It is possible to be impressed by an album, but not have it move you. Such was the case for me with Snowdance (2006), the second album from New York-based duo Erin Lee & Marci. The duo, with a background in children's musical theatre, have crafted an album of 12 songs, one for each month of the year. As a whole, the album fits together well -- the opening track "This Year" makes a lot of references to the songs to follow and the songs for each month make sense. The snow-day-wishing of track 2 "Snowdance" has a pleasant wintry, jangly beat. The forced "September March" acutely highlights the feelings of dread and uncertainty heading into the new school year. There are some interesting stories here. But although the folk-pop melodies and their playing aren't bad, there isn't a single cut that begs repeated hearings. Part of that may have been the voices of Erin Lee & Marci, which for me, were... how should I say this?... not my cup of tea. They were a little too Broadway for me, not enough pop or folk. Or perhaps they weren't enough Broadway for me -- this was an album of stories, some of them good -- maybe they should have dropped any attempt to sing in a standard pop manner, and brought in additional singers to fill out the "cast," so to speak. With its focus on the tribulations and joys of growing up for elementary students, the 48-minute album will be of most interest to kids ages 6 through 10. You can hear samples at the album's CDBaby page. It's possible to admire what Erin Lee & Marci were shooting for with Snowdance and appreciate the structure of the album and the songs within. But it doesn't mean your family will want to listen to it repeatedly.
After a busy August calendar, things slow down a little bit in September: Sept. 1: Mommy Says No! - Asylum Street Spankers (thanks, Bill, for the heads up) Sept. 5: Snowdance - Erin Lee & Marci Sept. 12: My Best Day (live album) - Trout Fishing in America Sept. 12: Bright Spaces 2 - Various Artists (Dan Zanes-compiled benefit album) And of course, there are always August releases I missed and October releases to look forward to.