Somebody just go ahead and give Ashley Albert her own TV show already. In fact, she has indeed been looking for a show, and why anyone as talented as Albert (and as willing to send photos of her wearing a fake mustache as her press shot) isn't yet somewhere on live-action TV is a little mystifying to me. But for now Albert -- kindie's Lucille Ball -- is content to rock out with The Jimmies. On the Jimmies' long-in-the-recording second album, the recently-released Practically Ridiculous, Albert continues the formula for success that made their debut CD Make Your Own Someday so winning: channeling one's inner eight-year-old attitude while marshaling top-notch pop-rock music production as backup for said thoughts.
Stylistically, sartorially, and practically (she's the one constant Jimmie at this point and the songs are all hers), Albert is kindie rock's Gwen Stefani, and on Practically Ridiculous, she polishes most songs to a glitzy pop-rock shine. You can practically smell the hairspray through the iPod on some of the songs, like the blitzing "Birthday," whereas songs like "Minivan Hotrod" or "Career Day" sound like the beats and the AutoTune were stolen from another, much less funny track.
And, really, it's bringing the funny that separates the Jimmies from a lot of other kids' acts. It's one thing to be excited about getting a pet ("Gonna Get a Hamster"), it's another thing entirely to really sell the enthusiasm when Albert as the song's narrator finds out that the hamster won't necessarily do everything she thought ("I'M... STILL... gonna get a hamster..."). This is where her years of experience doing voiceover work comes in handy. "The Hook" is a meta-song, the spiritual sequel to "What's That Sound?" from the first album, that explains pop song construction. (And while I'm emphasizing the humor here, the best track is probably the mostly serious "Bonfire," which mixes a little country-rock with a little self-empowerment.)
The album's most appropriate for kids ages 5 through 9; you can hear clips of the album wherever it's (electronically) sold. Practically Ridiculous doesn't veer much from the formula from the Jimmies' debut, but why should it when that one worked out so well? This one does, too, TV's (temporary?) loss is kindie's (continued) gain. Definitely recommended.
Disclosure: I received a copy of the album for possible review.