Not to get all movie-poster-ish on you, but Peter Himmelman's "My Trampoline" is a Triumph! It's a fully realized, professional album of all-ages tunes by one of the great troubadours of the children's music world. "My Trampoline" dazzles and delights from the percussion intro on "Imagination" to "the whole world just feels right", the final 1/2 dozen words you'll hear sung on the album, appropriately placed over top of gently stroked piano keys.
Himmelman finds success by traveling down lyrical roads less traveled. On one track, he questions the fate of classic names in a world that revels in concocting crazy new identifiers for children. On another, he presents a bevy of curious kid-related statistics. Yet, even when walking down a well-beaten path, Himmelman manages to find something new in the commonplace.
Life lesson, or lecture songs as I regard them, are very, very familiar in this genre. By shrouding a "being yourself is best" lesson in a food allegory, as he does on "Main Dish", Himmelman proves his lyrical dexterity, making such a tune fresh and digestible. He wonders aloud if "BBQ ever wants to be the ribs" or if spaghetti longs to be the sauce. In the end, the tofu, vinegar and soup are content with who (er, what) they are. While the emotions and self-doubt of our children are a touch more complex than that of mayonnaise, the song drives home an extremely valuable point with a cleverness unique to few songwriters.
In all likelihood, the words "Neil" and "Diamond" have never appeared in succession in a kid's music review, but "Ten Billion Blades of Grass" could pass as a long lost epic from his mid-1970's days of grandeur. The tune is a sublime celebration of the outside world. It's a remarkable, far-reaching musical effort that only an artist completely confident in himself would attempt, let alone accomplish with such eloquence.
"My Trampoline" is, at it's core, a record with roots planted firmly in a love of the planet - animals, fresh air, flowers, pesky weeds even. The eco-joyousness in Himmelman's songs serve as a musical reminder that the best life is the one lived with a healthy appreciation of all that exists out of doors.
I cannot recommend enough that you check out this fantastic, fun album from Peter Himmelman. "My Trampoline" will be officially released next week, but you can order it directly from Minivan Productions (the record label) right now!