Two words: shock and awe. It is unbelievable to me that it took the eighth album release from the Kinsey Sicks for me to finally have a thorough introduction to them. Now I must go check out their older creations because it is one of the most smile-inducing albums I’ve heard in a long time. Taking a spin on well-known songs through the ages, they mix silly lyrics with both high-brow and low-brow comedy and turn them into barbershop-quartet-style hilarity. The track “Eliminate the Schools” brought me to tears I was laughing so hard. While listening to The Kinsey Sicks, one must have an open mind, only because of the witty lyrics and the politics they make fun of. I’m a fan of comedy that has the capability to offend, much in the style of The Daily Show and South Park. The Kinsey Sicks are somewhere in between. They make fun of everything. Of the 16 tracks, my favorites are “Satan Baby,” “I Will Watch YouTube,” “Sell the Poor,” and “Bedroom Ants.”
Love Is a Four Letter Word
Jason Mraz’s new CD is instant enjoyment and a perfect one to get the day started. I would label Mraz as R&B, soul and reggae. However, he touches on virtually every genre on this particular CD. Not specific to this album, Mraz’s singing is refreshingly clear. He’s a glass of fresh-squeezed lemonade for the ears. Mraz’s music celebrates life. Each track, no matter the content, retains a sort of positive tonality to it. It’s difficult to stay sad while listening to Mraz. Seductive bass beats mix with reggae tempos and Mraz’s crystal-clear vocals to form a nearly perfect album. To Mraz, straightforward lyrics and positivity seem crucial even when times are tough, and we could all use a little more of that in our lives. If you enjoy a strong chorus and the delicate plucking of a stringed instrument against the backdrop of subtle yet unpredictably catchy melodies, listen to this album. My favorites are “The Freedom Song,” “93 Million Miles,” “5/6,” and “Everything Is Sound.” If you like what you hear, you can check him out live Sept. 12, when he’ll appear at Starlight Theatre in Kansas City, Mo.