***The Sursiks***

This has to be the most brilliant, goosebump-inducing project of the year in the field of kids' music: remember when Syd Barrett was so wacked out that his pals from Pink Floyd and Soft Machine had to build songs around the doodles he managed to get recorded to tape? Same idea here, 'cept the vocalist/songwriter is a three-year-old girl, Lydia Grace, around whose lyrics and melodies the members of the Sursiks construct their music.

Marvel at a child's view of the world in "When Monsters Come", dig the ELO intro to the new wave punk "Aunt Kate", check out the beautifully spooky "Winter Wind is Blowing", and be tickled by "L-Y-D-I-A"'s self-affirming chant about coloring with purple crayons. Progressive music for Toddlers by Toddlers!

Now, the Sursiks released another CD that uses the same concept, except the rantings and ravings left on an answering machine by various friends are given the build-a-song treatment. Equally brilliant, incredibly amusing, but very adult. The grownups can listen to this one after the kiddies have gone to bed.

At the very least, Lydia Grace is an interesting CD. At the most, though, Lydia Grace is inspiring, inventive, and refreshingly original. Very late-70's Frank Zappa-ish, in the sweetest way possible. Power to the Preschoolers!

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