Secret Agent 23 Skidoo is back! This Amazon Original album, 23 Skidoo’s first full length venture since the GRAMMY winning Infinity Plus One, is set during a show on WREM Dreamtime Radio where all-original hip hop, R&B, funk and soul tunes are played. Each song on this album has its own unique style and flair yet they all work together united by the same theme of exploring your dreams and imagination. Things kick off with the totally funkadelic title track which urges listeners, “Life can be what you want it to be, you gotta dream it first then wake it up.” This tune is quickly followed by the haunting “Where Did the Magic Go,” which is a song about a dragon and a unicorn discussing the loss of magic because of so much screen time but is set to a gorgeous, haunting 1960s melody that would fit right in playing in the background at Pop’s ChockLit Shoppe (yes, that’s a Riverdale reference!). Several additional songs including “Dreaming Again” and “Broken Dreams” would also be right at home spinning on the jukebox.
The lead vocals and instrumentations by a whole host of guest artists are just out of this world. 23 Skidoo’s vocal rhymes are on full display on “Makeshift Spaceship” and on the hip hop version of the Chinese folk tale, “The Stonecutter,” while “You Caught My Eye” brings back the character Pickles the Pirate who tells in true pirate fashion his tale of falling in love with his wife the mermaid. All of the songs feature incredibly well-crafted lyrics, but it is “Black & White Squares” that has the greatest impact, using the imagery of a chess board to illustrate the issues facing society and how we can change the rules.
This entire album is powerful, yet totally fun to listen to. And that’s the Secret Agent 23 Skidoo way. Families with older children will love this album. It’s smart, filled with complex melodies and sounds like something kids might hear on the “grown-up” radio stations. And grown ups, be prepared, there’s a very good chance you’ll be listening to this even when the kids aren’t around!
Just before the July 4th holiday I reviewed Andy Z’s new album, Camp Andyland. Now, just a little over a week later comes a brand new video for “Camping Song,” the seventh track on the album.
This video features live versions of Andy Z. (with guitar) and two teen campers inside the animated world of Camp Andyland. Throughout the song, especially during the chorus, the campers do movements that go along with the lyrics to create interactive moments for the viewers. Well-executed, animated characters from Camp Andyland seamlessly interact with Andy and the campers adding to the overall whimsical feel. This video for “Camping Song” is the perfect complement to the upbeat fun of the track. Enjoy (but watch out for those banana slugs)!
Summer is the time of year when kids start heading off to camp. For some it’s overnight camp, for some day camp, and for others camp for just a weekend. For those hanging out at home this summer, there’s a new fictional camp filled with musical adventures just waiting for them.
Camp Andyland is the newest entry in the Andyland series from Andy Z (aka Andreas Zamenes). At Camp Andyland, campers/listeners are welcomed to camp, then treated to a delightful array of songs filled with fun lyrics that will make campers singalong. Each of the original songs tells a story that is packed with information wrapped in beautiful melodies like “Butterfly” and upbeat romps like “Drink More Water.” Throughout their time at Camp Andyland, listeners are invited to go stargazing in “Galaxy Song,” join in the hijinx in the “Pirate Song” and imagine what it would be like if “I Went to a Party with Dinosaurs.” While at camp, they enjoy old favorites like “Sticky Bubblegum” and “Row Your Boat” while learning new nature songs about “Squirrely Squirrel,” “Bizzy Bee,” and “La Araña Pequenita.”
Camp Andyland is a true joy from beginning to end. And speaking of end, I love that Andy Z carried the theme of the album all the way through to the details on the back of the CD packaging, including not just a song list, but a Camp Andyland Roster , a schedule of the day’s events while at camp and even emergency numbers for the Vet (555-PAWZ) and the Dino Doctor (555-RAWR).
Check out the video for “Drink More Water” below. I never thought that a song about the need to drink more water throughout the day would be catchy and fun to sing, but this song definitely proved me wrong! (Love the movements that would make this an easy addition to a program!!)