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Music You Won't Hate Print E-mail
Monday, 15 May 2006
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.

I 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 entry).

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.

The 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.

Charity 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 sound.

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 Bus 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 Out 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.

We’re 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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