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Music You Won't Hate

The votes are in, and apparently we’re a hip group of mommies who know our
own minds. Last week’s poll focused on your baby’s music, and those who
voted all said Baby gets to listen to whatever you want to have on the
IPOD! No tuning in to the purple dinosaur’s greatest hits, apparently.

totally understand where you’re coming from; our generation of parent
seems to be unwilling to give up intricate music and sophisticated lyrics
for Pumpkin, and a whole genre of music affectionately known as Tot Rock
has sprung up in the past few years to meet this need.

Earlier this
year I wrote a blog lamenting the crappy music choices available to babes
these days and said we’d mostly stayed with adult music she seemed to
enjoy bouncing to, with a few notable exceptions (see previous

But we’ve had friends with great music taste give
us CDs of kids’ music that’s bearable (high praise indeed, I know), and
Madeleine does indeed seem to enjoy songs that are geared specifically
towards the munchkins’ mosh pit, so we’ve girded up our musically snobby
loins and ventured into the multi-billion dollar world of toddler music.

verdict? They don’t all suck.

Brady Rymer is apparently a huge hit with the swing set set, and we’ve got
his album
I Found It!
. I think it’s great, while Brian is still less
than enthusiastic. Madeleine loves dancing to the title song, while
“Cooking Saturday” and “Under the Bed” are my favorites. This is an easy
CD to put on and enjoy, an infectious selection that you won’t get sick of.

Kahn and the JAMband is a bit more rockin’, and their
Rock Your Socks Off
is definitely for a get-up-and-wiggle kind
of time. “Jump Into the Middle” is a jumpin’, wild good time for everyone
and a great representation of the whole album; not a lot of slowdown time
here, so it’s perfect for getting the energy out with a decent rock-ish

Our favorite by far though seems to be Justin Roberts.
Definitely more stripped down than the other two artists, his albums have
some real gems for lyrics that will keep adults laughing as well; he’s got
a wry, tongue-in-cheek way of looking at things that kids get and
appreciate without sounding dumbed down. Yellow
is the album we listen to over and over and I find myself
singing it at odd times (and not in an “I hate this and can’t get it out
of my head” way). The title song is a kid’s stoic wait for his school bus
to show up, only to find out 14 anger management- and philosophy-filled
hours later that it’s Saturday. “Tickle My Toes” is a rollicking plea to
get out of the tickling chair and probably Maddie’s favorite song right
now. We don’t have his newest album Meltdown,
but his earlier Way
contains the gem adults will love, “Doctor Doctor”, that
starts, “When mom said ‘Ice cream’ I knew something was wrong ‘cause I
knew the short cut and she was taking the long”, and continues with the
kid’s desperate negotiations with the man with the needle.

still digging through the enormous, lucrative genre we find ourselves
unwillingly a part of. And believe me, for every Justin Roberts I’ve found
there are ten albums I wouldn’t inflict on my neighbors’ annoying dog. You
just gotta brace yourself with a shot of Kool-Aid, put on the headphones,
and do it.


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