Morgan is joined by legendary funk player Bootsy Collins on track 7, The Case of the Dry Markers.
I wasn’t quite sure what I was in for when I picked up Zak Morgan’s latest release, Barber of the Beasts. I knew it was a kids album, but was it going to be good? I’ll be honest, my track record with kids albums has been epically awesome. That being said, when I come across kids albums that don’t quite stack up I can be pretty brutal. Fortunately Zak Morgan offered up a stellar album that was one part musical genius and another part fantastic storytelling.
Musically, Morgan’s Barber of the Beasts is a collection of styles, all inspiring for the mind, young and old, to wander off on adventure. If it’s not a classic selection that flows through the album without words it’s a foot stomping sailors tune or a theatrical number that bounces through the air with gusto. For my entire experience with this album I was completely enveloped in the musical world that Morgan and company create. It’s a potpourri of styles that seem to stretch throughout the globe, possibly an aspect only an adult would understand.
The mastery of the album though is Morgan’s ability to narrate story through his songs. Not only are these whimsical little tunes with quirky tales interwoven between each note, but amazing stories that have depth, detail, and a masterful storyteller in Morgan. One minute you’re on a stage with a full orchestra in your face and the tale of a man and his hair cutting skills, the next you’re on the high sea’s being told the tale of a ships captain. Morgan delivers each tune/story with a different persona, so it seemed to me. From the silliness of First Grade experiences to the bluesy, almost Tom Waits like delivery of the hopefulness of a Snow Day. No matter what, each song was well represented by music that matched the mood and atmosphere with Morgan and company delivering vocal performances that stretched their style from talented silly to amazingly surprising for a kids album. Really, an absolute must own for anyone looking to give their children more then just a silly little piece of music. This is a great album. Enjoy.