Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Pop, Children's Music
Jessica Harper stretches her big, broad voice over three musical styles--jazz, reggae, and calypso--on Inside Out for a sound, rich and lush, that's unmistakably hers, love it or leap right over it on your CD changer. Same... more »
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Jessica Harper stretches her big, broad voice over three musical styles--jazz, reggae, and calypso--on Inside Out for a sound, rich and lush, that's unmistakably hers, love it or leap right over it on your CD changer. Same rule applies to her lyrics, which leave listeners feeling as though they ought to have signed a waiver: spin this disc and plan to be gone awhile, in effect plucked from your own habitat and planted squarely in hers. Fortunately, it's a place most parents will find familiar, comfortably so. A bundle of songs on Inside Out, which plays like a postscript to 2000's Rhythm in My Shoes, bring us into a bustling household where the family pet is a shoe-chewing, jazz-ditty-inspiring "Little Brown Dog Named Joe" and the breakfast-table chitchat seems lifted from our own kitchens and set to pleasing rhythms. For instance, "Four Boys Named Jordan" opens with a little girl, Elizabeth, explaining her class-seating chart. Sprinkled around the room, sometimes in confusing clusters, are--you guessed it--four fellas who share the same name. On "Lizzy's Do's and Don't's" you can practically hear the disaffected drumming of fingertips--it's Lizzy's plea to her mom not to hide her candy up high and put nuts in the apple pie, among other exasperating day-to-day stuff. At times, the Harper household darts away from the daily grind to celebrate nothing special. "Happy Talk" reminds us, in reggae, to dream, and "Shout the Happiness" is hardly more than a joyous, island-style rant. Regardless of the mood, so much a part of this record, not one of the songs is weak musically. For young families in a funk, it's a friendly, highly original reminder to at least keep it light when you can't kick up your heels. --Tammy La Gorce
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Shout the Happiness!
loce_the_wizard | Lilburn, GA USA | 11/20/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Jessica Harper once more delivers children's music that is infused with joy, vibrancy, and fun. Shout the Happiness, The Band, and Yonder Come Day / Shining Over China are by themselves worth the cost of the CD. Ms. Harper cleverly uses children's voices throughout many of the songs, tells some great slice-of-life short stories, and delivers well-arranged, well-played songs. Also, the sound quality of this CD, like Ms. Harper's other children's CDs, is crystal clear, another sign that all involved are not cutting corners for the young audience. Moreover, the quality of the writing and performing is way above the typical condescending fare packaged for children (e.g., John Lithgow's dreadful "Singing in the Bathtub"), the preachy, save-the-world music that eventually wears thin on young and old listeners after repeated listens (e.g., Tom Chapin's "This Pretty Planet,") or the recordings where the silliness quotient makes them almost instantly annoying (I'm so glad my children are past the Seasame Street/Joe Scruggs/ phase). In short, you play this recording on family trips and everyone will relax to this clever, engaging collection. Our dog even gets into the act, barking in response to the pup in to A Little Brown Dog Named Joe."
Beautiful and Heartwarming
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I first heard of Jessica Harper after reading a glowing review of this album in the December 2001 issue of Family Fun Magazine. There was also a short interview with her on the next page. I decided to check out the CD and bought it at a local store. I LOVED the first song medley. I became hooked. When I pick my daughter up from school and she seems a little down, we pop in the CD and sing "Shout the Happiness". Jessica Harper's voice is soothing and mello. I cannot say enough about this CD. I'm buying several for my friends for Christmas and amazon.com has the best price (...). You won't be disappointed."