The Cool School
remains the most complex and contradictory album in the June Christy
catalog: a collection of children's music crafted without sentimentality or saccharine, it brilliantly articulates the confusion, isolation, and yearning that form the core of childhood experience. Equally surprising, the arrangements are the most direct and unadorned of Christy
's career, eschewing horns and cotton-candy fluff to focus squarely on her crisp, nimble vocals and the Joe Castro Quartet
's driving rhythms. Familiar songs like "Swinging on a Star" and "Looking for a Boy" are stripped of artifice to recapture their innate power and mystery. In short, The Cool School
celebrates the intelligence of children, and refuses to pander to audiences of any age.