Human Body School

Performed by Talking Hands Talking Feet. Approx. 69 min. Talking Hands Talking Feet. 2015. $15.
K-Gr 5—The 12th album by New Mexico-based musician Paul Andrew Zeir and his group, Talking Hands Talking Feet, seeks to instruct youngsters about the human body in these 23 original pop songs. Each tune is very simple and relies on repetition in order to drill information into memory. Simple arrangements have minimal instrumentation, with lead vocals the focus of each song. Harmonies are added for adornment but never overtake the lead vocals. Zeir sings lead on most tunes, sounding eerily similar to Cat Stevens (now known as Yusuf Islam). Arranged by "acts," the album offers an overview of the human body. In "Act 1: Get to Know Your Body," messages include the value of eating wisely and exercising. "Act 2: Body Opera" concentrates on various organs and body systems. "Act 3: Get to Know Yourself" focuses on each individual's position in life. Standout songs include "Get to Know Your Body" (which includes Spanish lyrics of the song interwoven in the recording), "Digestive System" (kids will really appreciate the digestive noises in the background), and "Bones Alive," which opens with and is accompanied by marimba.
VERDICT The complex lyrics and appropriate vocabulary make this album a useful tool for the classroom.

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