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CD REVIEW: She – Shimmy Shimmy with She
By Chip Withrow - 06/10/2008 - 01:16 PM EDT

Artist: She
Album: Shimmy Shimmy with She
Genre: Children's (ages 5-13)
Sounds Like: '80s pop, Motown
Production/Musicianship Grade: 10/10
Commercial Value: 9/10
Overall Talent Level: 9/10
Songwriting Skills: 8/10
Performance Skill: 9/10
Best Songs: This Little Light of Mine, Superhero, New Kid, Mom
CD Review: This charming, infectious album had me bopping from the beginning. It is fun for kids and quirky enough that a fun-loving parent can dig it, too. (The artist's name, by the way, has an accent mark on the "e.")

The opener, “Shimmy Shimmy,” jumps off the disc, full of cool ‘80s-style synth organ and insistent drums. “When I Grow Up” has a nice soulful bounce to it and a positive message about the “so many possibilities” kids will have as adults. “Mom” is sweet and calypso-like, but with a blast of organ and guitar power chords in the instrumental break. The chorus is easy to sing with, too.

Most of She’s songs absolutely crackle with energy – like “Ice Cream,” with its bubbly, catchy chorus and clever tempo changes. “Superhero” is perhaps my favorite, supercharged with pulsing Motown-style piano, a delightful chorus, and rich backing vocals. And the buoyant “New Kid” has that old-soul feel, too, and a timeless message about acceptance and making people welcome.

Her take on the classic “This Little Light of Mine” is excellent, full of groovy guitar. In fact, one thing that makes this album stand out among kids’ releases is the attention paid to how well the instruments are played.

She throws in some funk, too – the ‘80s dance-style “Shake It Baby” and the lyrically amusing, horn-filled “Elephant’s Foot.” I can envision a wacky dance based on “Elephant’s Foot.”

The CD draws to a gentle close with the lightly percussive, end-of-the-day smooth “For the Children.” It is an uplifting end to a wonderful set of music kids can sing to, dance to, and enjoy along with the grownups in their lives.

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