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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is an album full of family-friendly tunes, with songs that should appeal to various age groups, including adults. Lots of the songs teach life lessons through hip hop, punk, and jazz tracks, so little ears will also get schooled in the world of musical styles. (But be warned, this CD features several songs that also appear on A World of Happiness, so owners of that equally kid-appropriate album might want to pass on this round.)
What's the story?
You might recall the Lollapalooza concert festivals from years past. Well, they're still rocking on and have recently added a family-friendly segment to the line-up for all those grunge-addicts-turned-parents. To celebrate the Kidzapalooza portion of the festival, the organizers, including Jane's Addiction frontman Perry Ferrell have created an album full of some of the best performers from the past few years. You'll find the punk rock mamas The Candy Band, Lisa Loeb, and Jack Johnson bandmate Zach Gill. This is only volume one, so expect more rockin' tracks in the future.
Is it any good?
How cool is it to find a song ("Back in the Day") that pays homage to '80's sneakers? "I had a pair of Kangaroos, not the animals, but the tennis shoes, kept my lunch money on a pocket on the side, I was convinced the shoes made me jump high." Besides this Zach Gill blast from the past, there's also a ton of foot thumpin' and dance-inspiring songs that should get the whole family off the couch. The Candy Band rocks the traditional "Skip to My Lou" and Lunch Money offers a super silly groove with a "Cookie as Big as My Head." But there are some softer songs to balance out the kinetic beats, like Frances England's "Spring Has Sprung" which sweetly blossoms and the eternally relevant "Fool's Will Try." Kudos to Secret Agent 23, for a slamming hip-hop that's smart and slick at the same time. Overall this album manages to combine some of the most talented and varied children's artists of today into one cohesive album.
Talk to your kids about ...
Does listening to a happy song put you in a good mood? How does the music you listen to affect your moods and outlook on life? Read "Less Aggressive Media Results in Less Aggressive Kids" and think about ways to improve your child's media diet.
Families can talk about different childhood experiences. The song "Back in the Day" discusses singer/songwriter Zach Gill's memories of being a kid. Moms and dads, compare with your kids what being a kid was all about. What games did you play, what toys did you want and what clothes did you where. Kids, do you think that much has changed since your parents were young?
"In the Details" might inspire listeners to take a look at the small stuff in their world. Can you name some little things you might find in a garden, on the beach, or even in a kitchen?