CM . . . . Volume XVIII Number 6 . . . . October 7, 2011
With a stage name like Pamela Sunshine and an album title like Growing Up Green, you can guess that you're in for a cheerful lesson on environmentalism. And musical lessons are indeed what Sunshine, who resembles a genetic splicing of Joan Baez and David Suzuki, offers here. Of course, with all the lessons packed into 33 minutes, there's a degree of earnestness here ("It means I care for the weak and I care for the strong/I care for the old and I care for the young/I care for the dark and I care for the fair/Growing up green means I care.") that some might find off-putting.
Musically, Growing Up Green, which is actually re-recorded version of an album originally made in 1992, is very agreeable. There's not too much genre-hopping here, just 10 peppy acoustic folk tunes like "Turn off The Tap" with tasteful, small-scale accompaniment by some fixtures of Canadian folk music like Gord Maxwell (One Horse Blue, Ian Tyson) and Sherri Ulrich (Pied Pumpkin, UHF). The light accompaniment is very suitable for Sunshine's pleasant voice. As well, Sunshine's enthusiasm for her subject matter and her audience shine through in her performances; just listen to her lead a kids choir through their paces on "The Walking Song" for proof.
In the end, I suppose a quick test of your likely approval of this album is to ask yourself what you think of Stan & Jan Bernstein's innumerable Bernstein Bears books. If you find the overt moralizing of the series obtrusive, then Growing Up Green may not be for your classroom, but, if you find the ever-popular series is a valuable way for imparting important life-lessons, then I might have a new album for your students.
Jeff Nielsen may teach high school English in Lorette, MB, but, when he comes home, he still has to read Bernstein Bears books to his children.
on this title or this review, send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal
use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any
other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.