27 August 2008

SteveSongs: The Marvelous Musical Adventures DVD

*This is a positive review, I swear...just hear me out...

Listen, the OWTK household very much enjoys "Marvelous Day" (the CD and this new DVD, released yesterday on Rounder Records) but as refreshingly pleasant as the music is I am at times nagged by this slightly uncomfortably cheesy feeling I get when listening to SteveSongs. Steve Roslonek tip-toes that ever-so-very-fine line between being a caricature of a kiddie musician (if you've ever been to a birthday party or some corporate event that features kid's "entertainment" you may know what I mean by that statement. If not, think amateur musicians performing astonishingly banal tunes half-hearted while sporting gigantically fake Kool Aid smiles) and actually being a quality one in, you know, real life. His new PBS Kids acronym "Mr. Steve" isn't helping his case to be considered the later.

Fortunately for Mr. Roslonek he is one hell of a gifted songwriter penning such gems as "Ducks Hatching" (on the CD but not the DVD), "Spyrtle the Turtle" and "Opposite Day". With SteveSongs, Roslonek manages to be silly, educational and melodic simultaneously and the results are generally marvelous. I do believe his ever-present smile to be authentic and genuine, making all the difference in the world to me while watching and listening to SteveSongs.

On his new 90 minute DVD SteveSongs: The Marvelous Musical Adventures Roslonek combines eight cool HD videos including the title track and "Opposite Day" as well as a very clever and funny video for "Blast Off!" with a live concert, a couple PBS Kids extras and about 20 minutes of outtakes all of which are quite hilarious. Additionally, the package contains an bonus music CD with seven songs (including a few brand new tunes). All in all, it's $15 well spent.

In today's world we are so damn cynical and doubting of anyone who seems too happy or too earnest in what it is they do. I too often fall in to that trap as well (hell, just see the entire opening of this here review). But I beg you, cast aside such foolish cynicism and embrace SteveSongs for what it is - good, clean (dare I say wholesome?) family fun that will have you singing, dancing and laughing with your kids for an hour and a half. And at the end there is no doubt that an honest smile will be planted on your face too.

Pick up a copy of the terrific "Marvelous Day" CD and/or the DVD.

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