I’ve said it before, but I’m a huge fan of introducing kids to music. The caveat? I think it should be quality music. Sure, we sing plenty of “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”, but that’s not what I want to listen to when the radio is on. And nothing bothers me more than music that is dumbed down for the kids (a la Baby Einstein). So, when I was offered the chance to review Funky Kids, I was a bit skeptical. With a cutesy-sounding name and kid-faves like “Hokey Pokey” and “Froggy Went A Courtin’” there was certainly the possibility of a mind-numbing mess.
Not so! From the very first strains of Bonerama’s “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” I was in love. Funky Kids contains a dozen intelligent kid-friendly tunes, all performed in jazzy New Orleans styles. Each song is interpreted by a different artist or band and they certainly have their own flavors. Some of my favorites include a tender version of “If I Only Had a Brain” by Paul Sanchez and a gritty “Froggy Went A Courtin’” with The Radiators. Just about every song gets me (oh-and my kids!) tapping my toes and singing along.
As with almost any album, there are a few songs I could do without. The most notable is “Zip a Dee Doo Dah” which needs a bit more “zip” to help me have “a wonderful day.” I was also disappointed by “The Garden Song” which is one of our favorite folk songs to sing around here. The lead singer, Amanda Shaw, sounds like she had a day cold that day (although she still sings better than I do!).
Funky Kidz is one of those CDs I will highly recommend to friends and will most likely end up on my gift-giving list for years to come. Not only is the music fantastic, but a portion of the proceeds from each album goes towards education and music programs for children. Can’t beat that!