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

Cat and A Bird – CD Mini Review

CAT AND A BIRD self-titled

In the Cafeteria, They Sit With: Dan Zanes, Elizabeth Mitchell, Lucky Diaz, John and Mark

Anytime you can visualize grooving to a kid’s song in a smokey, dim-lit, back alley (& possibly underground) jazz club you’ve probably got yourself a winner. Cat and A Bird fit that description and in doing so fill a void the kid’s genre may not have known it had: beautifully strange, Eastern European-gypsy lounge dinner party music.

“Bee Jive” has a jangly twang that slips into your ear then promptly slides south to your hips.  Have your jazz hands at the ready.  The rest of the sunny animal-centric tunes are wind-in-your-hair cool, culminating with my three favorites: “Night Owl”, “Bat Bada Bing” and “I Wanna Be Like You”.

Minus the “Oobie Scoobie Doobie Dos”, Cat and A Bird make Louis Prima’s “I Wanna Be Like You” (from The Jungle Book) a little bit dirtier and a lot more infectious. The tale of an animal longing to be human is made more, well, human here because that intense desire is more desperate plea than sing-song-y glee (no offense, Mr. Prima).

Despite an understanding of their overall importance (farewell mosquitoes!) I’m no fan of bats.  Maybe that’s because I never realized how much they look like “little rocketships” with “ultrasonic capabilities”.  If I neglect to fly “Bat Bada Bing” into my top songs of 2011, I hereby grant you permission to bat me over the head.

As antique-shop-dusty and utterly lovely as Cat and A Bird’s music is, it’s French/American singer Emily Chimiak’s engrossing voice that makes the band’s debut album a massive charmer. I could listen to her sing the word “capabilities” for longer than would be comfortable for anyone.

Cat and A Bird, the band, is so new they don’t even have a website.  [UPDATE 2/22/11: The Cat and a Bird website is now live. Check it out] How delightfully old-fashion is that?  Nevermind, just buy this CD.  You’re welcome.

*A digital copy of Cat and A Bird was provided to OWTK for review.  The opinions expressed above are honest and unbiased.  No arm-twisting took place in the review process.

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