A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
HOUSE PARTY conveys the spirit in which it was made. Friends dropped by Dan Zanes' Brooklyn home where the tape was rolling, and the happy result is 20 songs of communal music making. Contributors include Barbara Brousal, Deborah Harry, Cynthia Hopkins, Angelique Kidjo, and Bob Weir. The album kicks off with Zanes' wacky \"House Party Time,\" reminiscent of Dylan basement tapes with doo-wop backup vocals. Memorable guests are a bowlegged chicken who walks \"with a wiggle and a giggle and a squawk doing the Tennessee Wig Walk\" and a whackety, quackety Father Goose callin' \"Old Joe Clark\" dance steps with the help of banjo, drums, electric bass, fiddle, guitar, mandolin, clawhammer banjo, and Xaphoon. Fun wordplay abounds in the classics, making some of the new songs fall short lyrically by comparison.
Is it any good?
Some listeners may feel a dip in their energy part way through, only because it's not easy to sustain such high dynamics and variety for so many tracks (that's why most CDs don't contain 20 songs). But keep in mind the multitude of music you are getting: a little rag time, a taste of calypso, a Spanish song with steel guitar, a Japanese work tune in classical guitar, some gospel, and a catchy West Indian counting song accompanied by ukulele and laughter, all adding up to a good time for all.