Saturday, October 24, 2009

Music Week Replay Giveaway #3: Milkshake's Great Day



The children's music arena is eerily similar to the cliques I once knew back in my schooldays. There are the class clowns, like the Wiggles or Doodlebops - silly and eager to please. The smart kids with their classical lullabies. The sports jocks like Sporticus of LazyTown. And, of course the popular crowd like Laurie Berkner or Rebecca Frezza - cutesy, bubbly crowd-pleasers.

With a name like Milkshake, I was sure I was about to listen to just another run-of-the-mill "kindie" act. But I soon realized they were much more than that. Edgy and authentic, Milkshake is the epitome of cool. If this were the 70's, they'd be the ones sporting the Brando-style leather jackets a la the Ramones.
Milkshake is probably the world's most serious rock band for children. Not "serious" as in sad, but serious as in seriously musical. Made up of veterans of several Baltimore alt-pop, hard rock and progressive rock bands, Milkshake write and performs music that is as musically sophisticated as it is lyrically lighthearted and child centered. Though never condescending, they speak a kind of universally appealing language; a language familiar to young and old, child and parent, music fans of all ages. The band's tuneful, memorable songs, which evoke influences from Rodgers and Hammerstein to Lennon and McCartney to Weezer, make it easier for parents to listen to the same CD five times in a row.
Milkshake has been featured on PBS Kids, Noggin and Discovery Kids and has won numerous awards including NAPPA and Parent's Choice Awards.

Founded in 2002 by singer Lisa Mathews and guitarist Mikel Gehl of LOVE RiOT fame, Milkshake began as a sort of musical experiment. They vowed to make music that could grow with their own small children. Over the years, the children grew up (as they tend to do!) and the music also changed as the band grew from a duo to a six-piece band. The kids that listened to Milkshake as babies are still fans as they now enter elementary school. Their critically-acclaimed fourth album, Great Day, examines subject matter like friendship, family, self-esteem, goals and materialism - things a 6 - 10 year old can relate to - although the whole family can enjoy.

Track Listing:

1. Shake It Up
2. Happy Place
3. Statue of Me
4. You Did It!
5. Enemies
6. When I'm Old
7. I Want It
8. Travel Far
9. Recipe
10. Dance in the Sun
11. I Love You
12. Great Day

The moment I saw the cover with Mathews' funky style, I knew this was going to be right up my alley. I'm more of a preppy girl but I've always admired the girls who could rock the tutus and leggings.

Perhaps I'm a bit bias since the band hails from my hometown (go B-more!) but I adore every second of this CD. It's a hodgepodge of genres that manage to blend seamlessly into a fresh, unique sound. Mathews' voice is at times raw and at times smooth but always versatile, and the band is equally impressive. I will admit I don't typically notice instrumentals, as my ear tends to focus more on vocals. But this album made me sit up and take notice of what was also going on in the background. Guitar riffs. Drums. Piano. All really stand out in their own right. You can just tell these guys are seasoned professionals.

Milkshake runs the gamut from punk rock ("You Did It!") to bluegrass ("When I'm Old") to folk ("Travel Far") to pop ("Great Day"). You'll even find a bit of New Orleans creole ("Statue of Me") and a 60's psychodelic beat ("Dance in the Sun"). Each track is stylistically independent but equally fun. Nate's absolute favorite is the opening garage-rock track "Shake It Up". His eyes light up and he jumps up and down with a big goofy grin the moment it comes on. (I tried to capture said dancing on video but he wouldn't cooperate. Toddlers...). My personal favorites are the sentimental lullaby "I Love You", which I now sing to Nate at bedtime, and the dreamy, globe-trotting "Travel Far".

Great Day delivers mature sound cleverly disguised with child-friendly lyrics. I love that its a bit rebellious; you never know what is coming next but you know it's going to be a welcome surprise.

Oh, and did I mention that they include lyrics in the liner notes? Hoorah! I never understood why most children's music is so cryptic. I personally like singing along and being able to learn the words easily. Kudos to Milkshake for recognizing this often overlooked feature.

Bottom line: I would highly, highly recommend indulging in Milkshake as a break from the norm in children's music. There's a flavor for just about anyone, and Nate and I find them quite delicious. We're already planning a trip downtown to see them live!

BUY IT: You can purchase Great Day and other Milkshake records in stores nationwide and at www.milkshakemusic.com, amazon.com, cdbaby.com, iTunes and other online outlets (ARV $14.99).

