What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this album is Dan Zanes and Friends' first Spanish-language album and features songs drawn from the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Paraguay, and elsewhere.
What's the story?
Grammy-winner Dan Zanes enlisted the aid of some very talented friends on his new children's CD, and the result is a collection of Spanish-language songs that employ a variety of Latin rhythms -- all energetic, danceable, and festive. The spirit of collaboration and friendship shines through, even on the few songs where Zanes is twisting his Anglo-sounding voice around Spanish lyrics and rhythms, creating a sound that's just a bit awkward.
Is it any good?
The standout tracks are those performed by Dan's amigas, especially Silvia Sierra and someone called "La Bruja" (the witch), whose rich delivery of "Pollito Chicken" contains some English lyrics, an irresistible rhythm section, and an improbable tale about learning Spanish by singing about chickens. Overall, it's delightful to see a popular artist stretch in this inclusive, multi-cultural direction while having so much danceable fun.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the historic concept of the U.S. as a melting pot, and the joy of exploring a variety of cultures through music. Kids in Spanish-speaking families will find the lyrics easy to hear and understand; Spanish students can practice vocabulary by singing along.