Striking 12 is subtitled "The New GrooveLily Musical," but it's not really a musical in the traditional sense, or even a concept album for an unproduced musical. It's a concert program with a storyline used by the trio GrooveLily for holiday performances. The story is centered on Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Match Girl," but GrooveLily enfolds it within a modern New Year's Eve tale. Despite the essentially grim nature of Andersen's original, the modern story ends with a serious case of the warm-fuzzies with enough humor and wit to temper the moralistic pleading for personal social responsibility that is its core. There is a cleverness to the lyrics of Striking 12 that reaches the level, and at times the speed, of those of Steven Page of the Barenaked Ladies. As with any live program that is performed more than a few times, there are a couple of embarrassing moments of personal interjection that just aren't quite spontaneous enough to seem genuine. The pop/rock music is very easy to take; violinist Valerie Vigoda, keyboardist Brendan Milburn, and drummer Gene Lewin do not reach for a profound or monumental scope in their music. They are extremely comfortable with each other and their capabilities, which gives their music an easygoing nature. GrooveLily doesn't aim for the holiday-classic stature of Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer with Striking 12, but this album does capture that holiday-classic-story spirit.
Share this page