Mighty Mo Productions‘ first album, Smiles Ahead, is compilation of new and old songs from some of the best independent “Kindie” artists out there today. Smiles Ahead introduces new songs from “Kindie” stalwarts like Verve Pipe and Caspar Babypants and new voices like Katydid. With a bright spirit, Smiles Ahead is both a wonderful introduction to the “Kindie” genre while still offering something new for the established “Kindie” fans. Smiles Ahead delivers on its promise of bringing smiles to everyone in your family.
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So how does a Full Van Fun review work? Each member of the family listens to each song and scores it as AWESOME, average, or not awesome. We total up the scores for each song as well as the whole album (e.g. if everyone in the family scores every song as AWESOME, then the album would be 100% AWESOME, if everyone scores every song as average, it would be 50% AWESOME, etc.).
The Songs We Liked
On Mighty Mo Productions’ Smiles Ahead, there were four perfect, or nearly perfect, songs:
- Walking With Spring, the Okee Dokee Brothers – This song perfectly represents the Okee Dokee Brothers with a mix of heart, soul, and a deep appreciation of the world around them. Originally released on their Through the Woods albums, this song was rated a perfect 100% AWESOME!
- Get Happy, The Verve Pipe – Get Happy is one of the brand new tracks on Smiles Ahead and with its driving beat, harmonies, and excellent harmonica, this song also rated a perfect 100% AWESOME! If you missed our interview with Brian Vander Ark of The Verve Pipe, visit here.
- Happy Heart, Caspar Babypants – With clever lyrics and peppy acoustic perfection, Caspar Babypants, aka, Chris Ballew from the Presidents of the United States, also rated a 100% AWESOME for Happy Heart!
- Sitting on Top of the World, Grenadilla – Evoking memories of Paul Simon’s Graceland, Grenadilla’s Sitting on Top of the World, from their Can’t Wait album, is a wonderfully bright tune with a nearly perfect 94% AWESOME!
The Songs We Didn’t
None! Every song on Smiles Ahead ranged from better than average to 100% AWESOME!
The Rest of the Album
The rest of Smiles Ahead weaves a melodic tapestry of smiles. The solid base of smiley songs includes Brady Rymer‘s Jump Up, Kira Willey‘s Gotta Lotta Happy, Frances England‘s The Sun Will Shine, and Rissi Palmer‘s Best Day Ever. Together Song is a promising melodic debut from new Kindie artist, Katydid. You’re It by Secret Agent 23 Skidoo and Gratitude by Mista Cookie Jar and the Chocolate Chips will get everyone grooving, swinging and dancing with their steel drums and saxophones. Box of Crayons is a Kindie pop classic from The Pop-Ups inspiring children to be like Harold and the Purple Crayon and “draw their world.” Finally, Dragonfly, by Johnny Bregar, hammers home a hit with one of the best songs on Smiles Ahead – just missing a nearly perfect score.
Overall, we give Smiles Ahead a very strong rating of 78% AWESOME (think 4 out of 5 stars) which shows that everyone, including Mom, Dad, and even the older kids, thought the album was universally very good!
If you look at the different scores for each age group, it is clear that little ones (i.e. toddlers and pre-K) LOVE the album, giving it an effectively perfect score of 98% AWESOME! Suprisingly, the worst scores came from grade schoolers who thought the album was good, but some songs were just “too happy.” Smiles Ahead did very well with older kids and even better with Mom and Dad. In a nutshell, if you are a family that doesn’t know anything about Kindie music, you will really like this album and if you are a family that likes Kindie music, you will also really like this album.
Disclosure: Full Van Fun was provided a copy of the album for possible review.