For the kid who is knows his Brobee from his Foofa:
Yo Gabba Gabba! Music is Awesome! Volume 2 is all kinds of awesome for kids but makes sure we adults are taken care of too. I mean, you don’t see the purple dinosaur getting Weezer, Hot Hot Heat and Jimmy Eat World to contribute to his latest CD, do you?
There are also plenty of Yo Gabba Gabba-character tunes which really get the kids involved in their unique way: In other words, expect lots of breathless giggling. And confession: though our Editor Liz is a huge fan, I have never caught a single Yo Gabba Gabba show and I still love this CD, so don’t shy away from it if you are still wondering what in the world a Foofa is.
For the kid who’s got the beat:
Hip-hop’s cool beat is always a sure-fired way to get my kids bouncing in their seat, but the subject matter is usually way too grown-up for their ears unless Secret Agent 23 Skidoo has the mic. In his follow-up to my much-adored Easy, this new release Underground Playground is so cool, we’re pretty sure it’ll take grownups a minute before they realize he’s rapping for the playground set. Nobody works a positive message into a song without sounding preachy like 23 Skidoo .
I love the guest voices and horns that lend some rich soul to songs like Secret Handshake and funk to Sticks and Stones. And kids, you know that scratching sound? It’s an album. Let me tell you about that. . .
For the curious kid with the giant imagination:
This follow up to the Atlanta & Jacksonville duo’s much-loved self-titled CD, The Baby Grands II covers everything from dinosaurs, robots and palindromes with kid-friendly lyrics and a sound that is reminiscent of The Barenaked Ladies.
Perfect when you want something uptempo and fun but nothing too crazy. Like every day at 5:05
For the kid who is in rock, rock, rock, rock, rock-n-roll preschool:
Got yourself a little Joey, Johnny or Dee Dee who still pounds on the top of every pot with a wooden spoon? You have to get your hands on the Boogers’ rocking follow-up to Road to Rock, the 25- minute whirl of guitar and drums, Let’s Go!
This is a whole lot of Ramones-like sound with kid-friendly lyrics, like changing the Ramones’ awesome-but-maybe-not-quite-right-for-kids’ Beat on the Brat lyrics to the less-ominous My Baseball Bat. And maybe their Eat Your Vegetables is not exactly a punk-rock message, but it’s a great anthem for us parents at dinnertime.