There’s weeks here on occasion, where so much music arrives at Rock Father HQ that I can’t always remember what showed up, or where it came from. A prime example is I LIKE EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU (YES I DO!), the new album from Oakland’s CROSSPULSE PERCUSSION ENSEMBLE. Throughout the entire experience of listening to it… enjoying it… and preparing to sit down and share some words about it… I couldn’t figure out how it actually arrived here. Eventually I did (thanks to a search of the 14,738 emails in my “deleted items” folder), but now that’s beside the point. CROSSPULSE PERCUSSION ENSEMBLE (CPE) have crafted a very interesting record.
Back in my Record Store Days, we’d have filed this one under the heading of “World Music” – that exotic corner rack filled with intriguing sounds, often created by instruments with unfamiliar names… or created with no instrument at all… unless you count the human body. CPE certainly fits the bill of genre-busting, nearly-unclassifiable sonic entertainment – performing music rooted in African rhythm and dance, but with a multi-cultural spin. Here we find them clearly targeting the “family” audience with an album easily digested for all… but perhaps struggling the find a niche.
Opening with a take on the 1963 RUFUS THOMAS single, “Walkin’ the Dog” (which has previously been covered by a diverse array of artists including GREEN DAY, THE ROLLING STONES, RATT, and AEROSMITH) performed using vocals, cajon, banjo, nose flute, and bamboo spoons, the album gets off to a fine start, managing to give the song a country flavor. The momentum is carried throughout the first two thirds of the album (cool riff on Duke Ellington’s “Caravan” on “Body beat”), until the overall vibe starts to drag, coming to a close with the 8-minute-plus title track, which is a little long-in-the-tooth for my tastes.
For the younger listeners, I LIKE EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU (YES I DO!) may be their first exposure to some of these organic, tribal sounds, which, with their body-rocking grooves and beats, have potential to get the little ones up and moving. A little Bobby McFerrin… a little LION KING… and a big dose of San Francisco Bay Area jams make this album worth exploring.
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?