Pick of the Day: Recess | Audio

Classic rock, power pop, ska, and country musical styles are evident in the 12 original songs by Justin Roberts on his new album, Recess. Learn more about these catchy tunes in the starred review.
Recess. Performed by Justin Roberts. CD. 44:25 min. Prod. byCarpet SquareRecords. Dist. by Justinroberts.org. 2013. ISBN unavail. $15. PreS–Gr 3–Classic rock, power pop, ska, and country musical styles are evident in these 12 original songs by Roberts. The Not Ready for Naptime Players join him in giving outstanding instrumental performances on guitar, bass, piano, strings, keyboards, trumpet, drums, and percussion. They also weave beautiful and intricate vocal harmonies, with some tracks sounding like the early Beatles or the Beach Boys. Winner of multiple Parents’ Choice Gold and NAPPA Gold awards, Roberts has created wonderful, catchy tunes. The students are anxious for “Recess” time. Listeners get the dog’s point of view in “Every Little Step.” In a faraway kingdom, everyone wears drab beige, sandalwood, and sage colors until “The Princess Wore Pink” and changed everything. One child anticipates with eagerness his weekly visit to “Otis” the elevator. And in “Check Me Out, I’m at the Checkout,” a kid pushes his own cart and makes messes throughout the grocery store. Among the other terrific numbers are “I’ll Be an Alien” (the extra-terrestrial kind), “Hopscotch,” “My Secret Robot,” “Looking for Trains,” “We Got Two” (twins), “School’s Out (Tall Buildings),” and “Red Bird” (a lovely lullaby with beautiful, poetic lyrics). This album stands head and shoulders above other recent pop albums for children.–Beverly Wrigglesworth, San Antonio Public Library, TX

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