Lee Alexander Returns to Entertain Children of All Ages

Categories: Listen Up!

childrenofallages1.jpg
If there was one musician in Houston I would have bet money on going out into the world to become the next Andrew Bird that $3.50 would have gone right down on Lee Alexander. In 2009 he had an underground hit with Mayhaw Vaudeville, was being played and invited to play live all over the country, and record labels were calling him. Then, well, real life got in the way and it's been a long bit of radio silence from Mr. Alexander on the recorded work front.

Until now.

Children of All Ages is a record that Alexander has been talking about for more than three years. Initially inspired by the work of Frank Zappa, Alexander was keen to try and break into the kindie music scene with songs more directed towards younger listeners.

For the most part, he has succeeded, though it can be a damned strange album at times. I would honestly call it schizophrenic in places. It opens strong with a poignant and sweet with "Hide and Seek", a touching acoustic ballad that is going right behind Yusef's "Roadsinger" in the playlist of songs I use to lull my daughter to sleep on long car rides. Tracks like this could easily be lifted from Alexander's earlier work, and serve as a nice transition for fans.

Where the album works best is in the places that Alexander manages to best mix children's song tropes like educational material with a more adult understanding of life in general. It's the expression of difficult living in the most childish and simple of terms that turns a song like "Circles" into a gem of a track. It has a slightly Schoolhouse Rock vibe, but underneath that pulses a depth of mature sadness like something from our own Linus Pauling Quartet.

Occasionally Alexander trips off into more Laurie Berkner territory, and this is probably where he requires the most improvement. The idea of the song "All the Blues" (A straight up blues cut that jokingly discusses various shades of the color blue) is clever enough, but in actual execution it just seems to be trying a little hard. It doesn't flow as easily as "Circle", nor does it manage the unabashed comedy of his ode to the dung beetle's romantic practices.

What's very much to like about Children of All Ages is that it is clear Alexander has not lost a drop of his unique voice, or his ability to pen a devilish set of lyrics. There are moments like on "Mockingbird" that top anything on his vaulted last record. This feels very much like a new beginning for the artist, and I look forward to what he has for us in the future.

Lee Alexander releases Children of All Ages at Cactus Music on Saturday, May 24 at 11 a.m.

Jef has a new story, a tale of headless strippers and The Rolling Stones, available now in Broken Mirrors, Fractured Minds. You can also connect with him on Facebook.

Location Info

Map

Cactus Music & Video

2110 Portsmouth St., Houston, TX

Category: Music


Advertisement

My Voice Nation Help
7 comments
teridrink
teridrink

I love Lee's music! He's been one of my favorites here in Houston for some time, and I'm really digging this album. My kids and I really enjoy it- what kid wouldn't love a song about dung beetles? 

moHATI
moHATI

Honestly, some of these songs could easily pass for a song on the radio, and you’d have no idea it was a kid’s song. Some are a little too quirky for my taste, but on others the lyrics can be very deep. He can say something more profound in one verse than other songwriters can do on an entire album.

MML84
MML84

Lee is a talent that we're lucky to have in Houston. His songwriting skills have always been wonderful, and Children of All Ages is just another example of his talent. I got a copy for myself and one for a friend with small children, and we've all been enjoying it. I can't wait to hear what he does next!

jonifar
jonifar

I've been a fan of Lee Alexander and band since the "Out of Place" album ("Evergreen" is still my fave song by Lee!!).  I don't have kids, but that doesn't keep me from grinning & singing along to "Christmas 'round the World" or "Dungbeetle"!  I was at the instore show at Cactus, and was duly impressed with the way Lee & co. (especially his daughters!) performed on stage and presented their music.  It was like being part of a big, extended musical family.   I picked up a cd for a friend that has 2 young'uns & I can't wait to share Lee's music with them!


Definitely check out this album & Lee's other works ("Out of Place" & "Mayhaw Vaudville").  Lee's unique voice & songwriting is a breath of fresh air to the autotuned minimal lyrics pop stuff clogging up the radiowaves nowadays!!

litanyd
litanyd

Children of All Ages isn't just a good children's album, it's a great album period.  Hide & Seek is my new jam.  Big fan of Lee's music and I'm very happy he's back!  Go get this album! 

annbrownab
annbrownab

I took my son to see this show - it was great! The CD is REALLY good. Not the typical kids music that makes you want to vomit from having to listen to in the car.

Now Trending

Houston Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...