These CDs really are our favorite albums of 2009. We listen to them constantly and I couldn’t imagine not having them in our CD player or on our iTunes at all times. I had a hard time picking only a few, but these are the best of the best. If you’re looking for some cool new music, look no further!
Once I had gotten this list down to our favorite CDs I struggled to put them in some sort of order, but opted to just list them alphabetically. They’re all awesome!
A Cow Says Moock by Alastair Moock
A Cow Says Moock is Alastair Moock’s first kids’ album and was released late last year. Alastair has a very unique voice and sings songs with a classic jazzy-feel. He’s recored some wonderful classics, like Fishin’ Blues and Spaghetti in My Shoe and he even has another of our favorite artists, Maria Sangiolo, sing along on Ship in the Sky, which is really just a lovely song about a kid whose daddy is a pilot.
But our favorite songs are the ones about his twin daughters. Twins are Twice as Fun and Two Little Babies (Dance Around) are just so full of life and love—you know this is a daddy singing about his two little angels. You have to check out this album.
A Frog Named Sam by Ben Rudnick & Friends
If you live in Massachusetts then you must have been out to see a Ben Rudnick & Friends concert, which means you’re already perfectly aware of just how awesome their new album, A Frog Named Sam, is. The title song, about a frog who wants to move to the city and sing, has such a great bass beat to it and kids love singing along to the “boom-boom-ribbit-ribbit-croak-boom” lyrics. Race Car is another great sing-along-to song and little car-loving boys get pretty excited about this one.
Ben Rudnick & Friends sing in a down home bluegrass style that appeals to just about everyone. As on all their CDs, they’ve included a couple of instrumentals (jigs) on this album that are great ways to introduce kids to traditional instruments like the guitar and mandolin. They also sing a couple of songs, like The Santa Fe and Erie Canal, that just give you that classic Americana feel. They’re great!
Field Trip by Recess Monkey
Recess Monkey is one of those bands that once I heard them I couldn’t believe we hadn’t been listening to them for years! They’ve got a great alternative rock sound and they really appeal to both moms and kids (dads, too, of course, but let’s face it—it’s the moms who listen to the music most, right?). There have been many times where I’ve found myself driving around with Field Trip in the car’s CD player only to realize Ivan isn’t with me. Oh well, that’s OK. I’ll just keep rocking out to Sack Lunch or The Teens on my own.
Great Day by Milkshake
Milkshake is another band that we only just learned about this last year, and we love them! These guys are obviously part of the indie rock scene and they make kids music just so… cool! Their sound is so hip and fun that anyone in the family (even the teenagers!) will enjoy it! And Lisa’s voice is just so perfect on each of the songs.
Great Day was released last summer and it became an instant favorite. I love both the rock and roll fun of the album plus the positive messages. My favorite song on the album, Statue of Me, wonders what amazing things we will all do in our lives to deserve statues in our memory. And I love the concept behind When I’m Old, a song that actually looks forward to old age rather than fears it. Grandparents are wonderful, aren’t they?
Gustafer Yellowgold’s Mellow Fever
How do you describe Gustafer Yellowgold? Gustafer is a creature from the sun who’s come to earth on an adventure. He has wacky friends (like an eel and a pterodactyl) and he likes to eat pine cones. Somehow this all makes sense in Gustafer’s world, believe me.
Mellow Fever is the third in an amazing series of CD/DVD releases that combine music and animation. You don’t listen to or watch these CDs and DVDs, you experience them. The songs can be catchy, soothing, or just beautiful (I love An Erring Ant), but all of them capture your senses and really take you on an adventure with the characters. Kids love the wackiness, parents appreciate the artistry, and even my super-hip twenty-three-year-old brother finds Gustafer cool enough to listen to. Talk about something for everyone!
I’m Me! by Charlie Hope
Charlie Hope released her debut kids’ album, I’m Me!, last summer and we knew right away that this is an artist to keep an eye on. Charlie may be young and this may be her first children’s album, but it is absolute gold! Every song on this album is beautiful and there is no other way to describe Charlie’s voice except as “melodic.”
I love Frog Song and Ivan giggles every time he hears the title track, I’m Me!, with all its different animal sounds. I also love how Charlie includes little non-instrumental nursery rhymes throughout the album, like Pop Goes the Weasel and 5 Little Peas, so that you really get the feeling that you’re sitting down and singing with Charlie, just like the album cover suggests. You have to check out this CD, and if you love Charlie’s voice as much as I do, then you’ll also want to check out her collection of lullabies, World of Dreams.
In the Kid Zone by Asheba
I was skeptical when we first received Asheba’s In the Kid Zone. I’ve never really been a fan of calypso or reggae music. But I was really surprised by how catchy and bouncy and fun all the songs on this album are!
Asheba is from Trinidad and sings from a point of view of trying to teach others about his culture and rhythm. The song Calypso is as much educational as it is fun. He sings in the song, “I want you to know some more about where I come from” and then explains how rhythm and music is a guiding force in his life. Ivan just loves the song Keskidee because Asheba sings like a bird in the song. Very silly!
Kick Up a Breeze by Joe’s Backyard Band
Joe’s Backyard Band plays in what they call an “Americana and roots” style. We love it! They’re new CD, Kick Up a Breeze, just came out last month and we’re hooked on it already. I love the blues sound in songs like Jennie Mae with awesome harmonica tunes, and their saxophone player is excellent on songs like Pitching a Party. The level of musicianship is really impressive!
But my favorite song on the album has to be Cities with Seagulls, about how the best places to live are cities (with cafés and night life) that are near the sea (so you can still enjoy the sand and the waves). Seeing as how these guys are based out of Providence, I guess that makes sense. Hopefully they’ll come on up to Boston soon so we can see them live in concert!
Love Songs for Silly Things by the Flannery Brothers
The Flannery Brothers are hip and full of energy. They’re songs are fun and honest—they really do love Rutabagas and Dilly Beans and I’ve seen Dan’s Tambourine and it really is falling apart like he says in the song. These songs are great to sing along to and just plain fun. You’ve got to give them a listen!
Click here to find out about our favorite live performances of 2009.
Award images created by John Kane.