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Alternately tender, lighthearted, spirited, and soothing, the 11 carefully crafted songs on Bucket Of Wow! constitute a genuine celebration of life. The wonders of nature figure prominently (Take A Hike, I'm Being Followed by the Moon, My Baby Tree, . . .), with lyrics that capture the innocence and wisdom with which children view the world. Songs vary stylistically from one to the next, a feat made possible by the band's exceptional musicianship. The title track has a laid-back exuberance reminiscent of Randy Newman and features the jubilant piano work of Chris Rhyne and soaring clarinet of Will Vargas. The country-flavored 'Boo-Boo Song' and Broadway-like duet 'Losing a Tooth' (featuring the marvelous Olivia McGuffy as the girl whose tooth is on the way out) put a joyously positive slant on sometimes scary but inevitable childhood experiences. Presiding over it all is Stephen Michael Schwartz, whose adept guitar work, vocals, and stellar songwriting are at the core of this heartfelt, happy album.