The Jellydots | Changing Skies

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Changing Skies

by The Jellydots

This highly-anticipated sophomore release sounds like Paul Simon and Elliott Smith at a tea party in the Summer by the sea.
Genre: Kids/Family: Kid Friendly
Release Date: 

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1. San Diego
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3:11 $0.99
2. Big Swingset
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2:53 $0.99
3. Solo Echo
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2:14 $0.99
4. Sunshine
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3:08 $0.99
5. Mountain
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3:03 $0.99
6. Sad Robot
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3:41 $0.99
7. Art School Girl
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4:35 $0.99
8. Beautiful As You
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3:47 $0.99
9. Remember Me
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4:03 $0.99
10. Travelin' Man
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3:05 $0.99
11. When You Were Born
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2:14 $0.99
12. Pretty Little Baby
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Changing Skies is the long-awaited sophomore release for The Jellydots. Here the Dots go back to their DIY roots by making this record at home using Apple's Garageband. The subject matter is a bit more mature than last year's highly-acclaimed "Hey You Kids!" J.K. Rowling knew that her audience would be a bit older with each new book, and so did jelly d. Changing Skies is meant for everyone, but specifically kids aged 9 and up through the tweens. Changing Skies is full of varied themes, from childhood memories on "Big Swingset" to fictional tales of an alienated 1980's robot on "Sad Robot."


Reviews


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Samothy Brown


Although not as instantly lovable (or jump-around-the-room-able) as Hey You Kids!, Changing Skies has to be my favourite album of the two. The more I listen to it, the more it grows on me. Highlights for me would be Solo Echo, San Diego and Remember Me.


Zooglobble Review
In the comparatively small world of kids music, I'm not sure there's been an album that has shook up the genre recently as much as the Jellydots' debut CD Hey You Kids!. At time it rocked, other times it was gently sweet, but it seemed to resonate with parents who might never have given the genre a second thought.

So how exactly does one follow up such a standout release? You pretty much have two choices -- follow the template exactly, or throw away the mold. For Doug Snyder, chief Jellydot, the answer was more the latter than the former and you can hear the results on Changing Skies, the followup CD currently available in digital formats and available on physical CDs in the not-too-distant future for old fogeys like me.

How is it different? Well, the primary difference is that the subject matter is definitely geared towards older kids. It's not that Hey You Kids! was necessarily a perfect album for a 3-year-old -- it was definitely more for 6-year-olds and older. But songs about dropped cookies and going to camp, and treating each other with respect were definitely for kids. On the new album, though, Snyder often writes songs about 14-year-olds, or even their older siblings. "Remember Me" is a beautiful song which conjures up every memory you never had about a tenth-grade romance with a girl who moved away. "Art School Girl" is a dryly humorous reggae-tinged track about a young woman who moves away from Austin because she thinks life will be more exciting elsewhere and ends up working in Starbucks. Your 3-year-old might bop her head to the tune, but won't really care about the lyrics.

The album isn't totally a missing My So-Called Life soundtrack -- "Big Swingset," for example, is about, well, a swingset and moves briskly in 7/4 time (a meter which, I assure you, is not found on most pop-rock albums), while "Sad Robot" is a slower track about a robot who'd much rather be zooming through space. And for those of you who loved the lullabies at the end of the first CD, Snyder doesn't disappoint here, either -- "When You Were Born" and "Pretty Little Baby" evoke Paul Simon and Elliott Smith in tenderness. So, yeah, there are some songs for the youngsters, but the overall vibe is for kids older than them.

I'm going to peg the primary audience here at ages 9 and up. You can listen to samples and purchase the CD at CDBaby or hear a couple songs at the Jellydots' Myspace page. (Order it at iTunes here.)

In its own way, Changing Skies an experiment in creating a different path for family music, one that attempts to include all family members in the musical journey. Dan Zanes has blazed this trail most successfully, but with this album, deliberately or not, Doug Snyder is seeing whether or not a more rock-based approach might also work. I'm not sure everybody in a family will like all the tracks equally, but I'm pretty sure at least somebody will like each track in turn. And I definitely think the adults who liked Hey You Kids! will like this new one, too. Recommended.


a review from a fan...
I cannot stop listening to this record. It is stuck in my car and I am treating it as a "regular" rock record, not necassary a kiddie disc. It is so good. You didn't touch on my faves on the disc "solo echo" and the opender "san diego". Sounds like a Matt Pond PA record from about 5-6 years ago...which is a good thing (by my standards).


another review from a fan...
"Solo Echo" and "Sad Robot" are great songs in any genre. Sure, it's a very "nichey" album but kudos to Doug & co. for attempting to expand the kids music genre by giving the tweens & teens something all their own.

Bill Childs


The Jellydots: Changing Skies: The Jellydots' Hey You Kids was one of the best family CDs of 2006, and Changing Skies, while a bit of a departure, is well worth checking out too. Singer and songwriter Doug Snyder has definitely skewed a bit older - some of the songs (especially "Art School Girl" and "Remember Me") are aimed much more at the tweener or teenage sets - but the real genius of the record is that it's got something for every member of the family, without making any of them feel pandered to.