In My Hometown

Music review by
Andy Davis, Common Sense Media
In My Hometown Music Poster Image
Charming live performer whose charisma shines.

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

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that most of the songs are more reflective than educational.

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What's the story?

In his earlier efforts, Tom Chapin would frequently wink at parents in his songs, celebrating childhood with the sensitivity of an active father. IN MY HOMETOWN finds him focusing his empathy more on the child, offering amusingly familiar vignettes: a street fair, a lemonade stand, and a Halloween party at a firehouse. The lead track paints an accurate picture of those panic-filled moments before the school bus arrives. \"A Mozart Duet\" provides solace for any child who has struggled with piano lessons and recital anxiety.

Is it any good?

Chapin explores a variety of musical styles on the album, including Celtic, ragtime, doo-wop, mariachi, and classical. Reggae and ska influences are even heard on two tracks, albeit in watered-down form. Chapin is a charming live performer whose charisma comes across in this recording. It is more rock-oriented than his other albums, but with a decidedly kid-friendly softness.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the spirit of inclusiveness that "His Name is Ty" presents, promoting being nice to new kids at school, as well as "My Town Is a Salad Bowl," which celebrates the strength that diversity brings to a community.

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