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Born to Play
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that there's nothing really objectionable about this album except the smart-alecky sound of the vocals. Most of the songs celebrate imagination and fun adventures. Some talk about "being evil," which sounds odd on a kid's album, but it's done in a tongue-in-cheek manner.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
The Backyardigans is the a hugely successful Nickelodeon TV series featuring five characters (like Pablo the penguin and Tasha the hippo) who share a collective backyard that magically transports them to all sorts of fantastic realms -- like tropical rain forests and pirate ships. The third CD includes 22 songs from the show (including five from the one-hour movie, Tale of the Mighty Knights, which premiered on January 14th).
Is it any good?
This CD is no amateur effort. Evan Lurie, who writes most of the music for the series, honed his musical chops as an original member of the jazz group The Lounge Lizards. But, the album sounds a little studio-slick, and the lyrics are sometimes hard to pick out over the densely layered sounds. But, it's fun and fast-paced and every song celebrates a different musical style. One Celtic-flavored tune sounds a bit like preschoolers covering The Pogues. Plus, there's a wry adult sensibility woven in to some of the songs, like Cyndi Lauper's torchy "I'm the Lady in Pink."
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how unstructured playtime (and a healthy dose of imagination) can transport us to fantastic places. Put a sleeping bag and a flashlight in the basement and presto: scary story time! Can you think of something fun to do that you don't get to do every day?