Even if you weren’t up on the recent release of Spaghetti Eddie’s fifth album, there is at least a decent chance your kids were.
The popular Oklahoma City-based indie children’s duo consisting of frontman and guitarist Brendan Parker and drummer Erick Alexander celebrated the debut of Spaghetti Eddie! And Other Children’s Songs Vol. 5 (V5) with a release party and show Oct. 28 at Tower Theatre, 425 NW 23rd St.
The musical stylings of Spaghetti Eddie are family-friendly in theme and often drive home important lessons to young listeners, but parents will quickly tell that the musicianship is not the insufferably dumbed-down and simplistic boops and bops that populate a lot of children’s television programming.
This much will be evident as soon as the grown-ups pop in the V5 CD. Album-opener “Wake Up!” is more than tolerable — it is a sincerely fun listen for all ages. That track bounds with energy as it preaches the importance of getting up and starting the day right.
The following song, “Wonder Where Everyone Is Going?” is a surprising lyrical standout. Parker reflects on all the people he has seen over the course of the day traveling to wherever it is they are going — be it by car or airplane. Where are they going?” he wonders aloud. To a party, the mountains, a lake, the store? Do they even know where they are going?
The tune not only sparks curiosity and imagination, but it brings young listeners an awareness of the lives of others. People live lives we never see but often much in the way we live ourselves. We have something in common with these people; we can relate to the world.
Indeed, there are plenty of worthwhile messages to be found on the album. “Organized,” of course, teaches the importance of tidiness and keeping track of one’s things. “Let’s Go Exploring” is all about the pursuit of fun in the outdoors and fulfilling a natural sense of wonder. “Home” instills the warm feelings of family and the familiar.
The album’s best moment is found on “Growing Up,” a song that might honestly be as or more enjoyable to adults as it is to young listeners. Unsurprisingly, this is a tune about the marvels of growth, especially at a young age.
As children dance excitedly to the rhythm, elated at aging, parents might linger in the background to fight back tears of joy and “they grow so fast” astonishment.
The album closes on “Here for You,” another song that can only be called children’s by technical categorization. It is an earnestly comforting song written from the parents’ perspective. The slow, tender pace brings an easy smile, and everyone leaves their V5 experience feeling happy.
Parents, do not misread this review. The jams on this album likely won’t be replacing The Beatles, Arcade Fire or Coldplay favorites on your iPod, nor do Parker and Alexander intend them to. Parenting, however, is often about compromise, and one could do far worse than Spaghetti Eddie in that regard.
Five albums in, a mature and sophisticated musical backdrop keeps Parker and Alexander successful. While Spaghetti Eddie might not replace parents’ favorite bands in their iPods, it just might in their car stereos.
Print headline: Brain food, Indie children’s duo Spaghetti Eddie has something for all age groups on its fifth album release.