Friday, June 13, 2008

You're Invited to Another Block Party

Not to be confused with the Block Party Bash going on at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disney Music Block Party is a new CD chock full of classic Disney tunes. It's amazing how many times they can put out a CD with the premise of "Classic Disney Songs interpreted by...." but I guess as long we keep buying them, they'll keep putting them out. And that's good because this latest release is a really fun addition to any Disney music collection. Here, we get 13 tracks recorded by artists familiar to the Playhouse Disney crowd. Now if you don't have kiddies in your house, don't let that keep you away from this CD. There are some great new tracks here.

The first thing that I really like about this CD is that of the 13 songs 10 of them are good old school Disney tunes. When doing these modern "cover" albums there tends to be an emphasis on the songs written in the last 20 years but here we get mostly the older stuff. There are songs from The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, and Toy Story. The remainder of the tracks date back to 1964's Mary Poppins or earlier.

Speaking of Mary Poppins, for my money this CD is worth the price of admission alone for track #7, Mickey Mouse and Goofy singing "Let's Go Fly a Kite". I think it's a great idea to have Mickey and the gang singing classic Disney tunes. I'd love to see a whole "cover" album like this with all the tunes sung by Mickey, Donald and the rest of the gang. It would be nice to have a Mickey Mouse CD that wasn't him singing children's songs or raps about cheese! "Let's Go Fly a Kite" is great selection for Mickey as it doesn't get remade all that often.

Two other dittys from Mary Poppins make it onto this CD as well. "Jolly Holiday" by Dan Zanes and "Chim Chim Cher-ee" by Kay Hanley; both offer moody and sophisticated rerecordings of these Sherman Brothers standards.

The CD kicks off with a rockin' rendition of the Mickey Mouse Club March from Ralph's World...a great song to start off any album, if you ask me. They Might Be Giants offers their own take on a Disney hero with "Ballad of Davy Crockett (In Outer Space). Fun Stuff!

Alot of friends from Playhouse Disney show up to do a song, like the Doodlebops, Johnny and the Sprites, Choo Choo Soul, and even Playhouse hosts Ooh and Aah. There's some names here that I'm not familiar with like Kay Hanley and Gwendolyn and the Goodtime Gang but they're songs are fun so they are a welcome addition.

One odd inclusion in the artist line-up is Wayne Brady who, besides providing a guest voice on Higglytown Heroes, has nothing to do with Playhouse Disney. His cover of The Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room is a hip-hop dance track that sounds as if it would be at home on a Rihanna CD. An odd song choice and and even odder celebrity choice, Brady's Tiki Room ends up being one of the highlights of the CD.

Good stuff all around on Disney Music Block Party! This new disc offers some new takes on old classics while introducing your kids to a few of the older songs in the Disney Music library. I discovered this CD at Walt Disney World a few weeks ago, but since have seen it for sale in Wal-Mart as well as on Amazon and Disney It is also available on iTunes.

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