KinderAngst

Music review by
Kim Alessi, Common Sense Media
KinderAngst Music Poster Image
Punk rock for kids is loaded with emotion and attitude.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

KinderAngst is a collection of mostly punk rock songs addressing the span of childhood emotions. The songs can help children identify and appropriately deal with a range of emotions including anger, disappointment, anxiety, and overactivity.

Positive Messages

While humorous, "Let's Play" is mean-spirited: "I don't like you anymore / I'm gonna take this game and throw it out the door / 'Cuz if you're really my best friend/We'll never ever play this game again." "Do It Yourself" empowers: "I try to be self-sufficient, some things I just can't do, I try to be efficient, some things I leave up to you " "In My Room" cherishes that unique escape-place found only in your bedroom. "Jump Jump" recognizes the need to get up and move: "I'll bounce way, I'll ricochet, I'm a jumpin' fool, so just get outta my way!"

Positive Role Models & Representations

Songs give props to those who know when to chill out, take a break, and be patient with others. "Big Time Out" is driving punk reminiscent of The Clash: "Guess I'd better listen if I want to have some fun ..." "Today" is a dark song about having a down day: "I don't wanna play today, I just wanna sit here / I just wanna be alone and no, I don't know why." "Be Kind to Your Parents" is tongue-in-cheek punk encouraging composure: "Remember that grown-ups is a difficult stage of life / They're apt to be nervous and over excited, confused by their daily toil and strife."

Violence & Scariness

Aggressive, rather than violent, language in "Let's Play:" "I don't like you anymore / I'm gonna take this game and throw it out the door ..."  "Peek-A-Boo" is a dark blues tune with creepy vocals and Halloween-like screams.

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

Debbie Harry (Blondie front-woman) is the featured vocalist on the ska-influenced "Do It Yourself."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that KinderAngst cleverly addresses the growing pains of childhood -- from a kid's perspective -- through punk, girl group pop, ska, and straight-up garage rock songs. The lyrics speak to the anxiety around playdates and time-outs, wanting solitude (or a pet rat), not fitting in, having boundless energy, and being just plain silly. It's a rockin' album with engaging, sometimes sarcastic, even dark songs -- loaded with a whole lotta attitude -- so these are for the over-toddler set and up.  

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What's the story?

KINDERANGST is the self-titled debut album by New York City singers/multi-instrumentalists Palmyra Delran and Rachelle Garniez. With songs set in the imaginary urban setting called Alphabet City (a nod to NYC's Lower East Side), KinderAngst uses the drive of (mostly punk) rock to express the emotions and motions of childhood.

Is it any good?

KinderAngst is a unique rock album to share with kids, provided they're old enough for it. The songs are well crafted and witty -- BUT parents need to consider younger kids' reaction, because some lyrics may encourage undesirable behavior (not wanting to share or cooperate, throwing toys, etc.)

Still, there are deeper lessons on this album, too, such as how to identify and appropriately deal with emotions. Standout tracks include the Blondie-esque "Do It Yourself," the early country/loaded-with-kinetic-energy "Jump Jump," the sweet, dreamy "Music In My Pillow," "Rat" and "In My Room" (a la the Shangri-Las' "Leader of the Pack"), and the dark blues rock "Peek-A-Boo" (complete with spooky lyrics and screams).

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the various style of rock music and what makes them different from one another. (Punk rock is fast with hard-edged lyrics; pop girl groups perform multi-part vocal harmonies; garage rock is unrefined with simple lyrics; ska is the faster predecessor to reggae.) Discuss what kind of rock you like or don't like.

  • Many of KinderAngst's lyrics deal with the trials and tribulations of childhood. Discuss how these songs can help kids identify and express their feelings.

  • Grown-up emotions really aren't that different from kid emotions. Parents: Consider sharing examples of when you were frustrated, needed time alone, didn't want to participate, etc., and describe how you dealt with these feelings in an appropriate (or inappropriate) manner.

Music details

For kids who love upbeat tunes

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