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Kids' Music That Doesn't Suck


Kidzapalooza CD


Children’s music can be a tad intimidating. It’s not like you pick up good kids’ jams by turning on the radio or flipping through your friend’s iPod. And there’s always a very frightening possibility that the music will be annoying as hell but your kids will just adore it. That's when you're in serious trouble. (You may start contemplating such existential questions as, “Can one wear ear plugs while driving?” BTW, the answer’s no!)

That’s why I recommend this album of children’s tunes from various artists, Kidzapalooza. Several rockers make an appearance on this funky, genre-spanning disc, like Lisa Loeb and Perry Farrell of Jane’s Addiction. It’s a great introduction to the best kids’ music out there, and it is far from annoying.

The crazy thing about this disc is that the best tunes are definitely from the seasoned kids’ vets, not the rockers giving it “star power.” The Jimmies (who have a GREAT musical DVD coming in November) start it off hard and catchy. Lunch Money brings the silly, catchy pop jams that they’re known for with the wonderfully titled “A Cookie as Big as My Head.” Zach Gill has a chilled, Jack Johnson-esque easiness in his sweet addition to the compilation, “Back in the Day.” Follow that with a punk rock version of “Skip to My Lou” -- hey, it’s music edumacation! -- and you’ll see just how far-reaching kids’ tunes can be.

The low point of the album for me? Lisa Loeb’s overly cutesy, overly preachy track, “In the Details.” She killed the message by shouting it too much. Nonetheless, this a great collection of kids’ music. Highly recommended!