Terri Hendrix,
Celebrate the Difference
(Wilory, 2006)

Some of the songs on Celebrate the Difference are written with a message that ties into the title of the CD. There are also some that are there purely for the fun of singing them with children. Terri Hendrix brings both together and does not let one side overwhelm the other.

She starts off with a poem in "Peggy the Goat" that is read over the playing of a harmonica. She continues to build on the same moral in "Celebrate the Difference." This leads to a very lighthearted march about baseball; "Play Ball" is aptly named, and having the kids join in on the chorus adds to the energy of the song. Bluegrass goes rap in "Get Your Goat On" -- it is an odd mixture and the music turns funky in places. When the song is at it's best it is quirky fun.

The music of "First Place" is very confident, the tempo setting the tone to match the encouragement in the lyrics. "I Want to be Your Friend" sounds closest to reggae during the chorus, and stays close during the verses. The point of view sung from in "Invisible Friend" is a bit odd, but sure of itself and the music mixes beat box and blue grass together. The children join in to add sound effects for "Car Car," and it makes for a fun sing-along song. "Nerves" bounces between two very different solitudes, each bordering on stereotypes, the soft folk and then loud rock.

"Critters" is a brief snippet of various animal sounds that leads into "A Place in the Choir," which celebrates diversity in voice. Hendrix switches from English to Mexican and back in "Lluvia de Estrellas," which is the most elegant song on the CD. She switches back and serves up a lighter protest song in "Yeah Yeah Yeah," which is lighter in terms of tone as opposed to topic. Dreams and learning and growing up are given voice in "Walkin' on the Moon" as the slight rasp in her voice brings out the emotions of the words. "Peggy the Goat Reprise" pulls from the lyrics of "Get Your Goat On."

Celebrate the Difference is a lot of fun to listen to, with a range of musical styles to listen to along the way.

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review by
Paul de Bruijn

12 July 2008

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