Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Paul Spring - Home of Song

Paul Spring - Home of Song

Fall 2013 Music
Ages: 4 - 10 yrs.
CD Price: $14.99

From the first evocative song (the title track) on Paul Spring's Home of Song to the yearning refrain of the last—and all of the humor, creativity and soulfulness in between—it's apparent that singer-songwriter-guitarist Paul Spring is the real deal. His lyrics alone are enough to establish him as an outstanding new addition to family music at its richest, multidimensional best. In one lyric, he reflects:

"Oh, how often I think that melody was my mother,
Rhythm my father, keeping my steps in line.
And my brothers and sisters filled in the notes between them,
Making a harmony to hold through time

This reviewer's mind was blown, and the lyrics sent chills down her spine.

Spring's voice—a little rough, a little plaintive, hugely expressive—melds perfectly with his muscular, tuneful folk-rock-pop harmonies and instrumentation, performed with a well-chosen cadre of fine fellow musicians (guitars, piano, percussion, organ, trombone, banjo, bass, clarinet and saw). Expect the unexpected, both lyrically and melodically. Even those songs that tread familiar ground, celebrating family and nature ("Willow Tree," "Rain") come with idiosyncratic turns of phrase and musical surprises. Spring references Huck Finn, Tom Sawyer and a Danube "just as languid as the Yangtze" in a rollicking, honky-tonk trip down the "Mississippi River." His reassurance about getting past negative talk and gossip, "Mind Over Matter," is punctuated by a brief, standout clarinet solo by David Rothenberg. Spring's less traveled paths include inventive, observant songs about Sherlock Holmes and Don Quixote. By the time he reaches his beautiful slow waltz of a finale, "See the Moon," it's abundantly clear that Paul Spring is an artist to watch.

Lynne Heffley   ©2013 Parents' Choice
A freelance writer and editor for the arts and non-profit organizations, Lynne is a former staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, where she established the paper's first weekly children's arts and entertainment beat.

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