As the founder of Asian Man Records, Mike Park has become a fixture in the independent music scene, having released records from ALKALINE TRIO, SMOKING POPES, and many more. He’s also been known to release some of his own music from time to time, and as a Rock Father of two himself – Park’s latest release sets sights on the world of children’s music. Released this past August, SMILE is a 12-track collection of original songs for the little ones, personally approved by Park’s own son and daughter (3 & 5, I believe).
Raising a two-year-old daughter in a musical home, we’re always on the lookout for things new and exciting – and having already begun some of the Dad/Daughter music and movement classes as well, we’ve been exposed to a lot of children’s music that hits a wide spectrum in terms of both style and quality. Park has crafted a remarkable album that manages to place itself firmly near the top of both columns, touching lesser-heard genres for the kids market (indie-pop, ska, punk rock) while maintaining an almost “classic” feel.
Songs like I Can See the Ocean carry that more traditional, sing-a-long kids vibe, while my drum-obsessed daughter loves the upbeat whimsy of1..2..3..4..5..6..7..8..Drums, which would be perfect in those aforementioned music and movement classes along with When the Light Turns Red You Stop. SMILE has songs about frogs, worms, apples, the bus – all things that a toddler loves – which means that this record is getting a lot of play in our house. Plus, the cover looks like a Golden Book, which is pretty cool in itself.
Available on iTunes or from Mike Park’s official site.
Rating: 4/5 Stars
FTC Disclosure: Reviewed from a digital promo sent to The Rock Father on behalf of Asian Man Records.