CM . . .
. Volume XV Number 6. . . .November 7, 2008
Señorita Sarita: Groovy Latin Tunes for Children.
Vancouver, BC: Third Beach Publishing (Order from www.senoritasarita.com ), 2008.
1 CD, $15.00 + $5.00 S&H.
Kindergarten-grade 6 / Ages 5-12.
Review by Jeff Nielsen.
If you're ever in need of some relentlessly sprightly mambo-rrific music for dancing, exercising or cleaning up, this is album you've been searching for
Sarita Baker is the composer of the music for TeleToon's retro-fun cartoon, What About Mimi? Here, in her alter ego of Senorita Sarita (http://www.senoritasarita.com/), she has created an album to "fill that gap between Raffi and Britney Spears." The album finds its groove from the first second of "Waiting for the Sun" and over a brief 28 minutes of music rarely lets up. These songs are aimed at the feet, with bongos and horns and a whole lot of cha-cha-cha. Even my three-year old caught the groove, dancing all about and calling it "Go Diego Go music."
Occasionally, in pursuit of non-stop dancing, Sarita short shrifts other components of her art. While word play on songs such "Tuktoyaktuk" is fun, often the lyrics to songs, such as "The Land Where Cats and Doggies Talk," feel underwritten. As well, the melodies, while appropriately festive (for example "Holiday," which sounds a bit like Sweet's old hit "Ballroom Blitz") argent as catchy as the accompaniment. Sarita has clearly learned to evoke place in her music. Perhaps a co-writer would enliven her compositions as much as her collaboration with arranger Bill Runge has strengthened her arrangements.
So, while the songs can blur together, the overall cheeriness of the project makes this musical holiday in the sun well worth the price.
Jeff Nielsen teaches high school history in Lorette, MB, which is just a few thousand miles North of the Rio Grande.
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