Your browser does not support our new site design, so some things might not display or function properly.
We suggest upgrading to Google Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer 9+ for the optimal experience.

Spirit

Zoobilation (2000)

4.0

May 4, 2001

Tuning / Blend 4.7
Energy / Intensity 3.7
Innovation / Creativity 3.3
Soloists 3.7
Sound / Production 3.7
Repeat Listenability 3.0
Tracks
1 De Animals A-Comin' 4.0
2 Little Lamb 3.7
3 Tiger, Tiger 4.7
4 The Lion Sleeps Tonight 3.7
5 Giraffes 3.7
6 Optimistic Voices 4.0
7 If I Were King of the Forest 3.0
8 Rhinoceros 3.0
9 Animal Crackers in My Soup 4.3
10 Penguin 4.0
11 The Whale (Aqua Blues) 4.0
12 Zoobilation 5.0
13 Bless the Beasts and the Children 3.7
14 Muskrat Love 4.0
15 Teddy Bears' Picnic 3.7
16 Bandicoot 3.0
17 Panda 3.7
18 Amazon 4.7
19 Zoobilation (reprise) 4.3

Recorded 1999 – 2000
Total time: 39:31, 19 songs


Tuning / Blend 5
Energy / Intensity 4
Innovation / Creativity 3
Soloists 4
Sound / Production 4
Repeat Listenability 3
Tracks
1 De Animals A-Comin' 4
2 Little Lamb 4
3 Tiger, Tiger 5
4 The Lion Sleeps Tonight 4
5 Giraffes 4
6 Optimistic Voices 5
7 If I Were King of the Forest 3
8 Rhinoceros 3
9 Animal Crackers in My Soup 5
10 Penguin 4
11 The Whale (Aqua Blues) 4
12 Zoobilation 5
13 Bless the Beasts and the Children 3
14 Muskrat Love 3
15 Teddy Bears' Picnic 4
16 Bandicoot 3
17 Panda 4
18 Amazon 5
19 Zoobilation (reprise) 5

Spirit should be commended. Over the years, the group has produced a series of high-quality albums, always very listenable, on a number of themes. Although obviously serious about the issues their music involves, the singers take no less obvious delight in their art. Each disc is enjoyable in its own right, and to this trend the aptly-titled Zoobilation is no exception.

Indeed, the title is probably a better synopsis of the album than I can provide. The theme in this case is animals, with special attention to those beasts whose appearance and involvement with humankind have evoked a sense of wonder and whimsy. Spirit does both the animals and the music they inspire credit in sticking with just that whimsy, tenderly approaching each song with the same care I believe they would exhibit towards the animals themselves.

That said, the songs are mostly serious-sounding, due in part to Spirit's uniformly tender approach. A bit more dynamic range might have spiced things up a bit; Animal Crackers is a delight, simply because the group sounds like it has let its hair down a bit more in just this regard.

I think that this album will be a hit with children (my copy arrived with a coloring book), with their parents, and even with those adults not too adult to have forgotten how much they, like most people, like animals. Although suitable and probably enjoyable for children, this album's appeal will not be lost on adults, either. In all, a very good album, if a bit uncertain of its status. (Muskrat Love? What in the world?)


Tuning / Blend 5
Energy / Intensity 4
Innovation / Creativity 3
Soloists 3
Sound / Production 3
Repeat Listenability 3
Tracks
1 De Animals A-Comin' 4
2 Little Lamb 3
3 Tiger, Tiger 5
4 The Lion Sleeps Tonight 3
5 Giraffes 4
6 Optimistic Voices 3
7 If I Were King of the Forest 3
8 Rhinoceros 3
9 Animal Crackers in My Soup 4
10 Penguin 4
11 The Whale (Aqua Blues) 4
12 Zoobilation 5
13 Bless the Beasts and the Children 4
14 Muskrat Love 4
15 Teddy Bears' Picnic 4
16 Bandicoot 3
17 Panda 3
18 Amazon 4
19 Zoobilation (reprise) 4

I was a little hesitant to review this album. One, it's for children. Two, it's not completely a cappella. And three, it includes The Lion Sleeps Tonight. I was pleasantly surprised when I put it in, and really enjoyed it.

When I think of children's music, I think of early Olsen twins videos and the Barney show, where the music is completely unlistenable. This is not the case here. The arrangements are not dumbed down for the audience, which allows parents to listen without wanting to break something.

The singers are completely professional as well. Their voices are clear, and the words are sung with precise enunciation so everyone can understand. Tuning is right on, even in some difficult chords. The fact that it is not a cappella didn't really bother me either because of what it is.

Now, this isn't an album to play to get the kids all wound up. Most of the arrangements are slow and lazy (I mean this in a good way). It's a nice album to play during nap time, or quiet time, or those long drives to Grandma's house. I can picture myself with my crayons and a coloring book, sitting on the floor listening to this while my mother got some much-needed peace and quiet.

I liked this album a lot. I only wish I were a child again, so I could give you a review from the intended audience. If you have small children who like music, go out and get this disc. And stop wanting to break things.


Tuning / Blend 4
Energy / Intensity 3
Innovation / Creativity 4
Soloists 4
Sound / Production 4
Repeat Listenability 3
Tracks
1 De Animals A-Comin' 4
2 Little Lamb 4
3 Tiger, Tiger 4
4 The Lion Sleeps Tonight 4
5 Giraffes 3
6 Optimistic Voices 4
7 If I Were King of the Forest 3
8 Rhinoceros 3
9 Animal Crackers in My Soup 4
10 Penguin 4
11 The Whale (Aqua Blues) 4
12 Zoobilation 5
13 Bless the Beasts and the Children 4
14 Muskrat Love 5
15 Teddy Bears' Picnic 3
16 Bandicoot 3
17 Panda 4
18 Amazon 5
19 Zoobilation (reprise) 4

Zoobilation is the perfect lullaby album for your toddler. The music is sweet, soothing, and choral in arrangement. As I was asked to do by Spirit, I will be giving this album to a child: my boyfriend's 18-month-old brother, Tino.

This is not an album for adults. It has silly songs like Bandicoot, which features a choir of kazoos, and Panda, which sings of the pandemonium that would be caused by a panda trying to go to Uganda. And these are just two of the six pieces taken from "The Raucous Ark: A Menagerie of Poems".

Don and Benita Baker are the main soloists on the album, which is just fine because they both have beautiful voices. Don soars with the amazing and heartfelt Amazon, a plea to save the rainforest. I especially like their duet on the amusing and barely racy Muskrat Love. (The muskrats wriggle muzzle-to-muzzle, rub toes and tickle fancies — of course, this is after Sue the muskrat has been asked to be Sam's missus.)

Zoobilation is only about 50% a cappella, but the voices are central to each song, and the keyboard accompaniment and percussion is secondary. The Girlfriends of the Zoo produced this album in support of the Sedgwick County Zoo. It is a good album for a good cause, so pick up a copy for your little ones!


How To Get Your Work Reviewed

To have your album (2 or more tracks) reviewed by RARB, please email us with your name, group name and album title. You will receive a response with information on how to register your album in our system.

To have your digital single reviewed by RARB, please fill out our online singles registration form.

×

Ordering Information

CDs can be ordered online at www.Zoobilation.com. Each CD comes with a coloring book.

×