Wednesday, July 10 2013 10:00

Review: Shine and the Moonbeams - SHINE YOUR SHINE

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Shine and the MoonbeamsThere's been a lot of buzz surrounding the long-awaited debut album from SHINE AND THE MOONBEAMS. In fact, it was probably a year (or more) ago that I caught wind of a Kickstarter campaign that was seeking to help get the album off the ground and onto stereos. A soul album for families, SHINE YOUR SHINE is finally a reality, the end result of recording sessions that took place this past January in New York City.

Adding a pretty unique voice to the Kindie scene, SHINE AND THE MOONBEAMS' closest sonic relative is probably the SUGAR FREE ALLSTARS (Shawana Kemp aka Shine actually guested on their last record) in carrying the flag for some old-school R&B grooves and bringing those sounds to younger audiences for the very first time. And within those sounds lies variety, such as the Latin flavor in the opening cut, "The Melody in Me" -

Live recordings of "Kilimanjaro" have been floating around for a bit, and here it gets a proper studio treatment. Then you have "Do You Ever Stop?", which carries a sound akin to early-90s Dance Music (which kids get down to, trust me), the jazzy, "I Can't Sleep" (one of my favorites here), and the funk of "Shake for Eight."

While there's some great songs here, where the album runs into problems is with the overall mix. Shawana Kemp has an incredibly powerful voice as-is, and here we find it presented in a manner that puts it out in front of the rest of the band to the point where it can become overbearing. It sounds as if we're not listening to Shine and the Moonbeams as a cohesive unit, but Shine in front of the Moonbeams. The inclusion of the 2010 recordings of "Bully Bully" and "High Five" offer a prime comparison, where the mix on those original recordings trumps the album versions. 

SHINE YOUR SHINE is available now from iTunes or Shine and the Moonbeams' Official Site.


The Rock Father Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

FTC Disclosure: As noted above, this album was provided to The Rock Father for the purpose of review consideration. All opinions are that of James Zahn with input from his children. Why are you actually reading this disclosure? It's government-mandated common sense, right?

James Zahn

James Zahn is not a journalist, nor a blogger, though he may be credited as such by others, or even accept the title... depending on the circumstance.  Instead, he considers himself largely to be an "entertainment and lifestyle writer," bringing 25+ years of experience in the entertainment and publishing industries into the family realm as THE ROCK FATHER™.

As a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur, James now finds himself raising a pair young girls - The Rock Daughters™ - along with his wife from their Illinois home.

He is a member of The Toy Insider Parent Advisory Board, has contributed to The Toy Book and writes a regular Star Wars column - Transmissions from a Galaxy Far, Far Away for The Pop Insider. He also regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global.

James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, WGN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, BusinessWire, Babble, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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