Get On Board!

Alex & The Kaleidoscope

Independent release, 2015

http://www.alexandthekaleidoscope.com

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 02/24/2017

Alex Mitnick is an Emmy Award-winning children's entertainer and frontman for Alex & The Kaleidoscope, an interactive music entertainment brand designed for those four to eight years of age. Get On Board!, Alex & The Kaleidoscope's fourth album, invites kids to take in and honor the world they reside in. And it's not hard to do just that here by singing along to songs about vegetables, animals, and even recycling.nbtc__dv_250

Musically, Get On Board! is all over the board, with the Southern anthemic rock and harmonicas of “Outside,” which is later complemented by the banjo and bluegrass influences of “Peach Tree” and further punctuated by the country shuffling of the title track “Get On Board.” The older crowd will certainly recognize influences from The Beach Boys or The Everly Brothers, but many surprises exist here. For instance, “Oh, Won't You Sit Down” finds the band at a rowdy, spiritual moment. “Insect Tourists,” one of the best selections here, appropriately starts out with crickets chirping before moving into an eclectic affair of lush, international influences.

Alex is on board with education through song, especially the vegetable talk in “Vegetable Garden Town” and the '70s funk of “Recycle” that will hopefully get young kids interested in recycling and/or reusing. But of course, sometimes the youngsters just want to sing along to not so serious topics, and “Choo Choo” lets them do just that about trains.

The strongest selections here are the layered, textured offerings, such as the soulful and romantic “Tell Me A Story.” While the music seems ideal for a romantic evening, the wordplay is about caterpillars and bears – though this doesn't detract from the talented musicianship. Near the end, “Leading The Way” is another high point, a laidback, island flavored song that sounds tropical.

It's easy to see why Mitnick has won 15+ national awards. The guy can write songs that are hard to forget and easy to play repeatedly. While this album is really directed at a niche audience, there's little doubt that it will appeal to everyone in some fashion.

Rating: A-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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