As promised on Monday’s Todd Vlog, here’s a song by song breakdown of Ross King’s fantastic new kid’s record, Words That Rhyme With Orange.
I’m honored to call this guy my friend – his talent, creativity and encouragement have won him friends and fans all over the country and I think this new record will only make him more of a success!
I hope you’ll check out the record…I think you’ll love it.
HAPPY TO BE ME
The record kicks off with this fantastic sing-song silliness. There’s no mistaking it…song 1 lets you know that you’re about to hear a record that is witty and contagious. It’s also a great place for this track as it still holds some stylistic similarities from Ross’ other music.
At the Wright house, this is the current favorite track. What’s more fun than a song about juice boxes? I’ll tell you – a HIP HOP song about juice boxes. Ross even enlists the very soulful Jimmy Needham for this fun joint. Don’t miss the “kids choir” on this one. Super great!
IF I WASN’T SO CUTE
Track 3 is the perfect “dad song.” One verse in and you see straight-a-way that Ross is one astute father. Balancing a healthy respect for driving-mom-crazy and the wildness of pre-school boys, this track has one of the most memorable choruses of the record.
If this song doesn’t end up on Disney, I’m gonna’ be ticked. To my mind, there is no major point to this song. But that doesn’t matter. The strength of this song isn’t an over-the-top frivolity but rather a clever twisting of words for the pure sake of creating a smile on the face of the listener.
Personally, this song is my favorite. From a songwriting perspective, it’s perfect. It’s got a good balance of nice safe rhymes along with some very clever wording twists that really shows off Ross’ considerable songcraft. I also dig the more sparse arrangement. I have a feeling this one is destined to be sung acapella in lots of minivans over the past few months.
LEARNING MY ALPHABET
This percussive, doo-wop tune is really good. Comes off natural and clear and sticks to the basics…the ABCs. Who knows? Maybe some preschool’s will add this one to their letter center time! This song does come off a bit differently than the others. While the previous tracks have sounded very produced, this one come across a bit more natural. Ross’ vocal doesn’t sound quite as processed, which is surprising at first considering the other tracks. It sits a bit different in the overall mix, but is still one that stay in your head all day.
THE TRYING FOOD SONG
This song is hard for me to review. Because I, typically, do not enjoying trying new foods. Oh well…I guess I can appreciate the delivery on this one. This one has a strong lyrical presence that adds a bit of reason to the standard childhood freak out about new foods. This song actually includes more kids talking over the music admitting what they do and don’t like. I had a hard time hearing a few of the kid parts. I’m guessing it’s pretty difficult to track numerous children and try to mix them in with a fully produced song. This one is destined to be a kitchen favorite!
Afrikiddo Romp was one of the first tracks I heard early on. It’s an instrumental piece that showcases Ross’ production skill. There aren’t many things my kids like better than random dancing and this tune provides a great soundtrack!
THE SOUND OF WHINING
That’s right, parents. King wrote a whining song. This one is perfect. It speaks the truth but it doesn’t punish kids. I especially like the little vocal ad-libs in each chorus. As far as character growth goes, this one has to be one of the best songs on the record. My kids need to hear this. (Heck…so do I!)
I LIKE TO PLAY OUTSIDE
This song is everything an “outside” song should be. Easy-going, fun, laid-back and simple to do. Great melding of song arrangement and lyrical content here. Ross even offers help for those rainy days!
DON’T DO IT
When I heard this son, I couldn’t believe it. It’s good. But it’s out there. I won’t tell you what it’s about. You gotta’ go buy it yourself.
As I understand it, this is the song that started it all. Ross wrote this one early on for his two boys and it sparked something in him as a writer. The chorus is easy to remember, but the verse is where it really shines. I think the melody is great and the backing vocal is really cool.
The King family’s most recent addition, Naomi, is quite the cutie. As the baby, she’s the most prone to need a lullabye, I guess, so Ross wrote her one. I was impressed that this song came off as a good lullabye but also had a very mature, almost “Album Leaf” feel to it.
This is a smart, infectious record that you and your kids will love to listen to. Go check it out and buy it today!