Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Frances England's Beautiful "Mind"

Reasons to Own Your Own "Mind Of My Own"

Too often, children's music gets pigeonholed. I've written before that if I never hear another "going for a ride in the car" song, it'll be too soon. It doesn't take a mastermind to figure out that kids have more to think about. Frances England figures it out for you on her new CD, "Mind Of My Own."

The CD sounds like a time capsule from the 1970s, with tunes such as "Jacques Cousteau" and "Bicycle." Frances dissects the power of a child's imagination in "Red Balloon":

I'm a red crayon

I'm hands on

I'm a fast tricycle

I'm a sour pickle

I'm a mighty tower

I'm a cold, cold shower

I'm three years old and I grow fast.

Yet Frances England, kindie musician, was born after the birth of her first son, Liam. She contributed songs to his preschool fundraiser, which turned into her debut CD, "Fascinating Creatures" in 2007. The CD grew an Internet following and was the sole recording to win the 2007 Oppenheim Platinum Music Award. Her second CD, "Family Tree," followed thereafter and won numerous awards of its own.

"Mind Of My Own" contains 14 new songs with a gentle, creative attitude. Frances accentuates the positive, such as "Cookies and Milk" (which features guitarwork from Doug Snyder of the Jellydots):

We go together like cookies and milk.

We go together like peanut butter and jam.

Let's jam!

A good indication of Frances' appeal comes from experience in our own home. Prior to reviewing the CD, I pulled a few songs to our iTunes directory. Ben quickly identified the tunes ("It's new Frances England") and asked when I would be finished with the review, so he could add it to the pile of CDs for play in the car stereo system. He has looked at other CDs I've received and simply put them back on the desk. But "Mind of My Own" held his interest. And I even feel bad for waiting this long to compose my thoughts, when it's one of the best children's CDs of the year. Well, I'm done. I liked it. And now we'll all hear it again in the car very soon.

This Friday night, November 5, Frances will be premiering "Mind Of My Own" on Sirius XM Radio's Kids Place Live. She will play the entire CD, talk about the themes of the songs, and take listeners for a walk through San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury neighborhood. Frances speaks with a couple of musicians who played on the album to talk about their instruments, inspirations, and share some stories about making music together. The program will be broadcast nationally four times this weekend at the following times:

Friday, 9pET/6pPT

Saturday, 9aET & 5pET

Sunday, 12pET/9aPT
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