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Music Review: Flannery Brothers – The New Explorers Club

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“I swallowed a bug
It was totally worth it
It was sunny outside
The day was perfect.”

Imagine these words sung to a boogie-woogie beat and some Jerry Lee Lewis (sigh) piano work. The song is “Swallowed a Bug” and is the second cut of thirteen from the Flannery Brothers (proving, once again, that the best things start in New Jersey) on their latest CD, The New Explorers Club.

Influences also heard on the disc include Latino, Reggae, Irish, bubble gum, Harry Nilsson, Joni Mitchell, and Tim Curry. There are also a few that I can’t quite put my finger on. The combinations of these rhythms and beats contribute to a totally new sound in kidtunes.

Slipping The New Explorers Club into my CD drive, I had no idea what to expect. I’d read some publicity about Flannery Brothers, and all of it was extremely positive, but few publicists send out press releases that say, “These guys stink.” In the case of these guys, that would be the furthest thing from the truth.

Hearing the first notes of “Big Kite,” I was already impressed. Whatever I thought I might hear didn’t matter; what I was hearing was hot. Kid-hot, of course. I know a seven-year-old boy who could take that song and make it his anthem, singing it over and over again. Every song on the album is like that—they are infectious, fun for singing and being silly.

Flannery Brothers are imaginative, creative, and entirely entertaining. They don’t give us naptime music; they get us up and dancing. The Flannerys are Mike and Dan, who are accompanied by their “honorary brother,” Jonathan Merrifield (percussion).

Other songs on The New Explorers Club are “Hi 5 Dance,” “In the Middle,” “Pirate or Parrot?,” “Green Submarine,” “Boots,” “Sea Glass,” “Quiet Place,” “Kitchen Floor,” “Let’s Go!,” “The Elements,” and “Best Adventures.” It’s a terrific collection of songs that kids can easily learn. And it’s a sure bet that once the family listens to The New Explorers Club, they’re going to want to download the group’s other albums.

Bottom Line: Would I buy The New Explorers Club? Oh, yeah. This is one that I don’t plan to lend out. Look for it in October.

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