CD REVIEW: Pachas Pajamas - A Story written by Nature (Vol. 1)
By: Cyrus Rhodes
Label: Balance Edutainment
Genre: Children’s Pop Musical
Technical Grade: 9/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 9/10
Weakness: More music-narration balance
Pacha’s Pajamas is a children’s Pop Musical, and an urban fairy tale that centers on a little girl with big dreams. One night, the animals and plants on her new pajamas come alive. Entering her dream as a small gorilla, she comes upon an unlikely group of creatures feeling sad about the state of the world. Nature unites to tell its captivating story at a global festival where species have come together to bring balance to the planet. They build a stadium, half land, half water and powered by electric eels. Fun-filled acts include an insect band called The Beetles, a black-eyed pea rapping for a better world and a beaver named Just-in-Time. At the end of the show, Pacha shares an important message for all of nature and humanity. This CD features 4 generations of artists (55 total) including Mos Def, Talib Kweli, cheech Marin, Mojora Carter, Lil Jaxe, Ta’Kaija Blaney, MC Fireworks and more.
The CD kicks gets off the ground nicely with “Pachas’ Theme” smooth flowing intro piece that serves up slamming Reggae-Caribbean groove against walking bass lines, effective harmonies and soulful melody. Track 2 “Magical Pajamas” keeps thing moving in the right direction with sonic vocal narration with steady flowing rhythm, well placed sonic accents painted against a hooky organ chops making for an impressive follow-up piece. Track 3 “Into the Dreams” is another impressive groove that dishes out rock steady rhythm, impressive and thought provoking story that flows and ebbs its way through to motional fruition. The CD makes a great first impression dashing out 3 amazing songs in a row. The musicianship of everyone involved is above the bar. I would classify this music as classic Children’s Pop, with brief touches of Reggae and Caribbean Brazilian-Pop type overtones. There's even a Rap and a Country piece. Along the way you will notice lush instrumentation with things like impressive horn sections, impressive solo guitar, well placed percussion accents, impressive pedal steel, sonic touches, well placed Keyboard, and lush harmonies layered everywhere built upon a thick as a brick rhythm section. What I like the most about this catalogue is how well all the pieces seem to groove together, testament to hundreds of hours of writing and behind the scenes production work no doubt. Now turning our attention over to all the performers - as for their individual contribution – all amazing! All performances go down smooth and fills the space peacefully and unobtrusively. All songs are extremely well crafted and consistent across the board. The Narration and vocal tidbits are effective and contribute to the storyline well. Pachas Pajamas delivers 15 solid tracks all providing musical enjoyment filled with strong messages and strong melodic variety and diversity. From grooving “Welcome to Pacha Jamma”, and Butterfly Life” to rocking “Nature Superhero” to intoxicating “Wake up Everybody” Pachas Pajamas has something for just about everyone.
It needs to be said that these are not all songs. Half of the material is really narration with musical tidbits playing in the background. I would say 50% of the CD is narration the rest songs. This approach works however I wish that number was more at a minimum 75/25 vice 50/50.
From start to finish Pachas Pajamas is an amazing collection of stories and music. The songwriting and overall storyboard messages– world class, all consistent musical experiences, each one possessing a unique personality, flair, and signature groove. Note for note, song for song there isn’t really weak piece on this entire catalog with respect to the overall messages. The writing and playing abilities and sampling of all the behind the scenes players is rock solid. The melodies and harmonies are well crafted, and the narration is effective and on point. At the end of the Day A Story written by Nature volume 1 is sure to be a hit and inspire kids to become Superheroe,s for the planet.