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That Baby CD
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 fine collection of rock classics -- arranged family-style -- features competent, minimalist instrumentation and clear-as-a-bell vocals. Calming enough to sooth cranky kids, but not so tedious as to put parents to sleep while driving, it's a tasteful winner.
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What's the story?
THAT BABY CD, meant to be a companion product for That Baby DVD, stands up nicely on its own with a clean, clear sound and excellent musicianship. It's hard to go too far wrong with songs by the likes of Joni Mitchell, Lennon and McCartney, Natalie Merchant, and Christine McVie -- and the BABY CD crew treats the material with more than enough respect and expertise.
Is it any good?
The vocals are warm and lively, the piano and guitar playing (especially) quietly competent, and the arrangements are "adult" enough to keep parents from dozing off while their toddlers get a hit of soothing, peaceful melody. Kids who love animals will adore Bruce Springsteen's "Pony Boy," revamped as a nursery rhyme with gorgeous slide guitar and accordion fills, "Three Little Birds" by Bob Marley, and Christine McVie's gorgeous "Songbird." "Garden Song" will charm outdoorsy types, and the positive messages in "Get Together" and "Anything is Possible" never go out of style. Not just your usual collection of put-the-kid-to-sleep songs, That Baby CD demonstrates that kid's music can be performed with just as much grace, integrity, and style as any other.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how these versions of familiar songs sound compared to the originals. What makes a song "kid-friendly"? Is it just a question of acoustic versus electric instrumentation, or are there other factors to consider? Kids who like to garden will especially love "Garden Song," and Joni Mitchell's "Circle Game" is always a live one for discussions about growing up.