One of my favorite games as a little girl was to play dress-up. I loved the feeling of being someone else. A teacher. A doctor. A mother. A writer. A singer. I imagined myself to be all of them at one point or another. But most of all, I wanted to be a princess. With every Disney film I watched, I aspired to wear a jeweled tiara and poofy gown. I may not be able to pull off that look now (at least not without a fair share of stares), but I can recapture my youth and encourage my son's wild imagination thanks to Princess Katie and Racer Steve.
The story behind songwriter/vocalist Katie O'Sullivan (Princess Katie) and guitarist Steve Borne (Racer Steve) is like a real-life fairytale. The husband-and-wife team began working with children years ago by volunteering at hospitals dressed as popular TV and movie characters. The children seemed so scared and lonely; they wanted nothing more than to spread some cheer. So, using Steve's background in music and Katie's improvisational comedy talent, they joined forces to perform their own original music and create their very own characters - Princess Katie and Racer Steve. Three critically-praised albums later, Princess Katie and Racer Steve are living happily ever after.
I recently had the chance to review Princess Katie and Racer Steve's newest release, Tiny Cool.
Tiny Cool captures the vibrant energy, daring innovations and positive spirit of the NYC-based group's tremendously popular live performances. Tiny Cool uses hip lyrics and cool music, punctuated with plenty of laughter, to bring home messages about honesty, individuality, acceptances, kindness, helpfulness, the power of love and the amazing capabilities kids will exhibit, if they're only given a chance. A horn section (featuring members of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy) and strings add layers of depth and musical color to Tiny Cool. Stylistically, Tiny Cool runs the gamut from surfer rock to Motown, from Latin to electro-pop and even bossa nova.Track Listing:
1. Celia's Party
2. Tube Sox
3. Kids Rock!
4. Surf Radio (skit)
5. Sand in My Sandwich
7. The Cartoons (skit)
8. Tiny Cool
9. Honest Kid
10. Stick Around (Can we get an anthem?)
11. Wing it! (skit)
12. The Rock Bossa
13. Japanese Robot
14. The Unenchanted Forest (skit)
Princess Katie and Racer Steve aren't Tiny Cool - they're Lotsa Cool! This dynamic duo really had my son and I rockin'. The tunes were like a box of chocolates - you never knew what you were going to get next. From latin ("Clelia's Party") to funk ("Tiny Cool") to jazz fusion ("Honest Kid") to new wave ("Stick Around"), it was impossible to be bored while listening to this CD. The standout tracks for me were the punk-pop ode to our littlest tykes, "Kids Rock!", the hilarious beach blanket tune "Sand in My Sandwich", and the synth-pop lullaby, "Japanese Robot". Coincidentally, Nate's favorite seemed to be "Tube Sox", a pop ditty about Katie's favorite things.
Even if gimmicks or princesses are not "your thing", there's still plenty to love about these sophisticated melodies and fun, earnest lyrics. I liked the positive messages of empowerment and self-confidence throughout. The four skits injected humorous banter into an already fun-loving album. "The Enchanted Forest" interlude in particular had me cracking up.
Bottom line: Princess Katie and Racer Steve's Tiny Cool lets little ones know it's fun to role play but they are coolest just as they are. It's a fun, upbeat album that can turn any frown upside down.
BUY IT: Tiny Cool can be found at most major music retailers and is available online at www.princessracer.com (ARV $15).
WIN IT: Princess Katie and Racer Steve have a Tiny Cool album up for grabs for one lucky reader!
MAIN COURSE (MANDATORY ENTRY): Have a listen to the song clips on the adorable PKRS website (click Music tab) and tell me your favorite. Remember to please leave your email address in your comment if it isn't visible on your profile to prevent disqualification!
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 and/or subscribe via reader or email. Comment telling me which method you chose. If you already follow or subscribe, that counts! (1 entry each)
2.) Follow me and Princess Katie on Twitter and tweet about this contest. You can do this daily! You may use the following tweet or come up with one of your own:
RT @kris10chumley: Win the brand new Tiny Cool CD from Princess Katie & Racer Steve @KidsRockMusic Ends 5/14 http://bit.ly/cS3pXW
Just leave me a comment with your tweet link. (1 entry per day max)
3.) Become a fan of PKRS on Facebook. (1 entry)
4.) Add my button to your site and comment with a link where I can find it. (1 entry)
Giveaway will end on May 14, 2010 at 11:59pm EST. Open to U.S. 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 received a copy of this album from Elizabeth at Waldmania! in exchange for my honest review. I was in no other way compensated for this post. The thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are purely mine. Your experience may differ.