Mad Tea Party is the collaboration of songwriter Ami Worthen, multi-instrumentalist Jason Krekel, and bassist Lora Pendelton (who has since been replaced by Joe Edel). Big Top, Soda Pop is their third album in as many years, and it has received some well-deserved attention from radio and the press. The band combines retro-pop, folk, swing, and ragtime with a dash of circus music to create a unique sound that defies conventional categorization.
The album kicks off with the toe-tapping swing tune "62 Years Ago," which is followed by the eerie and mellow "Space Repair," and then the album shifts gears into the hurdy-gurdy influenced, rockabilly title track. Listening to Big Top, Soda Pop is almost like being at a circus. Every song is a new act, and none of them are around long enough to become boring.
In addition to the entertaining musical arrangements, Mad Tea Party keeps the listener's attention with witty and creative lyrics. This is not an easy thing to do. I have heard far too many introspective singer/songwriters to take this gift for granted. However, it is disappointing that the band went with economy and did not include a lyrics sheet in the digipak. Hopefully they will come around to reason and post them on their website soon.