Reviews of recent children’s music albums.
Diana Panton’s debut album for children and families; Sonia de Los Santos’s gorgeous, Spanish-language songs; the latest from The Not-Its.
The Happy Racers’ latest album, Ready Set Go, embraces all the fun and wonders of childhood. Here’s the starred review of the CD.
Move over Carrie Underwood, the Foo Fighters, Kanye West, and make way for the Okee Dokee Brothers—Joe Mailander and Justin Lansing. The group’s latest album, Can You Canoe?, nabbed the coveted 2013 Grammy Award for Best Children’s Album on February 10 at the star-studded awards ceremony held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.
Ozomatli Presents OzoKids. CD. approx. 37 min. Hornblow Group/Megaforce Records. 2012. ISBN unavail. $11.98.
PreS-Gr 3–The Grammy award-winning Los Angeles-based Latin fusion group, Ozomatli, continues to defy being pigeon-holed. Never afraid to try new things, they accepted a challenge from PBS television to shed gang-violence and explicit lyrics and record several education-focused songs. Their new album is aimed at youngsters yet maintains a gritty, urban edge that should have wide appeal. Fusing Latino, hip-hop, reggae, techno pop, and rock, these 14 […]
Pete Remembers Woody. 2 CDs. range: 57:42-53:56 min. Prod. by Appleseed Recordings. Dist. by CDBaby.com. ISBN unavail. $20.
Gr 9 Up–This masterful album celebrates the centennial of Woody Guthrie’s birth in 1912. Producer David Bernz has compiled a number of stories that Pete Seeger (now in his 90s) told about Woody and himself, which were recorded in informal sessions over a span of time in their private homes. These reminiscences are interspersed with Woody’s songs, performed by a number of well-known […]
The Mighty Sky. CD. 31:31 min. with lyrics. NewSound Kids. 2012. ISBN unavail. $14.98.
K-Gr 4–This production is the brain child of Grammy nominee and NAMMY’s Songwriter of the Year (given by the Native American Music Association), Beth Nielsen Chapman. She was joined in the effort by songwriter Annie Roboff and lyricist Rocky Alvey, director of the Vanderbilt Dyer Observatory. The trio has put together a fantastic album of 11 songs in various musical styles including rock, doo wop, zydeco, English […]
Creepy Crawly Love. CD. 30:47 min. CDBaby.com. 2012. ISBN unavail. $14.99.
PreS-Gr 3–In his first album for children, Duke Otherwise hits all of the right notes. Clever lyrics abound in this collection of 12 original songs about topics such as food, animals, and word play. Children will enjoy listening to each song and trying to figure out what the twist may be. From the tune about “my uncle who’s an ant” to a lion being given the advice that he would […]
Blue Clouds. CD. 39 min. with booklet. Smithsonian Folkways. 2012. ISBN unavail. $11.99.
PreS-Gr 3–Beautiful harmonies and Elizabeth Mitchell’s lovely, sweet voice are the hallmarks of this outstanding collection of traditional and original songs. She’s joined by her husband, Daniel Littleton, and daughter, Storey, as well as others. Mitchell has breathed new life into these traditional songs and has transformed several classic rock numbers into folk style with elegant and simple arrangements. In addition to the top-notch vocal performances, the band […]
Make Believers. CD. 41 min. 2012. ISBN unavail. $15.
Pres-Gr 5–Secret Agent 23 Skidoo is a children’s performer unlike any you’ve heard before. Filled with great beats and fresh rhymes, his newest album brings to mind Will Smith in his musical prime. Skidoo infuses hip-hop into children’s music using fantastic guest vocalists to keep the songs light while addressing such kid familiar topics as nightmares, being a friend to oneself, swimming, and even putting a truly fresh spin on Jack and the Beanstalk