Concept albums are hard to pull off. Most often kindie musicians feel the need to stretch their points to the extreme. This may stem from the fact that a great number of them arrived from the teaching ranks. It's just in their nature.
And nature is the theme of the Whizpops' third CD, SEA BLUE SEA. With two elementary school teachers and a biologist (!) in their lineup, the Montana-based group takes an aquatic trek beneath the waves to introduce the ocean and its denizens. The calypso beat of "Octopus" contains a jaunty, tongue-tying rap:
I'm an octopus and I'm a funky cephalopod
If I lose an arm I'll grow it back right where it was on my bod.
My pigment cells are there to change my skin with camouflage.
If a moray eel comes, I'm as elusive as a mirage.
"Manatee" sounds like a bonus track from Recess Monkey's 2013 release, DESERT ISLAND DISC. Not bad company to be in. "Dolphin Disco (Super Pod Party)" pleads with organizations like SeaWorld to let sea life swim free. "Manta Ray" has a Jack Johnson acoustic vibe. "Sea Turtle" features Margi Cates and girl group harmonies. "Coral Reef" delves into the dilemma of pollution with horns and rap lyrics. Paging Mista Cookie Jar or Secret Agent 23 Skidoo for an all-too-obvious guest spot. I guess they don't traveling that far in the direction of the northeast.
The Whizpops prove that the kindie attitude is alive and well, even in places that we don't hear from all too often. Who would have ever thought that we'd get an album of ecological enthusiasm from Missoula, Montana? It's tough to ace a concept album, especially when your topic isn't native to your environment. But the Whizpops care about kids and the SEA BLUE SEA shows they care about protecting the underwater world for generations of kids to come.
SEA BLUE SEA is available Tuesday, August 19 from the Whizpops website, Amazon, CDBABY, and iTunes.
Here is the video from the Whizpops' tune, "The Owl Song":