By: 'tine Cassidy, Freelance Journalist & School teacher
(Island Heights, NJ) "Are you ready to have some fun?" invites popular children's singer/songwriter Yosi Levin on his latest musical delight Under A Big Bright Yellow Umbrella. "Yeah!" resound a group of excited children on the album's opening track, "Hole in the Ground."
Levin's self produced, third CD offers twelve enchanting and eclectic songs for the whole family. The contagious whimsy of the album's title track depicts a child happily splashing in rain puddles and is joined by duck and frog friends. The rockabilly "Where Do All Things Come From?" ponders the origins of existence with levity while the Ska influenced "Hole in the Ground" summons the listener to his/her feet.
Under A Big Bright Yellow Umbrella showcases expert musicianship especially on the humorous "Stinky Blues." A lone harmonica punctuates this playful lament to a rather odoriferous pair of shoes.
In addition to his self-penned compositions on Under A Big Bright Yellow Umbrella, Levin makes traditional tunes such as "Six Little Monkeys" his own. On "Train Medley, he offers an inventive mix of four well-loved railway songs by including a catchy children's chorus and locomotive sounds effects.
Levin balances the album's vibrancy with introspective pieces. "My Flag", sung by a duet of four-year-olds, is a poignant, one minute patriotic anthem. Its simple and straightforward language evokes the childlike honesty and pride one feels being an American. "Friends Around the World" illustrates the expansiveness of a child's heart to his/her neighbors in the global community.
The lilting lullabies "Sleepy Little Town" and "Me and My Balloon" at the CD's end induce contentment for both child and parent. One can imagine his/her youngster drifting off into a dreamy sleep at the end of a long but spirited car ride. "Judging from my twenty-month-old after hearing the CD," says Levin, "as soon as 'Sleepy Little Town' comes on, he rests his head on my shoulder and off he goes to that town."
The six months of studio effort Levin put in Under A Big Bright Yellow Umbrella make the tracks appear effortless. Kid at heart, Levin continues to display musical and lyrical growth as a children's artist as established on last year's, Monkey Business, which garnered a Best Album nomination from the Children's Music Web. Even the CD cover's colorful drawings by children's book illustrator Kim Adlerman capture the playfulness of Levin's performance.
Rainy days never seemed so fun as they do Under A Big Bright Yellow Umbrella!
Check out the artist's website:
1. Hole in the Ground
2. Selling Salt in the Sahara
3. Under a Big Bright Yellow Umbrella
4. Stinky Blues
5. Where Do All Things Come From?
6. Six Little Monkeys
7. My Flag
8. Train Medley
9. Friends Around the World
10. My Friend Juan
11. Sleepy Little Town
12. Me & My Balloon