The Young Songwriters Project

The Young Songwriters Project
World of My Dreams
Rain Boots Records

Chandra Oppenheim knows the value of teaching kids how to write songs. Her 1980 EP, Transportation, made waves in New York’s post-punk underground. She fronted the band, wrote the lyrics, and played CBGB — all by the age of 12. The double-disc World of My Dreams is the first release from Oppenheim’s Young Songwriters Project. It’s a collection of tunes written (with her help) by children ages 5 to 11 who attend the Forest School, in Falmouth, where Oppenheim has taught music. One disc presents the songs sung by the kids who penned them; the other CD includes the same songs sung by local grown-ups like Rustic Overtones’ Dave Gutter, Sasha Alcott (of When Particles Collide), Sara Hallie Richardson, Zach Jones, and Dan Capaldi (of Sea Level, who co-produced and plays drums). There are plenty of poignant moments here, especially when the kids are singing. “Into the Waves,” credited to Ian and Kaylee, is about more than swimming: “And I’ll be there to pull you out / And I’ll be there while you’re getting yourself back up.” There’s also some inspired silliness — “Good Song,” by Macallister, is 50 seconds of folk-pop hilarity that would’ve made Syd Barrett jealous. The “adult” disc seems superfluous at times. The arrangements are quite similar and the polished voices don’t always fit the (naturally) childish lyrics. One exception is Kyle Gervais (KGFREEZE), who rips through Liam’s NYC vacation-story song, “It’s OK,” with gleeful abandon. “I wanna go back there again! As soon as I can!” he screams at the end, clearly feeling like a kid again.

— Joe Sweeney

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