Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Today, Mary Kaye Stays Cool as a Cat

This week, I shall be reviewing Mary Kaye.

No, I'm not talking (or linking) to the cosmetics company. I'm talking about Maine-based childrens recording artist Mary Kaye. She recently released her fifth CD of original tunes, TODAY I WAS A CAT. All artwork is by noted illustrator John Klossner, who does the comics for Computerworld (a publication I'm familiar with through my day job in software).

A longtime educator and performer for young audiences, Mary Kaye writes from a child's perspective on many of her tunes. For instance, on the title track:

Today I was a cat.
In a tiny spot I sat.
Where the sun shines through the window and it warmed me.
I curled up in a ball.
I didn't do anything at all.
The house made quiet sounds in harmony.

"Love Factory" and "Underwater Wade Parade" typify the album's gentle, somewhat silly theme. In the latter, Mary Kaye envisions a selection of aquatic antics as she sticks her head in the sea. Will it get water-resistant kids to dunk their heads? Who knows, but it's worth a try.

Mary Kaye straddles the niche between folk and alt-rock. I looked for a musical comparison for the occasions when Mary Kaye rocks out. In what may seem like a stretch, I thought about Patti Smith during "Rolling Down the Hill." And believe me, I can't even picture Patti singing the song. Matt (who is 2) enjoyed singing along with "Alligator," with its chorus of "Uh-oh Oooh."

Mary Kaye is definitely not the cosmetic company. And her music goes deeper than a powdery or latex layer on your skin. Her songs get into your head, which improves your aesthetic. That trumps cosmetic any day.

TODAY I WAS A CAT is available at Mary Kaye's website, Amazon, CDBABY, and iTunes.

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