Top 10 Kids Albums of 2010

Cake For Dinner, Flannery Brothers, The Not-its, Recess Monkey, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, Okee Dokee Brothers, Brian Vogan, Caspar Babypants, Justin Roberts, The Pop Ups, John Hadfield, Rhymatist, Sweet Colleens

It’s that time of year, so why wouldn’t I write a Top 10 list? I started writing reviews in June because I wanted a copy of the new Justin Roberts record. Never in a million years did I think I would enjoy kids music so much.

Why kids music? Why not? It’s what I grew up on and what I want my daughter listening to. I wouldn’t take my daughter to an R-rated movie or have her watch Desperate Housewives, so why would I have her listen to adult music? She’ll appreciate The Jayhawks or a De La Soul record when the time is right. I’m not going to force my music on her. Let her enjoy and connect to music that is meant for her. It doesn’t hurt that a lot of these records, are enjoyable even when she’s not in the car.

So of all the albums I’ve gotten since June, here are my Top 10 kids albums of 2010. Click on the album title to read my full review:

10. Cake for Dinner – Cake for Dinner: A musical adventure around the world.
9. Flannery Brothers – New Explorers Club: Unabashed fun.
8. The Not-Its – Time Out to Rock: 90’s era alt-rock for kids.
7. Recess Monkey – The Final Funktier: Fun, funky, 80’s New Wave pop for kids
6. Secret Agent 23 Skidoo – Underground Playground: Kid-Hop. Empowering to kids.
5. Okee Dokee Brothers – Take It Outside: Bluegrass never sounded better.
4. Brian Vogan – Sing a Little Song: A well rounded album from start to finish.
3. Caspar Babypants – This is Fun: That’s exactly what this album is.
2. Justin Roberts – Jungle Gym: Once again, Justin Roberts delivers the goods.
1. The Pop Ups – Inside Outside: A brilliant debut record in any genre.

Honorable mention: Keller Williams, Sweet Colleens.

Any of these albums would make a great Christmas present. Don’t want to buy an entire album? (Shame on you, but I understand the reason) At a minimum get your hands on these 10 songs: (links go to itunes page)

10. No Beans, No Brownies – Sweet Colleens
9. What We Got – Okee Dokee Brothers
8. Say It Loudly – The Not-its
7. Mama Tooted – Keller Williams
6. Beat-Box-Robot – Recess Monkey
5. Baby and the Animals – Caspar Babypants
4. Gray Dog – Brian Vogan
3. Gym Class Parachute – Justin Roberts
2. Road Trip – Secret Agent 23 Skidoo
1. Subway Train – The Pop Ups

Honorable mention

The Rhymatist - The Counting Song
John Hadfield - Bookmobile Submarine.

Now the only reason I don’t advocate buying singles is this: Most bands make their $$ touring and most kids artists have real, full-time jobs, making it difficult for them to tour a lot. So they make most of their money from CD sales. In addition, itunes takes roughly 30% of that .99 cents you pay for a download. So these artists are putting out a quality product, the least you can do is make it financially beneficial to them so they can keep doing it. Buy the entire album directly from their websites.

Lastly, please pester local venues to book some of these artists. Summerfest (Kids Fest?), Turner Hall, Shank Hall, I’m talking to you. If you book them, people will come.

Ok, I’m off my soapbox. Happy Holidays and enjoy listening to some great kids music.

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