CD: Deep Sea Diver
Artist: Recess Monkey
Audience: Anyone who is at any point along that evolution diagram where they show a monkey becoming a human.
Sounds like: Everything. I will elaborate on this later.
Buy from: recessmonkeytown.com and iTunes
Random Thought: Rhesus macaque have 50 vertebrae on average. I hope Wikipedia didn’t lie to me.
Tweet Sized Review: Many bands strive to be masters of one style. Recess Monkey laughs at them as they master them all.
Would you like to hear something interesting? A review of a really good CD doesn’t actually write itself. Trust me, I sat on this one long enough that it probably should have. There are really three reasons as to why it has taken so long for me to write this. I’m a procrastinator, kids are a lot of work (Yeah I only have one, so), and I wanted to make sure I did this album justice. I probably won’t, but I’ll try.
How good is Recess Monkey’s new album, Deep Sea Diver? It’s really good. Like, so good that I would listen to it without my daughter in the car. So good that I would catch myself humming and singing the songs as I walked around the office. It’s kind of tough to explain to adults without kids what you are singing, but it didn’t matter. This album is really good.
I’m going to make a comparison that probably won’t make a lot of sense to some, but oh well. This is my space. The first band that popped into my head when I listened to “Deep Sea Diver” was The Urge. That’s right, that band from the ‘90s that had a couple of songs that received moderate airplay. “The Urge?”, you say? Let me explain. The Urge released an album in 1998 called Master of Styles. This CD did cover several different styles of music, some attempts more successful than others, but it is an album that I still appreciate to this day. I’m making this comparison because I think that Recess Monkey should have called this album Master of Styles instead of Deep Sea Diver (I know it doesn’t fit the nautical theme of the album, but work with me here).
I’ve tried to count how many different styles Recess Monkey uses on this album but I lose count. Many bands try to use different styles (especially in kindie) with varying amounts of success. Deep Sea Diver doesn’t miss on one single attempt at different styles. The album is enjoyable from start to finish and is really strong while Jack, Drew, and Korum incorporate more styles than you can shake a stick at.
Deep Sea Diver starts off strong with “Tambourine Submarine” which is a rocking track that begins to show the range the group has. The second track, “Fish Sticks”, is probably my favorite. “Fish Sticks” features several drum solos and several different styles in this one song. The fifth track, “Shrimp”, is sure to be a favorite. It has an excellent hip hop/funk feel to it. This song also features some clever lyrics. That is another thing I love about this album.
Recess Monkey does a great job of sprinkling clever lyrics throughout Deep Sea Diver. There are plenty of lyrics that kids will catch, but there are also several that seem to be placed strategically for the parents to catch. If you ask me, this is one aspect that makes it so enjoyable. Not only is the music good, it is clever and it has something for everyone.
What else can you expect from Deep Sea Diver? How about a pirate tune? How about a funky disco track? How about tunes that remind you of everything awesome about all styles of music? It’s all there!
I also enjoy that Recess Monkey sings about topics that kids can understand and relate to. It can be difficult for a band full of adults to pull that off. Kids can tell when something is lame and not give it the time of day. That will not happen with this album or this band. Oh, and kids might actually learn some things about the ocean, sea, or maps (“Compass Rose”) just by listening to this album! That’s a win in my book.
I would also feel like I’m not doing my job if I don’t mention how awesome their name is. Their name is Recess Monkey. Recess Monkey. Get it? They’ve been around long enough that I’m sure they are sick of people telling them how clever that name is, but I’m new to the scene and I’m going to talk about it. It might be one of the best band names I’ve ever heard.
So, to conclude, buy this album. I tried to do it justice through my rambling above. I probably should have just written that you should buy it because it is awesome. That probably would have done a better job and made a heck of a lot more sense.