OWTK Kindie Album Reviews

The Jimmies – “Practically Ridiculous” Kid’s CD Review


Was the wait worth it?

For longtime fans, any review of The Jimmies new album “Practically Ridiculous” may boil down to something no more complicated than those 5 words + a question mark.  After all, if your then 6-year-old girl’s eyes got wide when watching Ashley Albert rock out on stage in 2007, shortly after your entire family fell hard for “Make Your Own Someday”, she is probably listening to Justin Bieber now.  And yes, that was a calculated way to squeeze the name Justin Bieber into a post on OWTK. Oh shit, there’s another one!

Well, what’s the answer? Was this new batch of uptempo rockers worth the elongated hiatus (note: The Jimmies have been playing live throughout and did release a stellar DVD two years ago so hiatus is a relative term here).

Why won’t you answer the damn question? What’s wrong with you? Are you trying to make me read on and on and on…


Great, thanks.  Wait a sec. Which question did that yes answer?

Both, actually.

“Practically Ridiculous” is worth it; the wait and the price of admission into this big tent of tomfoolery.  But while the new album shines it may, in fact, shine too brightly for its own good.  I’ll explain shortly.

First up, the hits!

Ashley Albert, Jimmies singer, songwriter, CEO, and chief rabble-rouser, finally has her Dolly Parton moment on “Bonfire” which makes perfect sense because in the 2008 Kindie Rock yearbook, Albert was voted most likely to open her own amusement park.  You see what I did there with the Dolly Parton reference?  Yeah, I’m pretty amazing.  “Bonfire”, a 3-minute musical pep talk with just enough Nashville twang to make it conversational, combines the sensitivity of “Taddy” with the self-assuredness of “Cool to be Uncool” (two gems from the band’s debut) to form a supersong that is, well, super.  And a song.  One that is far and away the best on “Practically Ridiculous”.

After a faithfully recorded version of the raucous rocker “Every Day’s a Holiday With You”, a highlight from the “Trying Funny Stuff” live concert DVD and the song that contains the most unlikely name-check combo in history (Punxsutawney Phil and Dr. Martin Luther King), the twang returns.  “Toothless Lament” is a goofball country & western number about the curious position of being in between baby and permanent teeth.  It’s laugh out loud funny, especially when it falls on the ears of a 6 or 7-year old who is currently settling for applesauce while the rest of their family chomps away on the red and the delicious.  They’ll know first hand just how spot-on accurate a lament this is.  Also: the word lament.  Awesome.

“The Hook”, an 80’s-loving pop song reminiscent of The Bangles’ finer moments, continues a kindie rock mini-trend of meta songs about songs, songwriting, or the process of sharing your art with an audience.  This one stands proudly alongside Billy Kelly’s “Mindless Pop Song” and Todd McHatton’s “Yes This Is A New One” and others I simply cannot remember right now but swear exist (help!).

It’s no accident that the album’s best moments are the more down-home ones.  In some spots Albert opts for a high-grade polish that gives certain songs a sheen so eye-poppingly bright they feel more factory made than handmade; specifically, the vocals and overdubs too pitch perfect, the guitars shredding a touch too tightly.  The hilarity we’ve come to love is at times suffocated by precision.  This glistening style may win over those comfortable with the gloss of top-40 radio, but it ain’t my bag.  The zany, off-the-cuff vibe The Jimmies deliver live doesn’t consistently come out of the airtight studio this time around.  Maybe it’s what was done to “Wash Up” that has me sour.  Maybe I’m having a hard time dealing with the fact that this humorous song about getting the dirt and grim of your hands and pants has been turned into a robotic dance mix that is unlistenable.

Despite that unfortunate misstep and my own personal dismay that the album sounds too good, “Practically Ridiculous” stands as a very strong effort.  It’s slapstick silly, it’s genuinely funny, it’s convincingly genre-diverse; it’s a Jimmies CD!

You’ve waited a long time for this, you’d be actually ridiculous if you didn’t dig in.

*OWTK received a copy of “Practically Ridiculous” for review considerations.  The opinions expressed above are honest and unbiased.

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