Review: Prelude to Mutiny - Captain Bogg & Salty

PreludeToMutiny.jpgI will be upfront and say that although pirate mania seems to be taking over the world, I, thus far, have been immune. No eyepatches, no using pirate lingo, and only on the rarest of occasions do I drop an "Aaarrrrrrgggghhh." (Though that does give me tremendous satisfaction.)

I do, however, make an exception for the charms -- yes, charms -- of Captain Bogg & Salty, which for nearly 10 years has been performing kids and families in their home port of Portland, Oregon and in other parts of the world. They are a pirate band, though I think it's probably more truthful to call them a pop/rock/theatrical band with a very piratical attitude.

This is definitely noticeable on their third album Prelude to Mutiny, which was released in 2006. The album starts out with a more traditional vibe, led off by a rousing version of "Drunken Sailor." The next track, "Bosun Whistle," has a traditional sound, but also sounds a little bit like trip-hop -- call it "ship-hop." And its unsettled lyrics about an uneasy sky lead nicely into the third track, "Mutiny of the Hispaniola," which, as you might expect from the title, is an elaborate story song about a pirate mutiny. Captain Feathersword, this ain't.

The rest of the album, while not totally happy and cheerful, backs off from the darker side explored in those first three tracks. "The Loneliest Sailor" is a love song, believe it or not. "Doldrums," while exploring the not-so-happy occurrence of being trapped in idle waters, is married to a straight-ahead rock melody. "Dead Men Tell No Tales" is the best song AC/DC never wrote. And the good captain's deranged take on "Part of Your World," from Disney's The Little Mermaid is in its own special category of "must-be-heard-to-be-believed."

Darker in tone than its predecessor, the album lyrically is appropriate for a slightly older audience, perhaps kids ages 6 through 10+. Which isn't to say that younger kids wouldn't appreciate some of the tracks here, just that if you've got a three-year-old, I'd probably start out with Pegleg Tango perhaps rather than this. You can hear samples here.

If you hate pirates, then I wouldn't recommend this. (Though I'd ask you, why'd you make it this far in the first place?) If you or someone in your family loves pirates, or even if, like me, they're just fans of well-crafted rock/pop songs and stories in song, then Prelude to Mutiny is worth your time. Recommended.