April 22, 2010

Week 33 - Lennon's Song - We Love, We Lean, We Grow

(Week 33 of my 52 Austin CD Reviews in 52 Weeks)   
“You are the passion, the passion in my heart. And the inspiration to make a new start.” - Lennon

Lennon’s Song
We Love, We Learn, We Grow

Erick Bohorquez is the guitarist and vocalist for one of Austin’s premiere reggae/dub/Latin bands Don Chani. He is also a new father. Both of these facts are evident in his new project, a children’s release called We Love, We Learn, We Grow recorded under the moniker Lennon’s Song.

Love is the theme of this recording and the impetus of the project was the bath of his son Ishan Lennon (hence the name of the “band”). Musically, the album is carried by a reggae-infused acoustic guitar sound. This isn’t you’re typical kids album, it’s more like a view of the world using the eyes of a child.

We Love, We Learn, We Grow is a true one-man project. Bohorquez wrote composed, produced, mixed, and mastered it himself. He also is a pretty strong promotional machine (which makes sense as in his past life he was a Regional Manager of Marketing and Promotions at Island/Def Jam Records).

When I get an album like this, a side project that is a single persons vision, I usually take a deep breath before I listen because 90% of the time it’s a nice idea, but not fully realized. This one is different though.  This is a really moving CD full of original tunes that are child oriented but not too simplistic. And bonus, the lyrics are well thought out and really moving.

Throughout the nine-song 26-minute album, I found myself smiling. The reggae “one love” idea is driven home well in the apropos-titled  “Love.”  The fun “Growing Up” talks about the excitement of new discovery. “Use You Imagination” bops along with a Bob Marley “Three Little Birds” feel to it. The beautiful dedication to Bohorquez’s son, “Lennon,” is another high point of an album full of great tunes. The instrumental “Wonderful” and “Breeze” are also well crafted.

The song that really gets me going is the fun “Summertime.” It is one of those audience participation songs where Bohorquez gets hands clapping and feet stomping. “Summertime is easy because school is out of session. It’s OK to play all day because life is one big lesson.” My kids are big fans of this track as well.

I hope that Lennon’s Song isn’t a one-off for Bohorquez. Although his full-time band is fantastic, the world needs more original kids songs that don’t make parents want to rip their hair out on the 100th listen. I can see this one being on heavy rotation at my house.

You can find Lennon’s Song in Austin at Picket Fences Baby & Maternity (1003 W 34th St) and Waterloo Records. Also check online at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/LennonsSong. Erick will be playing the The Red Balloon Benefit at 501 Studios in Austin this Sunday as part of Don Chani. He will also be performing as Lennon’s Song in June at Lake Hills Montessori.

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