Many times I am asked by parents for suggestions of supplementary music for their children other than Kindermusik. There is a lot of stuff out there – a lot of it simply noise, in my opinion. And while there is some good recorded music available for children, many of it doesn’t interest the adults in the family. It’s seen as strictly something for the kids.
I have been fortunate in the past few years to find some artists that cross over and entertain not only the kiddos, but also adults – not only parents, but aunts, uncles, grandparents, godparents, you name it!
One of the first was Elizabeth Mitchell – still probably my absolute favorite child’s recording artist, an acoustical genius. I own all of her albums and frequently have them on in my classroom while setting up for class.
Then there was Chris Karabas and the Kids Table Band as well as Suzi Shelton, both enjoyable, although geared strongly toward the listening audience of children.
Imagine my surprise recently when I learned that an alternative rock group I’ve enjoyed listening to over the years, Barenaked Ladies, or BNL for short, was releasing their first children’s album. They were asking for listeners who would be interested in receiving an advance copy for review. I was curious enough to submit my name.
Why a children’s album? Well, I’m sure that the collective number of eleven children within the group’s members had something to do with it. Either that or many nights of walking the floor with a cranky baby, singing it back to sleep! Sleep deprivation can do crazy things to the psyche!
Here’s the answer straight from the BNL website:
“Our collective kids now outnumber the band more than 2 to 1,” explains vocalist/guitarist Ed Robertson. “We set out to make a record that would be entertaining for them…not strictly a children’s record, but a record that children would really enjoy. Our kids are in to all kinds of music. They love the They Might Be Giants kids records, but they also love The Beatles, Fountains of Wayne, Randy Newman, Black Eyed Peas and Green Day. Making the focus about what our kids like was a truly liberating process and fun for the whole band.”
Snacktime is one of those albums that will definitely entertain the kids while grabbing the parents’ attention as well. Stylistically, there is a variety of music included – some that will definitely get your toes tapping. There is enough silliness to satisfy any child with enough broad humor…..wink, wink….. to make mom and dad laugh as well.
This album reminds me very strongly of the early “Muppet Shows” (by genius Jim Henson) back in the early ’80’s that we watched every Saturday night with our firstborn, ostensibly for *his* enjoyment, but also because my husband and I both enjoyed the wackiness and adult humor there that went completely over the kids’ heads. We recently watched it again on DVD and had the same reaction. Snacktime will be one of those classics as well- enjoyed by children and adults alike.
I really have a hard time picking just one or two favorites on this album. They’re all good and you can tell that these guys write from personal experience of being real parents of real children. It’s refreshing and very enjoyable.
Pushed to name which ones I listened to more than others, the first one I’d nominate is 7 8 9. (Click the arrow below to download and listen.)
Once your child gets the point of this song, you’ll be hearing, “7… 8…9, get it, Mom? Get it, Dad? 7…8….9!” I admit I’ve caught myself singing it as well.
A Word For That (Album Version) will make you laugh, and, if you’ve got a child with severe allergies like we do, Allergies (Album Version) states very clearly how you feel, trying to cope with all that entails. My 17yo daughter, Bekah, grinned and shouted “YES!” right out loud when she first heard this track. Coldplay and The Fray, step aside; Bekah’s discovered BNL.
Crazy ABC’s will catch your attention, then make you laugh out loud. How they found all those words is beyond me! And, yes, I think they *did* have too much time on their hands at that point.
For those of you who have had one of those days, or who has had a child with one of those days and in desperate need of a pity party, listen to Bad Day (Album Version).” 😀
- 7 8 9
- The Ninjas
- Pollywog In a Bog
- I Can Sing
- Louis Loon
- Food Party
- The Canadian Snacktime Trilogy :Snacktime
- Vegetable Town
- Humongous Tree
- My Big Sister
- I Don’t Like
- What a Wild Tune
- Bad Day
- A Word for That
- Crazy ABCs
- Here Comes the Geese
Wondering how you will explain some of the humor in these songs to your kids? Look no further than Youtube for an animated version of 7 8 9. It’s a western version that explains why 6 is afraid of 7. 😉
Check Snacktime out for the kids, buy it for yourself!