Ohh, Betsy!

Let the Wild Rumpus Start! October 28, 2009

Filed under: I'm a critic — Anna @ 9:59 pm

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Maurice Sendak’s legendary children’s book, Where the Wild Things Are, was carefully crafted – words and illustrations bringing a story to life. Similarly, Karen O and the Kids’ original soundtrack for the recently released full-length movie is artfully crafted. Karen O is better known as the frontwoman of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs but makes a bold change as the composer for the soundtrack. Karen O has a range of talent making up the “kids” from actual children singing to various “grown-up” professional artists (see the line-up here).

At first listen, one wonders if this is really a children’s album. With the dreamy and stylish instrumentals and the almost-melancholy undertones, it is definitely a departure from traditional children’s music. The soundtrack seems to be a reflection of the emotions a child is sure to experience – joy, fear, love, excitement but not necessarily what is expected from a children’s album. The titles of the songs aptly represent the emotion that is sure to be elicited from listening – Hideaway is melancholy, Animal is wild, Worried Shoes is nervous. Interestingly, Rumpus is a hyper, crazy romp while Rumpus Reprise is the same thing only with adult supervision. Karen O can be credited with capturing the complexity of what seems to be something quite simple. Through her music she is able to bring to life emotions that a child would feel navigating the big world while in other songs the feeling of comfort from a loving parent is interwoven.

All is Love seems to be the standout with its appealing light-hearted sound. As for the rest of the soundtrack, it may not seem like a likely pick for your kids but if you listen carefully, you might just find yourself…and your child. You can find the album streaming here.

 

Once bitten…or, um mitten October 6, 2009

Filed under: I'm a critic — Anna @ 8:11 am

I’ve made a reputation for myself for my…”critical dislike” of the Twilight Series Saga. Many know I have no love for the Twilight book. It was only the pressure of an upcoming book club meeting that got me to actually finish reading it. When I heard they were making a movie, I actually thought it would make for a better movie than a book because it just had to be better than the book. That was, until I saw the previews and I knew that I would have a hard time keeping a straight face throughout the movie. I ended up watching it and did have a hard time keeping a straight face. Let’s just say that I giggled a lot and not as in a “Edward is so cute” giggle. Though I must say I thought it did a respectable job keeping fans happy. But, since I’m not a fan, I shook my head at glimpses of the glittering vampire. So needless to say, there wasn’t anything really appealing to me about  books or the movie(s). I invite your dissenting opinions but be forewarned, I am firm in my beliefs against teenage vampire angst.

But out of all this car wreck of vampire hormones came one shiny ray of hope – the mittens that Bella wore in the movie. The 45  year-old woman  I overheard talking about how “hot” Jacob was in the upcoming sequel might argue, but the most beautiful thing in the Twilight series has to be these mittens. And after a Google search, I found that there were many people coveting those mittens too.

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I can proudly say that I now have in my possession, just in time for fall, a pair of those mittens courtesy of my talented friend Lacey.  We did a little craft swap. I made her a bag and she made me these mittens. I think I got the better end of the deal but I’m not complaining. Now, if only I can pry them away from G as he has adopted them as a sock puppet named Duncan.

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