Friday, July 13, 2012

Dreaming of Green in Colors

Let's address the model/elephant in the room right away:

If you had told me, years ago, that I would be reviewing a children's music CD featuring Brooke Shields, I would have laughed and said, "Go eat another funny brownie. And fetch one for me."

Here we are, decades later, and Ms. Shields performs two numbers on SING LOUD, the new CD from Melissa Green. She successfully contributes vocals on "We Got the Beat" (covering the Go-Go's classic) and "Four Nickels and a Dime." Are they standout tracks? Will they make or break her as an artist? Not really. But in the grand scheme of things, it's much better than Nicholas Cage reading "Green Eggs and Ham."

A former nursery school teacher from New York City, Melissa relocated to Los Angeles and now runs music workshops and classes, with three previous CDs (and one DVD) to her credit.

I immediately liked SING LOUD for one basic reason – Melissa did not attempt to cram in multiple musical styles along with a bevy of messages. For the most part, the CD sticks to the title concept – gentle rock for the younger set.

"Four Nickels and a Dime" can be seen on two levels. First of all, it's an ode to riding your bicycle. On a darker note, it could be interpreted as adults paying children to just go away and leave them alone:

Well, my mama gave me four nickels and a dime and sent me to the store to buy some pie.
Got on my bike, went for a ride and ride ride ride.
My daddy gave me four pennies and a dime and sent me outside to watch the birds fly by,
Got on my bike, went for a ride and ride ride ride.

Melissa takes some enjoyable liberties with classic tracks such as "We Got the Beat" and "Free To Be...You and Me." It's been many years since the original release (1972 to be exact) and I'm happy to hear it again. Did you know there's a FOUNDATION? How about that... Speaking of liberties, you're not mistaken, those are lyrics from Eminem's "Express Yourself" floating through the chorus of the buoyant "Get Up."

Thumbs up for a collection of songs that addresses a positive theme with simplicity and grace. Melissa Green delivers a short, delightful tribute to friendship and togetherness with her newest CD.

SING LOUD will be released on Tuesday, July 31 through Melissa's Web site and CDBABY.

For those who like to sing loud, here's a video set to the title track.
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