Recording Review

Karen Dean

Format: cassette

Reviewed by Ann Joyce

A classroom or general music teacher would buy an album because it is suitable for the age group, or because it could possibly reinforce information, values, etc. that are taught. Also, the following questions would have to be answered in the affirmative: are the songs singable (use of repetition)? Are they short enough to hold the attention? Can the audience relate to the subject matter in the songs?

Karen Dean's cassette album Double Dip has some jewels in it. "Tarzan of the Apes" teaches dynamics, which is a required element in elementary music; "Dino-Bop" would hold fast the attention of dinosaur fans; "Mouth House" is absolutely the "crown jewel" so far as reinforcement of a subject taught is concerned; "Old Joe Clark" and "Funny Farm" are take-offs on already familiar folk songs. This is usually a pleaser with young children.

Ms. Dean employed a good device by using children in the introductions of some of her songs. The most clever has to precede "oooh to Georgie."

This tape, for the most part, is geared to the primary grade level. However, a writer must be very careful of the subject matter for this age group. Therefore, "Bloody Fingers" and possibly a couple of others might have to be excluded.

Songs such as "Bug Off!" have a good message, but it, as well as some others, are too long to hold the attention.

Not many writers can state that the songs on their album are "For Kids Ages 3-105," as does Ms. Dean on Double Dip. She has some very witty, clever, and downright good tunes. The recording is clear and Karen Dean's voice is excellent. It is easy to understand the words, but, to be salable to people in education, it must be geared to the suitability (age-wise) of that audience.

Ms. Dean gives us our money's worth in terms of number of songs on the tape.

This teacher would like to have a copy of the "jewels" for her classroom.

Double Dip was recorded at Falk Recording Studio in Louisville, and is available from Big Ole Records, 6703 Mayfair Ave., Prospect, KY 40059.