There’s two things that Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir have in common. No, it’s not that they were both French, nor that they were painters of the ‘Impressionist’ style… and while they both had impressive facial hair (something I appreciate very much), that’s not it, either. What they share in common is that they’ve both provided middle names for my daughters. My ‘Monet’ is sitting next to me as I type this sentence, while our ‘Renoir’ is in it’s last month of incubation at this very moment. What they don’t share in common is that only Monet is paid tribute on PICASSO, THAT’S WHO! (AND SO CAN YOU!), the new album from HOPE HARRIS.
On Harris’ latest record, the Virginia-based singer-songwriter presents a collection of songs that pay tribute to an assortment of artists from the 19th and 20th Centuries, with the intention of inspiring listeners into their own artistic adventures.
Taking stylistic cues from not only the individual artists’ work, but also their home region, ‘PICASSO is an album best geared toward school-aged children for full-effect. The detail of the lyrical content is impressive, but was lost on my toddler, who loves to move and groove, color and paint, but doesn’t quite care yet where an artist came into their own.
A few of the notable tracks on the album include “A-C-T-I-O-N,” a foot-stomping ode to the “action painting” of abstract expressionist Jackson Pollock; “Swingin’ Little Duck,” a jazzy number telling the story of Alexander Calder, a sculptor who we know best from his “Flamingo” located in front of Chicago’s Kluczynski Federal Building; the latin-spiced title track “Picasso! That’s Who,” which soars with it’s flamenco guitar work; and, of course, “Impression, Monet” with a distinct Parisian flair. It’s interesting to note that my daughter seemed to enjoy this one the most, likely due to hearing her middle name repeatedly.
PICASSO, THAT’S WHO! (AND SO CAN YOU!) will be availale on May 22, 2012
The Rock Father Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars
FTC Disclosure: A copy of this album was provided to The Rock Father for the purpose of review consideration. All opinions are that of James Zahn, and take into account the reactions of a toddler… blah, blah, blah.