With 16 national awards in their hip pocket, Philadelphia-based Alex & The Kaleidoscope Band step front and center on the kids’ music stage with their 2012 CD, I’m So Glad.
The band’s fourth release, I’m So Glad has already won a 2012 Parents’ Choice Approved Award and a Tillywig Toy “Best Family Fun” Award. The song “Kangaroo!” was an Independent Music Awards “Best Song for Children” winner.
I’m So Glad showcases the work of longtime songwriting partners AlexMitnick (music) and Alan Bell (lyrics), who glide with ease from rock to folk/pop, from reggae to world music. Mitnick and Bell are known for songs that engage children physically — with strong rhythms and catchy melodies — and mentally — through witty, insightful, empowering lyrics about self-awareness, nature, and the importance of understanding one’s role as a part of a community.
Distinguished by the contrast it achieves from track to track, I’m So Glad constantly renews the engagement of the listeners. The title track, a rhythmic celebration of life, incorporates the Nigerian folk song “Fum Wah Alafia Ashe Ashe” (“Give me peace, let it be so …”). The head bobbing, call-and-response reggae sing-along, “The Tongue Song,” and the hip-shaking Zydeco grooves of “Crocodile” get kids up and moving. Taking a moment to breathe, the soothing “Water Lily” includes the Buddhist mantra Om Mane Padme Hum.
Young paleontologists go on dinosaur adventures with the Middle Eastern flavored “Dino Dig” and the bluesy “Tyrannosaurus.” Alex & TheKaleidoscope Band offer a celebration of their art with “Music,” layering high-energy rock ‘n’ roll over a salsa-influenced beat, sweetened with shades of gospel from the dynamic dancing/singing duo of Najwa Parkins and Samantha Rise.
A graduate of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Alex Mitnick is dedicated to both teaching and performing. In addition to touring the nation with Alex & The Kaleidoscope Band, Alex has, since 2000, directed the music program for children eighteen months through eighth grade at the Princeton Montessori School. In addition, he is a faculty member at both the University of the Arts and The Princeton Center for Teacher Education, where he conducts workshops for teachers and counselors.
My children ages 4 and 2 years old enjoyed the upbeat songs found on the album. And I for one liked the fun and engaging lyrics that teach of self awareness, about the world around us, and more! I also like the fact this album it has been one that both my son and daughter like to hear together! My son really likes the Crocodile song and counting off 1,2,3, 4 and my daughter likes the Water Lily Song!
Want it? I’m So Glad is available on Amazon for $12.40 for the 10 track album as of this posting.