CD REVIEW: Pick Up Your Toys by Mark Meisel

Mark Meisel is a veteran musician and producer. He has toured with numerous national acts, and was a founding member and frontman for Detroit’s, Opie’s Dream, throughout the 1990s. These days Mark has turned his attention to creating music for children that is also suitable for their parents and grand-parents. His latest CD Pick Up Your Toys – is a collection of songs that will both entertain and challenge children. Parents will be entertained too, and the tongue in cheek lyrical style will induce lots of laughs as children and their parents relate to the stories. Using the nom de plume “Zehti,” Mark and his latest album will be embraced by the entire family.

This is an album for the family to enjoy but you can on your own as well. I can see why it would go over well after dinner in any music loving family’s home though. The lyrics are all fun loving and some of it for young children old enough to relate to when they hear it. Music lovers in general will appreciate how good the music is on top of the well put together subject matter and choice of words. “Clap ClapClap” gets the playlist up and running with all smiles and positive signals that it’s going to be a good disc. You never know when you come upon such a theme, looking for it or not.

“Chew It Up” is next and it too is a fine number to say the least. It’s checking out well so far, but it’s a specialized product nevertheless. But those who can handle it deserve a little fun and this is the right ticket for it. It’s like giving a lecture to a kid without giving a lecture to a kid. You have-to hear it to understand, but once you do you’ll agree. The music is essentially blues based with a little bit of pop texture to it. It earns marks for both sides of the coin but perhaps a little more for the music than the lyrics. But the vocals are great, it’s just that it’s limited in some respects.

“The Walk Around” is a lot of fun too, it’s another musical highlight if anything. Once it starts rocking you’re moving and can’t stop. The kiddos will love this number too. It’s just a lot of hamming it up both lyrically and musically. Other tracks like “Pick Up Your Toys,” “Ice Cream Superman,” “Charlie’s Driving The Car” all keep up the good work. “Medicine” is great too, and even though it’s all very Weird Al by this point, it’s not something he ever achieved himself in the musical department. That’s one thing it has going for it that he’ll never have, so at least it’s real music that way.

“Dream” is worth as much of anyone’s time as any song on offer. It’s amazing how the lyrics don’t dominate the entire track arrangement. This is a majestic sounding acoustic track with cool effects and a whispering vocal. I would consider this a single but not the first, because it might throw off the main idea. But it measures the talent, songwriting and playing of Mark Meisel. This track hangs in there with the best, and makes a musical statement on what is predominantly CD full of lyrical statements. It really doesn’t get any better than this, it makes the rest a gravy train.


by Kevin Webber

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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One comment

  1. Hi Kevin – I can’t recall if I thanked you for the cool review, but if not…….thanks!!
    You definitely got what I was going for!

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