High Roller

Music review by
Jessica Dawson, Common Sense Media
High Roller Music Poster Image
Folk-country kiddie music with fun lessons.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

Positive message to girls that it's OK not to be a frilly-princess type, "and they all lived together comfortably ever after." "This Land is Your Land" invokes camaraderie and love of country.

Positive Role Models & Representations

"Princess Bluejeans" is about a girl with a mind of her own.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that if you're looking for fun music that also happens to provide subtle everyday lessons, then look no further. Your preschoolers and kindergartners will not only love singing along and dancing to these tunes, but you might even find yourself listening to them when the little ones aren't around. Seriously.

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What's the story?

The dynamic folk-country duo Hullabaloo are veterans in the business of making music for kids. A former elementary music teacher, Steven Denyes knows how to write music that is enjoyable, imaginable, and educational. HIGH ROLLER is a clever collection of 8 original and 4 traditional tunes that are fresh mixes of country, blues, and folk music. Old favorites like Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land," "Old Dan Tucker," and "London Bridge" are included with original songs about a princess in blue jeans, baking 400 cupcakes, and finding a dinosaur in your backyard.

Is it any good?

From beginning to end, Hullabaloo's High Roller is non-stop, put-a-smile-on-your-face fun. Picture Johnny Cash as a toddler, and no doubt he'd be singing the cool-kid track, "High Roller,"  mackin' about his "mom-power engine" with "3.5 inch rims." The lyrics are so clever and cute, painting a picture of a smooth-talking tot in Huggies saying, "I got a paci and a juice box 'cause I'm crazy like that."  The whole album blends musical influences in country, folk, and blues with smart, poetic lyrics that are, for lack of a better word, perfect.

"Princess Bluejeans" gives little tomboys with pigtails a reason to shout, and "Ants in My Pants" will have preschoolers giggling about "chocolate in my pajama pocket." And, can you imagine a birthday party where your kindergartner invites everyone? "400 Cupcakes" is a lovable lesson in fastidiousness. The duo of Hullabaloo have a real talent in making kids' music that is both fun and instructional, in a sneaky, unassuming-to-kids kind of way. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about being creative. These fun songs will encourage children to imagine and pretend. What inspires kids to feel creative? 

  • There's a song about "400 cupcakes" on this album, and although it doesn't promote eating 400 cupcakes, you could have a discussion with your child about healthy eating habits. Do you think there is too much junk food advertising on TV and other media? What can you do about it?

  • "Princess Bluejeans" is a great song about being who you are and being "comfortably ever after." What are some ways to encourage positive self-image and body-image for young girls? How do you think media (TV, magazines, Internet) affects what girls think about themselves?

Music details

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