This past fall, the group Go Fish released their 6th album for kids. The name of the album is Kickin’ It Old School, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. As soon as I downloaded it from ITunes, I knew I wasn’t going to be disappointed.
The general idea for this album was to take old classic hymns and refashion the music into something kids and parents today would enjoy listening to it. Added to that is one original song which became the title track for the album. This album is one which is long overdue and should be in the library of any children’s ministry worker, parent, grandparent and anyone who enjoys the classic hymns.
Click here to read our coverage of the VBS theme based on this music.
On a personal note, we’ve had the album now for several months, and my kids (from age three up through almost 10) all enjoy it. I’ve even seen my 17 year old bopping along to it in the van. It is one of the few albums that all of my kids can agree on and ask for almost every time we go somewhere in the van. Of course, the only downside is once they realize it is Go Fish, they immediately ask me to slip over to the Party Like A Preschooler Album to play “Hard to Be Cool in a Minivan,” but that’s a problem I am willing to live with!
Here’s a little bit more about each song.
Kickin’ It Old School is the title track, and for my money the catchiest tune on the album. It may quite possibly be the catchiest song Go Fish has ever done. I love the beats and the lyrics which focus on getting back to the roots of Christianity and the Bible and ignoring all the “fluff.” I find myself singing this song over and over. I’ve used it as background music for games and other activities at church on Sunday, and I have an idea for acting out the song in a music video, but I haven’t gotten around to that yet!
Sweet Song of Salvation / I Love To Tell The Story features the wonderful acapella sounds of Go Fish and a seamless marrying of these two classic hymns. Following the acapella intro, the song breaks into a very upbeat call to share the Gospel of our Lord and Savior.
I Am a Solider in the Army of the Lord is probably my second favorite song on the album. The song begins with scripture regarding the full army of God and then goes into a soulful rendition of the hymn. The background music and beats give the song a very pressing and urgent feel consistent with our role of soldiers of God.
This is My Father’s World begins with news footage with compelling music in the background then fades into a small child saying the Lord’s prayer and reminds us all through the words of the classic hymn that God is in Control. The upbeat (almost techno) sound at time is a perfect compliment to this reassuring hymn.
Blessed Assurance includes the smooth sounds of a classic Doo-Wop group, and like other songs on this album, these guys from Go Fish make it seem like that is how the hymn was originally written to be sung.
Before the Throne of God Above is a hymn which I had heard of but was not all that familiar with before this album. That said, it has quickly become one of my favorite with its deep and rich theological foundation. Go Fish stuck close to the “original” feel for this song with a relatively subdued and introspective feel to the music coupled with amazing harmonies.
I’ll Fly Away is a hymn that I loved long before I ever was a follower of Jesus. I am fascinated with more contemporary remakes of the hymn, and I have to say that Go Fish’s version ranks very near the top of what I have heard if not at the top.
Shelter In a Time Of Storm has an old time gospel feel from the very beginning. I dare you to try to listen to this song and sit perfectly still. It will never happen. If you aren’t swaying and singing by the end it, you might want to check your pulse to see if you still have one!
The Solid Rock (with Denver and the Mile High Orchestra) is, to no one’s surprise, done in the style of classic big band music and doesn’t miss a beat!
The Old Rugged Cross has always been one of my favorite hymns. Like “Before the Throne of God,” I thought the music selected for this song preserves the weight of the Gospel and particularly the moment of the Cross.
No doubt by now, you have caught on to how much I enjoy this CD. I would recommend it to anyone. In the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you that I DID NOT receive a free copy of the CD or anything else from Go Fish, other than a lot of enjoyment from listening to their music, in connection with writing this review.
Let me share one last story about the impact of this album. One afternoon my wife was driving up to the high school to take care of some business she does as a volunteer. My three-year-old, Nathan, was in the back and asked Mommy where they were going. She replied that they were driving up to the high school. To that, Nathan asked, “You mean, We’re Kickin’ It Old School?” My wife hadn’t heard this particular album yet which made it all the funnier for her, but the moment was priceless and proof to me of the power of music even in the heads of our youngest kids.