This is probably a Zooglobble first. I've double-dipped reviews before for albums getting re-releases, but this is essentially a triple-dip. It's for the LA band The Squeegees. Their album started out as an EP, then doubled in size and was released in February 2008. Now it's getting exclusive national distribution in Target starting tomorrow and I thought I'd pull up that 2008 review for your pleasure, plus offer a thought on the new track...
Meet The SqueeGees, the first full-length CD from the Los Angeles-area band The SqueeGees, could offer me a chance to be exceedingly lazy and simply copy the review from their debut EP, The SqueeGees. Well, maybe half the review. Because half of the CD was originally found on that debut EP.
Now, that's not a bad thing, perhaps, because that means the bubbly tiny nugget of a song, "Apples Oranges & Peaches," is back, as is "Nala the Chihuahua," with its snaky melodic line and harmonies. And "The Ol' WWW," which really isn't a kids song (though it's totally kid-safe) is back to amuse the parents.
Just as with the EP, the Squeegees are at their best when they're not as concerned with the point of the song, such as the dreamy "Bubbles." "I-D-E-A," a song encouraging more environmentally conscious thinking, almost overdoes it with the hitting-over-the-head. (More amusing is the Queen-esque breakdown that starts "So you think that you would like to drive a big car? / Have you seen the gas prices today?" and ends, of course, with "I like to ride my bicycle / I like to ride my bike...")
In fact, what struck me the most on listening to the full-length CD is how much care and craft has gone into these tunes, musically speaking. The SqueeGees generally play folk-rock, but there's a lot of interesting bits squeezed in here, like in the song above, or the harmonies in "Nala the Chihuahua." Along with Samantha Tobey's clear voice, they make the most of the songs here.
As for the Target re-release, even though the band itself seems to have gone through some changes (Tobey is still there, she's now joined by Rilo Kiley bassist Pierre de Reeder and Rich Sherwood), the album appears (and sounds) to be identical to the 2008 release except for the new track, "Tweet Tweet Tweet." No, it's not a song about Twitter (which would've made for a nice new verse on "The Ol' WWW"), but a song about birds, with a nice full sound. It's not worth getting the album for that one song alone, but it's definitely a pleasant addition.
I'll peg the album as most appropriate for ages 2 through 7. You can hear some tracks from the CD at the band's Myspace page. There's a lot to recommend in Meet the SqueeGees. I like the quirky ones more than the standard ones, but that might be personal taste. In either case, there's a high attention to sonic detail that kids musicians thinking of recording debuts could do well to emulate. Recommended.
Disclosure: I received a copy of the album for possible review.