The Peanut Man

 
(i)

 

Latin American kids' songs and tales -- bilingual.

What parents need to know

Positive messages
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Violence & scariness
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Sexy stuff
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Language
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Consumerism
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Drinking, drugs, & smoking
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Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the whole family can enjoy this blend of stories and songs in English and Spanish, but its production may be too complex for clear bilingual learning.

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What's the story?

THE PEANUT MAN pulses with percussion, guitars, woodwinds, keyboards, cello, children's voices, and the vocals of Latin songbird Maria Del Rey. The title track, \"The Peanut Man,\" implies a collection for young children, and several of the story/songs fulfill that promise. Perhaps the easiest sing-along is the short \"Vamos A La Mar/Let's Go to the Sea.\" The simple verses repeat in English and Spanish. In \"The Donkey/El Burro\" a list builds upon itself -- \"lemon drops, a yellow vest, white scarf, black cap, tap tap tap\" -- in a clean arrangement conducive to bilingual learning for young ears. \"Los Pollitos/Baby Chicks\" begins as a fun salsa paced well for kids to sing along, but then it goes to a rock production that is inaccessible for catching the lyrics. \"Konex--The Maya Story of Corn\" is an exotic mix of beautiful melody, rain stick, bird-like flutes, and Spanish and English spoken and sung, but the sophisticated vocal styling makes words difficult to distinguish. The sweet \"La Pajara Pinta/The Speckled Bird\" asks simply \"Does my sweetheart love me or no?\" but the voice becomes buried in the mix.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

At times, the rich instrumentation and Del Rey's styling overpower the lyrics -- a problem for an album touting "easy assimilation" of English and Spanish. Lyrics in the liner notes would help, but listeners are instructed to go to Del Rey's Web site for translations. Yet Latin Grammy Nominee Del Rey's vocal gifts are bountiful and her musicians first-rate, and the album realizes its intent to be a "parent friendly" recording and a "fun bilingual exploration."

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the new words they learned from this bilingual sing-a-long album.

Music details

Artist:Maria Del Rey
Release date:July 15, 2004
Label:Music for Little People
Genre:Children's Music
Parental advisory:No
Edited version available:No

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  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written byLISIWON January 26, 2010
 
The intent in all our production was to transcend the boundaries of the stagnant dumb and dumber low level of music for children today. Indeed in 25 years of working with children and producing musical works for them, it is the excitement from the children themselves that allows us to take evolutionary leaps and gravitate to more beauty and sophistication in our music. Culturally speaking children from around the world hear very sophisticated melodies and rhythms with business as usual. Sadly in American music for children artists are then chided when they raise the bar? Our project was also to inspire bilingual children to sing with ease in both languages. I admit the record company at the time did choose a very silly cover not at all to my liking that would lead customers to think it would be a dumb kiddie record. We will re-release the new 2010 Peanut-man version with an appropriate sophisticated cover. Thanks for the mostly good review its appreciated. Maria Del Rey Producer
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