Snorkel by Randy & Dave
Quirky fun and a signature off-the-wall approach to tunes and lyrics are paramount in this new collaboration between country music’s Randy Sharp and veteran kids’ music-maker Dave Kinnoin. (The pair’s other notable joint efforts are “Life on a Trampoline” and “Calling All Elephants.”) The title track takes “safety first” to comic extremes when a kid’s preparation for the worst escalate from a snorkel and helmet to a hazmat suit with a color-coordinated parachute. Toe-tapping “Mr. Berschmicker” lives in a tree house where his salamander and parrot friends keep an eye out for “where each tap is put” and eat the bugs that get underfoot. In “Why Not?,” being told you “can’t do it,” and it’s not “worth a try” doesn’t discourage, it spurs a search for answers; “Squirrel” puts a kid in a “tough situation” when a hyperactive squirrel visits and hilarious havoc ensues. Admirable wordsmithing is on display throughout and “Mixed Up Day” is a word-play delight: “When the thunder’s the quiet/And the quiet’s the thunder,/When the blunder’s the fix/And the fix is the blunder ? ” One message song, however, misses the mark. “Everybody’s Ignorant” wants kids to know that not even celebrated experts know everything there is to know, and there’s always more for everyone to learn. Yet the near-melancholic tone and the recurring theme that “”Everybody’s ignorant of almost everything” may leave listeners with a “what’s the point” feeling. The last track on the album, “I Should Have Been Born in Mexico,” is odd man out. Nicely done, but disconnected by a mood of adult regret.
Lynne Heffley ©2018 Parents’ Choice
A freelance writer and editor for the arts and non-profit organizations, Lynne is a former staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, where she established the paper’s first weekly children’s arts and entertainment beat.