A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Go! is a high-energy hip-hop/pop album geared for kindergarten through second grade kids and educators. Written with guidance from teachers and curriculum specialist, these songs are doused in positivity and promote good nutrition and exercise, early literacy and science, and positive character traits like friendship and determination. The songs are an upbeat blend of hip-hop and pop, with age-appropriate lyrics that are clear and easy to understand. The target audience may be 5 to 7 year olds, but these gems will appeal to the whole family and a progressive classroom, especially if you're fans of urban grooves.
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What's the story?
Go! is the second album from The Alphabet Rockers. The band consists of Kaitlin McGaw, Tommy Shepherd, and Stefanie Liang, a San Francisco-based trio who mixes hip-hop, pop, and soul with educational foundations and learning concepts from K-2 curriculum. Like the band's debut self-titled album, Go! is a 2012 Parents' Choice Award-winning CD.
Is it any good?
This album is hip, hoppin', and full of energy. Each song is well crafted, with catchy grooves, clear and easy to understand lyrics promoting super-positive messages, and excellent production value (Grammy Award-winning engineer Jason Villaroman of Black Eyed Peas, Sergio Mendes, John Legend fame lends his talents here). Some tracks do have rapped sections with lightning-fast lyrics, but their words will stick like glue with just a few listenings.
These songs speak tried and true messages that are relevant to even young listeners. Hip-hop might not be for everyone, but if you're a fan or want to explore cool urban grooves with your kids, then this one's definitely for your family's music collection. The album's kick-off track, "Animals A to Z," is a bit long and static at times, but it's still enjoyable. But stick with it because the standout tracks on Go! are many and include: "You Can Write," "Dynamite," "Eat The Rainbow," "Food Calculator," "Friends," "Keep It Up!" and " Go!"
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about different musical styles like hip-hop, pop, rock, and jazz. What makes hip-hop stand out from these other musical styles? (Hip-hop has parts that are sung with a melody, and parts that are rapped with spoken words that don't have melody.)
There are many ways to learn new things, such as listening to teachers, parents, other kids, reading books, magazines, and websites, and by observing the world around us. Music can also help us learn new things. What are your favorite ways to learn? Do you think these songs can help you learn new things?
Some of these songs encourage kids and families to get up and move. Does listening to upbeat music make you want get up and dance? Does it help you or your parents when you exercise?