Friday, April 25, 2008

Friday Free-for-All # 10

The Dino 5, Baby Loves Hip Hop

Prince Paul and members of Digable Planets, the Roots, Jurassic 5, and eMC are the featured artists on this installment of the Baby Loves Music series. Fans of Prince Paul's playful production (Stetsasonic, De La Soul) will dig this tale within a tale: Mom tells daughter a bedtime story involving the day-to-day ups and downs of five dinosaurs, backed with ridiculously catchy beats and believeably down-to-earth lyrics. Honestly, I can't see how this project can help but be a big hit, and it's no surprise Spike Lee has already optioned the Dino 5 for an animated series.

Yonah & Friends, This is the Day!

Yonah Gershator, daughter of children's book authors Phillis and David Gershator, presents musical versions of a dozen of her parents' picture books, along with six more tunes penned by mom and dad. Yonah's style, with vocal and musical assistance from Dave Hall, is more Broadway than pop, so this CD would be heard more likely in the classroom or library than on XM Radio. Teachers and Librarians could totally use this album in tandem with books like Greetings, Sun or Summer is Summer as a vocabulary exercise.

The Bummkinn Band, Rockin' the Yeehaw

Here's the thing about this CD: The music's great, no doubt about it (it's no coincidence Astrograss' Jordan Shapiro makes a big contribution to the album), but the lyrics tend to be a little self-consciously "kid music"-focused, to the point where they're on the outskirts of hokeyville. For instance, the songs "I Wanna Be a Tree" and "I Wanna Wagon Full of Roses" are standouts because they're just songs, not attempts to appeal to Hee Haw fans. Now, I'm pretty damn picky, so make sure to give this album a listen and form your own opinion. This is LA-based Bummkinn Band's second CD, and I have a feeling number three is going to be a great one.

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