Part blues, part bluegrass, Jambo's new CD, Hootenanny is all fun. There's a fair variety of musical stylings here to please every family member. The songs are all gentle, and good for the pre-school set. The title track "Hootenanny" is bluesy fun, "Try" encourages kids to do their best, whether it's learning how to ride a bike or play basketball well. We like the finger-snapping fun of "Your Sweet Smile" which could be for kids or even your partner. Another song that can translate into a love ballad for your sweetie is the fab end track, "Begin the Day Again" which makes this album more than a kids' CD--it makes it a family CD, reminding you of how and why you became a family in the first place ($14, amazon.com).
Of all the CDs that Rockabye Baby has done, there seems to be no better translation to lullabies than Rockabye Baby: Lullaby Renditions of The White Stripes. Each song is sweet, fun and quirkily good. "Icky Thump," "My Doorbell" and "We're Going to Be Friends" are all awesome. Our fave: "Seven Nation Army," which sounds much sweeter than this:
So rock out, quietly that is, with this CD and your babe in your arms ($8.99, amazon.com).
With graduation season drawing near, it seems fitting that there should be an anthem to celebrate this special time. Our friends Danny Lapidus and Francisco Cotto of Hot Peas 'N Butter have done just that. Their song, "Graduation Day" is a celebration of friendship, accomplishment and hope for the future. "We
wanted to write a song to honor all the graduates everywhere, because we feel
like we're graduating with them!" says Danny. "It's
such an exciting and special time of year, no matter how old your kids are, or
what grade they are moving into. Congrats everybody!!"
Click below to hear the song, and be sure to read our cover story with Hot Peas 'N Butter, too!
Little Wiggle fans will love The Wiggles Big Birthday CD. Filled
with fun songs from the show, kids can dance along to “Fruit Salad,” “Twinkle
Twinkle Little Star” and everyone’s favorite, “Wake Up, Jeff.” Most of the
songs on the CD were recorded live from The Wiggles tour, which gives them new
life and a lot of fun. There are even jokes on the CD from Murray, Captain
Feathersword and Dorothy. Of course, no Wiggles CD would be complete without “Hot
Potato,” which is one of the closing songs on the 31-track CD. There’s even a
Goodbye Message from The Wiggles, which is super sweet. While our favorite
Yellow Wiggle Greg is not on this CD, Sam does a great job with The Wiggles. It’s
a sweet CD, perfect for a Wiggles party—or simply dancing around the living
room with your little ones while singing about mashed bananas (amazon.com).
Rock your baby’s cradle with the latest from Rockabye Baby!
Lullaby Renditions of Muse. The songs are gently enough to see Baby off to
slumber, while still giving you a rockin’ good time as well. We loved the
soothing version of “Uprising” which is equally as awesome as a lullaby. “Starlight”
is another song that translates well to nocturnal music for your newborn.
Rockabye Baby! Lullaby Renditions of Muse has an eerily cool vibe that will
have you rocking long after baby’s in bed ($16.98, rockabyebabymusic.com).
Your little cowboy or cowgirl will have a good ol’ country
time listening to Hullabaloo’s new album, Raise a Ruckus. The title track is a
fun country song that will have you doing a do-si-do with your little pardner. “Dad
Upside Down” has the fun beat of “When the Saints Go Marching In” and even teaches
little ones how to spell. We liked “Bit Her,” which is about a little brother
who bites his supposedly sugar spice and everything nice sister—and finds out
that she actually tastes quite bitter! And "Rocket Shoes" shows a child’s
imagination how putting on an ordinary pair of shoes can have quite fantastic
consequences. Raise a Ruckus is fun folk music celebrating kids and childhood
at its best ($9, amazon.com).
Grab your own little monkey and listen to Radio Jungle from
the Brooklyn-based band, The Pop Ups. The Grammy-nominated album offers a
wildly diverse mix of songs guaranteed to please all the animals in your
“Connect the Stars” has a cute pop beat while teaching kids
about the constellations, while “The Bat” has a slow Spanish vibe that we
liked. You’ll draw your own beautiful world with “Box of Crayons,” “Banana” has
a cool reggae vibe, and “Feelings Change” has a retro sound and it’s really,
really cute. Radio Jungle is a cool kids’ CD because the themes are easy for
kids to understand but the music is intriguing enough for adults. All the animals in the jungle will be hopping to these beats ($8.99, amazon.com).
celebrate Earth every day with La Bella Stella: Celebrate Earth Music Series CD.
It’s a great compilation of songs that celebrate not only the Earth, but
nighttime, and other planets too. Similar to other CDs from this series, the CD
features performances by Maria Alley, Martha Johnson, Andy Z, and so many more
on this 15-track CD. While the songs are sweet and celebrate the Earth, some
standouts include the folksy “Aurora Borealis” and the deliciously 1920’s
croony-worthy “I Love The Dark” by Tom Knight. You can safely sooth your child
to sleep listening to La Bella Stella, celebrating life and love all the while
From the sound of your box spring creaking (or was that your
knees?) as you get out of bed, to the sound of the key in the ignition as you
turn your car on to take your kids to school, it’s true that everything makes a
sound. And that, coincidentally, is the name of the new album from Preschool of
Rock. Everything Makes a Sound is a great CD for young children, with the
emphasis on sounds in each of the songs. “Safari Song” has cool tribal beats
that your little one will love dancing to. The “Cupcake Song” is a good to hum
when you’re standing in line with your kids at Crumbs. We liked “A Little
Breath” which reminds your kids—and you—to take it slow and enjoy the world. Our
fave was “Jump When I Get Up,” which has a definite Bob Marley vibe that old
school parents will love.
And Preschool of Rock is actually a school, too! Michael Napolitano
heads the music-based curriculum designed for children and their rockin’
families ($14.99, cdbaby.com).
Elizabeth Mitchell’s Little Seed: Songs for Children by
Woody Guthrie is deliciously gentle, sweet and soothing. You can feel
your parental stress melting away as you listen to this darling CD. There was
literally not one song on this CD that we didn’t like. The first track, “Riding
In My Car,” is so cute, as a child sings along with Elizabeth as they take a
ride in a car. We loved “1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8” with its fast beat—it’s a fun song to
sing along with your little ones. All parents can relate to the incessant why’s
of childhood in “Why, Oh Why?” “Sleep Eye” is perfect for rocking your little
one off to slumber. “This Land Is
Your Land” is sung to absolute perfection and “One Day Old” sings of the
newness of newborn life. The title song, “Little Seed” is peaceful with its sweet
sounds. Elizabeth Mitchell’s voice is made for these songs—kind, folksy and
lovely. You’ll keep your iPod on to listen to this CD, long after your kids are
in bed ($12, amazon.com).
While not a track on this album, click below to hear Elizabeth Mitchell sing with Lisa Loeb on "Catch The Moon."