Sugar Free Allstars - Sugar Free Allstars

Sugar Free Allstars album cover

Sugar Free Allstars album cover

Artist: Sugar Free Allstars

Album: Sugar Free Allstars

Age Range: 4 to 8

Description: Though self-titling an album is often a move artists make on their debut, this is actually Oklahoma-based SFA's fourth album for kids.  It's also their funkiest and most fun.  Metaphorically plundering a whole bunch of '70s and '80s funk, rock, pop sounds among others (barbershop quartet? sure, on "My Dog Is Pete"), keyboardist Chris Wiser and drummer Rob Martin offer up their most sonically varied and full-sounded album yet, thanks in part to a whole host of guest stars including Genevieve Goings (aka Choo Choo Soul).  I think some of the humor may go over the heads of the younger listener (your five-year-old may be more puzzled than amused by "Breakdancin'," though that ratio will likely be reversed for the parents in the crowd), but even in those cases, the enthusiasm of the band will win most of them over.  Standout tracks on the 36-minute album (stream here) include the operatic "Monster Truck," funk-and-a-half of "Grumpopotamus (and the Crankosaurus Rex)," and the electronic "Bunnybot."  And just when you think SFA is nothing but the crackups at the back of the classroom let loose with a Hammond B-3 and a Roland TR-808, they produce one of the sweetest songs you'll hear all year, "If I Didn't Have You."  This is just a fun album from start to finish.  Definitely recommended.

Note: I was provided a copy of the album for possible review.