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

Lucky Diaz and The Family Jam Band – Oh Lucky Day! Kid’s CD Review

Remember the TV show Moonlighting?

The program’s male lead was, of course, Mr. John McLane, er, Bruce Willis. The female star was the uber-chic Cybil Shepherd. Throughout the dramedy’s four year run, Shepherd never appeared on screen without the soft glow of um, moonlight, on her face. The illumination cast an other-worldly, graceful, demure and utterly intoxicating polish on an already gorgeous woman.  Like she needed the help.

Shepherd is nowhere to be found but “Oh Lucky Day!”, the debut long player from SoCal kindie soft-rockers Lucky Diaz and The Family Band, employs a similarly enchanting hue.

The Sound: Vintage, fun-in-the-sun, acoustic tambourine pop.

Best Moments: I wanna hate “Pretty Princess”, I do, but God dammit if I’m not shouting “twirl around / touch the ground / you’re a pretty princess / a pretty princess / sparkle and shine / like the stars in the sky / you’re a pretty princess today”.  I wanna be a pretty princess too!  Curse you, Lucky Diaz.  Now where did I leave my wand.  On an album filled with farmer’s market freshness, “Pretty Princess” does stand as it’s lone corn syrup moment yet it’s so abundantly cheery you won’t mind at all the empty calories.

My girls don’t pay much attention to it, but my favorite song of the lot is “Light Beams”, a tune more appropriately classified as parent music. It should snuggle up next to The Jellydots tearjerker “Someday Soon” someday soon.  A strong guitar strum starts things off as Diaz sings to his daughter about the immediacy of childhood and it’s too short shelf life.  “Light Beams” is perky sonically, but you’ll still want to keep a hanky nearby.

For precisely six seconds the electro-pop opening of “Vacation” sounds terribly out of place but once the pings and beeps are cut with a confident mandolin, the modernness of the music bed feels as homey as your grandmother’s dusty back porch swing.  Your kids will adore this song, and not only for the smattering of well-placed children’s voices.  They’ll be all too happy to sing along with “Oh oh / oh oh / are we there yet? / Mommy needs a time out” even though Diaz is likely expressing Mommy’s need to get the hell out of the car for a break from the kids then punishment for some sort of bad deed.  So you’ll both be eager to repeat that line!

The lyrical familiarity of “Let’s Dance” should absolutely not keep you from advancing to the catchiest chorus on an album already filled with more hooks than a bait shop.  Diaz uses a bitchin’ bass line and the time-tested instructional basics of The Hokey Pokey and The Twist as a vehicle to drive his movement masterpiece into your ears and down your spine.  “Let’s Dance” is the kindie song of the Summer of ’11.

Bonus Thought: Diaz’ artwork is, as it was on the band’s EP, gorgeous.  The loving father-daughter embrace pictured on the cover is indicative of the musical TLC captured on the CD. 

Okay, Time To Wrap It Up With A Nice Little Bow: All of the songs on “Oh Lucky Day!”, regardless of tempo, are bathed in a dreamy Cybil Shepherd-like glow. That’s not to say this is a lullaby album – it’s most certainly not. Take the spirited “Race Car”, a certain hit with young boys, it to is measured in a tranquil light. Just as in Moonlighting, the effect is irresistible and the affection you’ll feel for the players and the music will be deep and long lasting.

“Oh Lucky Day!” is both a love song to a child and of a budding grown-up romance between Diaz and fiance/bandmate Alisha Gaddis. The result is a precious album as sweet as the first bite of a hand-picked strawberry as moonlight cascades down upon your peaceful, smiling face. Even if you’re one who cannot eat red foods, this is still a gorgeous scene, no? Well that’s fitting, ’cause this is one gorgeous album.

*OWTK received a copy of “Oh Lucky Day!” for review consideration.  The opinions expressed above are honest and unbiased. No arm-twisting took place in the review process.

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