpark showing up for day game duty after a night of binge-listening to Booker T & The MGs, Ray Charles and George Clinton.  He’d be a little bit fuzzy and a whole lotta funky.  He also might be Chris “Boom!” Wiser of Sugar Free Allstars.

In the Cafeteria, They Sit With: King Pajama, Putumayo Kids New Orleans Playground, Funky Mama

Best Moments: As entry points go, the sparse rocker “Rock Awesome!” (video below) sets the tone for an album maybe better than any lead track that has come before it.  Unknowingly, but awesomely, Wiser channels his best Shaun Smith (circa mid 90’s Satchel) right from the start with “Hey everyone / won’t you listen to me / we’re gonna have a good time / let’s wait and see”.  What follows is a study in restrained rock-n-roll exuberance and a kiddie rock anthem for the 21st century.  You will rock awesome.  It’s as much a promise as it is a marching order.

Swirling organs, punchy horns and a steady backbeat lay the foundation for “SFA Disco Dance Party”, easily one of the coolest kid’s songs of this year or any year.  If you’re not feeling a tingly-about-to-bust-a-move sensation within 5-seconds of hearing the high hat drum intro, there is absolutely something wrong with you.  “SFA Disco Dance Party” should make Sugar Free Allstars a household name in the kid’s music world – you hear me XM Kid’s Place Live and Radio Disney?

If you’ve ever fancied yourself a trumpet talent or have an elementary school musician in your house with such a limited repertoire that they could easily be the one singing “Yankee Doodle Went to Town, Mary Had a Little Lamb, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and This Old Man / these are songs I learned to play / only ones I can / this is just another day / I’m in the 6th grade band”, you’ll appreciate “6th Grade Band” – even if you’ve never been locked inside a tuba case.

Bonus Thoughts: Check out the video for “Rock Awesome!”

Okay, Time to Wrap it Up with a Nice Little Bow: The dynamic Oklahoma duo Sugar Free Allstars are like a great BBQ joint; they do one thing and they do it remarkably well, yet like a stacked platter of brisket, wet ribs, dry-rubbed chicken and baked mac-n-cheese, Sugar Free Allstars give you enough diversity within their mastered genre that you never come close to tiring of it.  “Funky Fresh and Sugar Free” is unquestionably one of the tastiest bits of kindie rock to be released in 2010.

Now someone get me a pulled pork sandwich, I’m starving.

*Sugar Free Allstars “Funky Fresh and Sugar Free” was provided to OWTK for review. The opinions expressed above are unbiased and true – no arm twisting took place in the review process.

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