WIN IT: One lucky reader is going to have a Great Day when they win their own copy of this CD! (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

MAIN COURSE (MANDATORY ENTRY): Have a listen to the clips on Milkshake's Facebook page and leave a comment with your favorite track. Remember to leave your email address in your comment if it isn't visible on your profile or if you are not a blogger!

SUGAR ON TOP (BONUS ENTRIES): To maximize your chances of winning, you may do any or all of the following. Be sure to complete the above mandatory entry or your bonus entries will not count!

1.) Follow my blog or subscribe via reader or email. Comment telling me which method you chose. If you already follow or subscribe, that counts! (1 entry)

2.) Follow me on Twitter and tweet about the contest. Just leave me a comment with your tweet link. (1 entry)

3.) Become a fan of Milkshake on Facebook. (2 entries!)

4.) Enter any of my other current giveaways and leave a comment telling me which one(s) you entered. (1 entry each)

I'm an Editor's Pick!

Giveaway will end on November 7, 2009 at 11:59pm EST. U.S. residents only. Winner will be chosen via Random.org and will have 48 hours to respond to congratulatory email or prize will be forfeited and another winner will be chosen.

Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of the above CD from Elizabeth at Waldmania! to facilitate my candid review. I was not compensated in any other way for this post. The opinions expressed are purely my own and you may have a different experience upon listening to this album.

42 comments:

lisa said...

I think Great Day is a really cute song. msmith572@yahoo.com

Kids Music said...

It is a very nice and good post. Keep up the good work.

chint76 said...

I would have to say dance in the sun

chint76 said...

i am an email subscriber

chint76 said...

i entered wubbzzy idol

chint76 said...

i entered the rockabye giveaway

chint76 said...

and the big truck giveaway as well :)

Bebemiqui said...

Travel Far is a great song!
bebemiqui82(at)yahoo(dot)com

heaventrees said...

We like Shake It Up.

erma said...

I like Shake It Up.
erma.hurtt@sbcglobal.net

saturdaynightfever said...

"Dance in the Sun"

edgenemmers@gmail.com

Gabriel J. said...

I like Shake It Up.

Storm, The Psychotic Housewife said...

We love Bottle of Sunshine!

Candie L said...

Dancing in the Sun sounds like fun. I have one of their CDs and the kids love it. Thank you

candieluster(at)gmail(dot)com

Candie L said...

I am following on google. Thank you

candieluster(at)gmail(dot)com

Candie L said...

I am a facebook fan for Milkshake. Thank you

candieluster(at)gmail(dot)com

Britta said...

i liked shake it up

Gianna said...

Travel Far :)

ErinJeany said...

As soon as I hit play Elijah started dancing to 'Dance in the Sun' I think he likes it! {lol I can tell by the bootay shaking}

Thanks!
--
Erin
ejsmomej{at}gmail{dot}com

ErinJeany said...

I follow your blog!

--
Erin
ejsmomej{at}gmail{dot}com

ErinJeany said...

I follow you on twitter! @erinjeany
and tweeted! http://twitter.com/erinjeany/status/5521004703
--
Erin
ejsmomej{at}gmail{dot}com

ErinJeany said...

1- I am a fan on facebook! facebook.com/erinjeany

--
Erin
ejsmomej{at}gmail{dot}com

ErinJeany said...

2- I am a fan on facebook! facebook.com/erinjeany

--
Erin
ejsmomej{at}gmail{dot}com

kngmckellar said...

I like Shake It Up!

kngmckellar@hotmail.com

Qwill said...

I liked When I'm Old

Qwill said...

Follow and tweeted: http://twitter.com/qwills2cats/status/5522244248

Qwill said...

Milkshake facebook fan 1

Qwill said...

Milkshake facebook fan 2

Sarah said...

We like You Did It!

Sarah said...

I'm a follower.

Sarah said...

I follow you on Twitter.

Tweet:
http://twitter.com/iloveagiveaway/status/5524380371

Sarah said...

I'm a Milkshake FB Fan.

Entry #1

Sarah said...

I'm a Milkshake FB Fan.

Entry #2

Nancye said...

I enjoyed Happy Day. Fun!!

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

Follower

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

Email subscriber

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

Subscribe via reader

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

Facebook Fan Milkshake

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

lilyk said...

My favorite was You Did It!

lilyk said...

I subscribed by email.

lilyk said...

I became a fan of Milkshake on Facebook. #1

lilyk said...

I became a fan of Milkshake on Facebook. #2

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