The Start Of Things

Alison Faith Levy

Mystery Lawn Music, 2015

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Alison Faith Levy has had quite the diverse and luminous career. Known for her soulful vocals and adept keyboarding, in the late '90s she ended up in Scott Miller's seminal outfit Loud Family. Although she had occasionally put out solo work when not in full bands, Levy also gained recognition for her time in McCabe And Mrs. Miller, and more recently, Sippy Cups, whose children's music put them in a league of their own in the genre. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 The Start Of Things, Levy's sophomore solo disc for the young ears, presents themes of self-expression, self-acceptance, and self-empowerment and sets them to pop music that varies considerably from tune to tune.

“The Start Of Things” starts things out with bright horns and a soulful groove that only sounds kid-oriented in the chorus, which leads into the gentle, romantic cover of Cat Stevens' “If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out.” From here, the piano takes center stage as things get rowdy with whistling and hand clapping on “Pull Your Weeds” as well as the quick, rockin' “Rainbow Tunnel.” “Little Dreamer” takes the keys another direction with a '70s spirited ballad, and much like the other softer selections, allows Levy's smooth and powerful pipes to shine.

The second half of the album is where things really get interesting, perhaps most notably with the cheerful Beatles influence of “Are You Happy” that comes with a shuffling beat and lasting memorableness. Levy then throws us some eclectic work with the carnival rock of “The Froggy Dance,” the country-folk of “Ballad Of Boo Ghostly,” and New Wave fun of “TLC,” where the chorus rates up there with the best of Elvis Costello.

Levy certainly plays, sings, and writes like a musician who has been active across three decades now. While this is generally tagged as kindie-rock, the only time I felt like this was a kids' album was the rare, specific, young person subject matter. Even if childhood was several decades ago for you, you'll find plenty to enjoy here.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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