No, I wasn’t kidding when I said I was going to take a break from blogging about kids’ music, but how could I go on hiatus without first acknowledging all the wonderful CDs that came out in 2010?
2010 was a stellar year for children’s music, and many of our local favorites (like Debbie & Friends and the Flannery Brothers) released new albums this past year. We also found new favorites (like Frances England and Meredith LeVande) who are now staples in our iTunes.
I thought I would give out ten awards, since that’s a nice round number, but I just couldn’t cut the list down to less than twelve. So, without any further ado (whatever that means)*, here are our 12 favorite kids’ albums of 2010!
*Yes, that was a SteveSongs reference
- The New Explorers Club
by The Flannery Brothers
When we’re looking for a pick-me-up or an extra dose of energy, we turn to the Flannery Brothers. Their new album is exuberant and fun, plus full of rich instruments and melodies. And I just love their silly and catchy lyrics!
- More Story Songs & Sing Alongs
by Debbie & Friends
Debbie’s music is perfect for little kids looking for something easy to sing along to (hence the title of the album)! She picks familiar themes and stories, like the Little Engine that Could, and embellishes them, turning them into timeless songs.
- Ranky Tanky
by Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem
Rani and her band layer sounds and instruments beautifully – they can almost sound like a symphony even though there’s only four of them! This album is a real treat, but nothing compares to seeing them play live.
- Rock and Roll Garden
by Bari Koral Family Rock Band
Bari is just the sweetest, most genuine person you’ll ever meet, and this shines through in her songs. From simple repeat songs about ducks, to really heartfelt songs about friendship, this album has it all.
- Mind of My Own
by Frances England
I was hooked on Frances England after hearing the first song on this album. Her voice is so rich it’s almost sultry, and her melodies are perfect. Oh, how I wish I could sing like this!
- This is Fun!
by Caspar Babypants
Caspar’s albums are bright spots in our day. He celebrates the simple things in life, like bouncing, with such enthusiasm that it transforms your view of the things you do everyday. Babies rock!
- What are the Odds?
by Meredith LeVande
Meredith has such a unique style that you can’t help but notice her. I’m not a music student, but I can feel her doing really interesting things with rhyme and rhythm in her songs. Ivan loves to dance and bounce to these rhythms!
- Weird Things are Everywhere!
by Judy Pancoast
How can I describe Judy? She’s silly, honest, grand, groovy, surrounds herself with a rockin’ dance troupe, and… oh yeah… a Grammy nominee! Judy’s CD encourages kids to read and pay attention to all the neat things that surround them – and makes it all fun at the same time!
- Tiny Cool
by Princess Katie & Racer Steve
For some reason I always want to say that Princess Katie and Racer Steve are a “real” rock band – which is funny because they are also very cartoony. Their songs really rock, but you’ll still find yourself imagining them as animated characters. It’s a great combo!
- Take it Outside
by The Okee Dokee Brothers
These guys play down-to-earth country bluegrass songs, with some of the best fiddle you’ll hear anywhere. They’re very witty and genuinely funny. One of my all time favorite songs is their Lucy & Tighty, about an opposites-attract couple by the names of Righty Tighty and Lefty Lucy.
- The Final Funktier
by Recess Monkey
Recess Monkey is one of those super prolific bands with tons of awesome albums, and this new one is no exception. Their style sits comfortably straddling pop and rock and I love how they never take themselves too seriously. They’re fun and funky!
- Jungle Gym
by Justin Roberts
Justin Roberts has become the gold standard in kids’ music these days and this album is also up for a Grammy this year! Justin’s special talent is to take simple, everyday events (like a fire drill or a haircut), and use them to highlight some universal truth. He’s another artist who’s adored by both kids and their parents.
There were other really good albums that came out last year, but those are my top twelve. If you feel that I’ve left someone important off the list, let me know.
And here’s to 2011, which is already shaping up to be another fun year in music. Check out my review of my new favorite album that comes out later this spring: Gustafer Yellowgold’s Infinity Sock!