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Our Five Favorite Kids’ CDs for Grownups

by Amber on May 12, 2009

I have a confession to make: I’m an adult who loves kids’ music. Sometimes I listen to my son’s CDs while he’s at school. Sometimes I sing along in the car—even when my son isn’t with me.

I like all of it, really. I love Raffi and The Wiggles; Sesame Street and Disney (though I do draw the line at Barney—I just can’t go that far). Part of it is that these songs remind me of my childhood, but part of it is that they are just plain catchy and fun.

But I have noticed that there are some CDs that I gravitate to more, CDs that do a wonderful job of bridging the gap between children and adult music tastes. I’ve collected here a list of my five favorite kids’ CDs for grownups:

Recess Monkey - Field Trip

1. Recess Monkey: Field Trip

Recess Monkey is a great band from Seattle that sings with a sort of pop/emo sound. For some reason they remind me of a cross between Weezer and The Beatles, though I’m not quite sure why.

Their new CD, Field Trip, is due for release on June 9th and I had the chance to preview it this week. All I can say is that I’ve been singing Marshmallow Farm and The Teens ever since. I was so impressed with this CD that I ordered their other four CDs, too, all of which have recieved rave reviews.

This is definitely a band to check out for all the 30-something moms out there who like alternative sounds! And be sure to watch their new video for Marshmallow Farm. (But you’ve been warned—it’s very catchy!)

2. Justin Roberts: Meltdown!

We saw Justin Roberts perform in Arlington last year at the Regent Theatre and I’ve been hooked ever since. Justin plays with a pop-rock sound similar to R.E.M. that is very upbeat and great to sing along to. His lyrics are witty and full of surprises and inside jokes meant for the grownups who are listening.

Although I love all of Justin Roberts’ albums, this is probably my favorite because of the title song, Meltdown!, which just captures life with a toddler so well. I Chalk and My Brother Did It are also great tunes.

You can listen to samples from this CD by clicking on the image above.

3. Gustafer Yellowgold’s Mellow Fever

I’m a huge fan of both The Flaming Lips and Radio Head, and Gustafer Yellowgold reminds me of both. Mellow Fever is just that: A very mellow set of songs that all tell the story of Gustafer, a hot-blooded creature who originated from the sun.

In the same style of Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, each song tells you a little bit more about Gustafer’s adventures and his side kicks, so by the end of the CD you have a complete tale. You can also check out the DVD with its simply-animated cartoons that accompany the story songs and solidify the themes of friendship and acceptance.

My favorite songs on this CD have to be Panther Stamps Pants, a sad story of a lost pair of favorite pants, and Green Heart, a song that shows us the importance of others and the tyrany of selfishness. I just love how this CD can combine the silly and the significant!

You can listen to samples from this CD by clicking on the image above.

4. Ben Rudnick & Friends: A Frog Named Sam

Do you like traditional sounds, American folk, and blue grass? (I do!) Then you’ll definitely want to check out the newest album from Ben Rudnick and Friends. A Frog Named Sam is a balanced collection of old and new song styles, from the traditional Erie Canal to the light-hearted Drink It Up.

But the crown jewel of this CD has to be the title song, A Frog Named Sam. The story of a frog who moves to the city to pursue his dreams of performing music is just silly enough to be a kids’ song, while the guitar and vocals are complex enough to appeal to adult ears. And you don’t want to miss their video for A Frog Named Sam. It’s fantastic!

You can listen to samples from this CD by clicking on the image above.

5. The Brian Waite Band: 20,000 Volts Under the Sea

If you’re looking for a kid’s CD that rocks (and harnesses the power of the electric guitar), then the Brian Waite Band is for you. 20,000 Volts Under the Sea, as the name implies, follows an ocean theme and relies on sampling many different styles of music, from disco to regae, but in the end, it’s the old-school rock-and-roll sound that predominates on this CD.

Songs like Off to Atlantis City and The Electric Eel Guitar are great fun to listen to on your own—but also just as much fun to share with your kids! Don’t you just love how kids don’t care how bad a dancer you are?

You can listen to samples from this CD by clicking on the image above.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Rana June 18, 2009 at 6:14 pm

I found you through the Carnival of homeschooling blog, these CD’s sound great. I love singing along to the kids songs too. I can’t wait to check these out. Thank you for recommending them.

Amber June 22, 2009 at 12:38 pm

We just got Recess Monkey’s first album, Monkey Town – another really good one to check out!

Rent a Private Jet September 4, 2009 at 1:56 am

Great collection of CD’s My twin girls love em.

Seegj June 3, 2011 at 9:05 pm

I am a baby, kid, and pet photographer and I needed some great music to play during photo shoots. It makes it a lot more fun and some kids love to peform. I needed to get in touch with some newer music that we would all love. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you! These suggestions are right on the money.
noticed it was posted in 2009…but still applies!

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