When I told my kids they were getting to review a Halloween CD, they were thrilled! My kids are so excited for Halloween. We've been checking out Halloween books at the library, browsing through costumes, and making fun treats and crafts in our home. The idea of an entire album dedicated to Halloween was...well music to their ears.
Andy Z is an award winning kids' musician with The Grand Scream of Things being his fifth studio CD. The album which is actually a musical play, was created to take kids on a spooky fun-filled adventure.
(From a Press Release) This Halloween fantasy begins with young Andy Z emerging from a dream state where he has been exhorted to “Find the Witch.” The narrative employs colorful characters like Andy’s high-energy pet Chihuahua, Reggie, who not only barks but has learned to speak with a “south of the border” accent. Reggie discovers a magic wand that confirms the veracity of Andy’s nocturnal visions and sets him on a path to find the owner of the wand – Sandy Witch. Very much in the mode of an “old time radio show,” Andy’s day is a series of surreal adventures, which are mysteriously under the spell of his romantic interest, Pleadia, a teenage alien. The Grand Scream of Things is like Fibber Magee and Molly meets Sponge Bob on a Halloween Day packed with more stream of consciousness adventure than even James Joyce could “conjure up.”
Driven by Andy Z’s quest to introduce a new art form to the landscape of entertainment for the 8 to 12 year old set, The Grand Scream of Things gives kids a chance to use their imaginations to create their own visual images for this hip bit of aural theater that incorporates a mixed bag of pop musical styles. Andy’s buddy, “Danger Dude,” being a teen punk rocker from England, right away breaks into a song about “The Punkin Patch.” Pleadia introduces the boys and Reggie to the Lizards of the Lounge, who do some scat singing and other swinging to the driving sounds of a hot horn line and a cool rhythm section. Other encounters of a musical kind include Jam Master Z and the Baking Fools, whose recipe for pumpkin bread is offered up in hip hop fashion, and a skateboarding punk rodent, Blue the Rat, the Andyland school mascot. Andy Zcontributes his own bit of punk, a song about his “Alien Girlfriend,” and he later laments the way things are turning out with a power pop tune, “The Right Thing.” The show concludes with a couple of big production numbers, “The Grand Scream of Things” and the grand finale “Friends.”
Notes Andy Z, “Throughout my years of entertaining kids and families, I’ve noticed an unfortunate lack of music that’s appropriate for ‘tweens,’ particularly with regard to song lyrics. I wanted to come up with something that has the sound and energy of the music their older siblings and friends are “in to,” but with lyrics that work for 8 to 12 year olds. I feel that the quirky nature of this project goes straight to a very happy part of their brains. In many ways, creating this album has been like starting a new school. The kids who were with me in the Andyland kindergarten are now moving on up in the grades, so of course I want to provide music for them that has ‘grown up’ a bit, and The Grand Scream of Things is a part of that natural evolution. The last two years have been a thrilling adventure, allowing me to create an art form just right for ‘tweens’ that reflects the world of my imagination in story and song.”
Although my kids are not technically in the 8-12 yr. age range. My 5 yr old and I still were able to enjoy the album. My daughter loved the rapping songs and the funny characters in the stories. She also really loved that it focus on Halloween stuff like witches, pumpkins, and more!
Check out http://thegrandscreamofthings.com to get more info on the album and for purchasing info (album is being released on October 9th)
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A big THANK YOU to Andy for providing me with a free CD to review. I was not compensated for this review. I receive product(s) for free so that I can provide my insight and experience. These are my honest opinions. Your experience may vary.