I am starting a new feature, of sorts. Monday is Music Monday, and I will be sharing my thoughts on music I have recently acquired.
For those who are on the prowl for good kids' music...for those who cringe when Raffi plays, or want to run the other way when they hear the Wiggles, I present:
To hear these tunes you can check out Sandra's Site
Sandra Boynton has done it again. She has a new CD out. For those who started with Rhinoceros Tap (the wonderful CD that gave us O Lonely Peas and Tickle Time) and Philadelphia Chickens, a stage show extraordinaire featuring Cows, We're Remarkable Cows, she gives us Dog Train A Wild Ride On the Rock and Roll Side. Her wacky lyrics are back, with even more talent to back up the songs. This CD was so good it can't be contained in just a CD. It comes with a picture book, too.
In addition to the Bacon Brothers (yes, Kevin and his brother Michael) singing Pots & Pans (with a percussion by long-time Grateful Dead band member Mickey Hart), there is Blues Traveler, taking a ride on the Dog Train, a bluesy, rocking ode to dogs and motion: "kitty cats are not allowed, no kittycats won't go, cause it's a Dog Train - a cat would be a catastrophe." It is easy to picture the dog out the window in this one.
There is a mix of styles on the CD. Boyton, once again showing her affinity for young children speaks for those who can't say what they want. Even Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme show up with the hilariously titled Boring Song. "Suddenly, here you are...right in the middle of a boring song. This song is so boring, and I'm boring, too..." they croon. How many of us have wanted to say that when they hear easy listening standards?
Alison Krauss lends her voice to Evermore, a folksy piece perfect for lullabies, and really the most serious song on the CD.
Can you imagine the duet pairing of Kate Winslet and Weird Al Yankovic? I couldn't either, but it works well on "I Need a Nap. Kate sings, "Now the feeling's so strong, but the song is too long- it's the wrong kind of song- and it seems to be going nowhere. Nowwhere! OH Let Me Sleep! I need a nap.."
I think one of the highlights is the song stylings of The British Invasion 60's singer Billy J. Kramer as he does 3 different episodes of Cow Planet. I can't even do it justice. But as they chant "Cooooooooooooow Plan-ET! We will call the band "Mootopia" I dare you to keep a straight face. I couldn't do it. It is so ludicrous.
I think my favorite song is Penguin Lament, a pensive ode to the difficulties of being a penguin sung by Five For Fighting's John Ondrasik. You can really hear shades of "Superman" in the music, even if the lyrics expound upon the life of a flightless fowl: "I want to be cool like the polar bear guys. I want to be tall and somewhat mysterious. But nothing profound comes in penguin size. Can anyone small...be anyone serious?" I wonder how many kids have had that thought?
There are so many gems on this CD. I just love it. My kids love it. My husband loves it. So, go out and buy it, and then tell me what you think. In my opinion, Sandra Boynton's music collections just keep getting better.
T, who loves music and is just a kid at heart, but doesn't like bad kids' music