I Can Go Anywhere
(Laughing Loon, 2007)

From the fictional world of AvaLoon, fun music can be found on the children's CD I Can Go Anywhere. Led by Papa Don McLelland, you get 12 tracks filled with music aimed at the young ones in your life. While Papa Don leads more than half the tracks, Justin Frey, Amber and Stephanie Suchy, and Selina Bomberger also lead the vocals at times. The music hits a variety of genres from old-time rock to '80s pop to just plain silly.

The song that probably resonates most closely to my life currently is "Are We There Yet?" Justin puts on his best Scottish accent (reminiscent of Fat Bastard from the Austin Powers movies) as he frustratingly replies to a chorus of kids constantly bugging him asking "Are we there yet?" The increasing exasperation he expresses is rather amusing. There is an occasional slip where the accent momentarily disappears, but that just adds to the hilarity.

"Equality" has a good message. As you can guess, it points out differences between people, but that we're still equal. "I don't believe that we're all just the same, 'cause I see with my eyes that there's plenty that's different. It seems to me that what we need to see is that equality means the same opportunity." The chorus is actually very pretty with Amber and Stephanie backing up Papa Don.

"Mud" is as dirty as it sounds. With some '50s rock, you can sing about how much fun it is to play with mud. This song is a counter to kids saying they are bored. As stated at the end of the chorus, "You'll know how much fun there is just lying all around." As a parent I have to wonder if there might be another song from the adult perspective about just how much "fun" it is to clean up muddy kids. I guess that is why there are garden hoses....

I've mentioned the singers (except for the eight backing kid vocalists: Kathleen McLelland, Victoria Adams, Courtney Laramee, Meagan Petrie, Jerusha Turgeon, Trish Adams, Selina Bomberger and Chevy Turgeon), so now I need to mention the musicians. They include Bill MacArthur (guitar), Trevor Bigam (drums and percussion), Dan East (bass guitar), Justin Frey (baritone and soprano sax) and Thomas Yu (piano).

While not as parent-friendly as children's albums by artists like Lisa Loeb, I Can Go Anywhere is palatable to adult listeners as well. Topics range from riding a bike to bugs to taking a nap. There is enough fun to get the little ones involved. The CD puts some focus on kid's imaginations. There is also a website to check out if you are interested.

[ visit the artist's website ]

review by
Wil Owen

25 October 2008

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