My Green Kite

My Green Kite

by Peter Himmelman
     
 
It took a long while but singer and songwriter Peter Himmelman found another way to make a living by making family records, particularly those that engage children. On the club and small theater circuit during the 1990s, he was clearly not cut out for the music biz game. It had nothing to do with him except that he had perhaps too much personal integrity to play the

Overview

It took a long while but singer and songwriter Peter Himmelman found another way to make a living by making family records, particularly those that engage children. On the club and small theater circuit during the 1990s, he was clearly not cut out for the music biz game. It had nothing to do with him except that he had perhaps too much personal integrity to play the shuck-and-hustle major-label game that was part of the beginning of the end of the conventional music biz. He made a slew of fine recordings in the 1990s and has continued in the 21st century, from Synesthesia, Flown This Acid World, and the conceptual Skin to Imperfect World in 2005. All of them were high-quality, literate, and full of fine material that was no one's but his own. He just wouldn't sell his songs and allow himself to be marketed as someone he wasn't. He made his first children's record, My Best Friend Is a Salamander, in 1998 and he hasn't stopped. My Green Kite is truly a family record. While there are melodies for kids and stories that draw them in, the themes are timeless: check "Another Bite of Hay" or "My Father's an Accountant." The wild and woolly skiffle and rockabilly of "A Dozen Roses" has more for parents than kids, but the tune is catchy as all get-out. "Have You Ever Really Looked at an Egg?," with its cheesy synth and sampled kids voices, is hysterical. "I Made It for You," with its sampled monologue and wacky but sincere appreciation of mom, is absolutely beautiful. The bottom line here is that Himmelman is talented no matter what he does, and just because this record was made for families with children doesn't make it any less appealing. It's tautly crafted, its subtlety and humor are genuine, and there are no gimmicks or overdriven ploys to grab attention. Not to take anything away from Randy Newman, but it should be this man scoring films for young people. His images are multidimensional but accessible, his narratives and vignettes are believable, and his instinct for what touches them and makes them laugh and interact is uncanny. Yet, all of this said, it's rather mind-boggling that this is only one aspect of what he does. Himmelman brings the same dignity, artistry, and quiet beauty to everything he puts his name on. My Green Kite is full of great songs and melodies, and is more proof that Peter Himmelman is a true artist no matter what he sets his mind to.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/20/2007
Label:
Rounder / Umgd
UPC:
0011661812628
catalogNumber:
618126
Rank:
256618

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