OWTK Kindie Album Reviews

The Golden Age of Family Music Report Card – March 2013

Underbirds CD Cover

Underbirds self-titled

Kindie worlds collide as biggies from each coast form an under-the-radar supergroup. Gustafer Yellowgold’s Morgan Taylor and Todd McHatton of “I Think I’m A Bunny” fame started Underbirds after discovering they share a fondness for early 80’s arena rock, comic books, vegan food, and metaphysical Arbor Day imagery. The duo channel their common interests on their debut self-titled album (due April 26th) and the result is a blissful exploration of life in and around what I can only imagine is a stunning tree in a picturesque grove. The pair trade off primary vocal duties from song to song and come together for gorgeous harmonies on the epic numbers “Brilliance”, “Trail of Hearts”, “Here Comes My Friend”, and “Bright Leaf” (those stand above the rest,) while the chorus of “Shining Star” taps into a heartbreaking Coldplay/Bruno Mars-style tenderness. Word has it that McHatton & Taylor are already at work on a sequel. To which I say, um, yes please! Listen to a couple Underbirds tracks on the last two OWTK Podcasts.

Paul Spring Home of Song

Paul Spring Home of Song

Spring makes his foray into the world of family music with an album that comes in somewhere between the last two Okee Dokee Brothers records (not surprising as Dean Jones and Okee Dokee Joe Mailander share producer credits here, and both Brothers make appearances.) There are lyrical references to Peter Pan, the Mississippi River, outdoor life, sailing, and a down-home Americana musical warmth that will please any Jack Johnson or Dave Matthews Band fan and their young family. The title track is one of the finest all-ages songs of the year, and the whole album is beautiful in a purple mountains majesty kind of way. Listen to “Home of Song” and the disc’s closing number on the past two OWTK Podcasts.

Like Totally Good Mews

Like Totally! Good Mews

Extremely pleasant Lunch Money-esque low-fi guitar pop sweetness that unfortunately veers into morality tales. Take a song like “Cookies,” which begins with the goofy hilarity of “Oh if I could just fill my mouth / I don’t care if I have to spit them out / meow meow meow meow meow meow meow / I really want some cookies.” That’s the start of a fantastic, albeit ridiculous, kindie pop song! Too bad a do-gooder parental figure is introduced like a wet blanket and the fun is spoiled faster than a glass of chocolate milk outside on a hot summer’s day. On the other hand, the fuzzed out electric guitar, handclaps, and bottom heavy horns on the adorable “Chester and Wilson” demonstrates that Good Mews is a teasing debut of an album from a band that has the makings of something special.

RatboyJr Champions

Ratboy Jr. Champions of the Universe

In order to come even somewhat close to understanding what’s going on during the 44-minute journey that is Ratboy Jr.’s Champions of the Universe, it would help to be seated in a rustic old ski lodge during a UFO enthusiasts convention while simultaneously operating a pre-school for the highly gifted. The Ween-esque, intergalactic folk music is paired with curious subject matter like eating clouds, high five-ing shadows, big-headed Mexican wrestling hopefuls, space fuzz, and a guitar pickin’ chicken to make an album that is every bit as funny as it is fun. As you might imagine, Ratboy Jr. ain’t exactly the most mainstream of duos, but if you and your kids fancy tunage that’s decidedly left of center, this is a band and an album you need to hear. And you can start doing just that on the April episode of the OWTK Podcast!

*OWTK received all of these albums for review consideration. The opinions expressed above are honest and unbiased, as always. This post contains affiliate links, ’cause the kids gotta eat. Ya know?

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