A Higher Form of Kids' Music
The songs on 'Spicy Kid' showcase Lunch Money's traditional wit ("S.P.E.L.L") and inventiveness ("What Will You Ever See?") but what is updated is drummer/engineer Jay Barry's lusher instrumentation and mixing ("Gingerbread Man" and "Time Out" sound stunning) and singer Molly Ledford's expanding storytelling personas.
Lunch Money lyrics up to now have mainly focused on seeing the world through a carefree, precocious child's eyes. The songs now point more directly to Molly's experiences as a parent, reading like excerpts from love letters to her kids ("You were a Basket of Flowers" , "Awake", "A Walk in the Rain".) The emotional details paint a very universal mural, capturing the Yin and Yang of our own feelings about our children. In the title track 'Spicy Kid', we get to relive the instant we saw our kid as a complete person, a person independent of our parenting and our genes.
"Watching you trying to cheat at games, in the most creative ways... I'd stop you, but I'm still amazed."
Some of the standouts include:
"Time Out"-- Ironically, it's over too quickly, it could have lasted several more minutes and I wouldn't have been begging at the stair step to be let out early.
"A Walk in the Rain"-- Probably my favorite song. I can't tell if it reminds me more of some timeless bit of pop from the 4AD catalog, or Brian Burton's more recent production work with Norah Jones. To me, it's just beautiful in every sense that a song can be, and sits really well with other stuff in my rotation.
"Translator" -- Very touching, with a killer opening line. "You ask 'Where is the bathroom?' and they hand you a balloon..." What's great about the song is that it assures a misunderstood child, that even though "No one understands you, [...] I DO." The song's parent-figure isn't wearied by the labor, "I'll explain it to them later..." knowing that while "one day you will have great conversations" that "right now I'm the lucky one who listens everyday."
Lunch Money is a higher form of kids' music, which makes perfect sense, because kids are a higher form of people.