Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Best Children's Music of 2008

2008 was an amazing year for children's music, as new bands and established artists continued to push creative boundaries. Here are my top choices for best children's music of 2008:

1. Frances England - Family Tree

The perfect combination of style, subject, and performance. Frances knows exactly how to write songs to kids, almost like she's channeling the thoughts that go through the heads of our little ones.

2. Secret Agent 23 Skidoo - Easy
Finally, a well-produced, well-performed hip hop album for kids that actually sounds like hip hop, is kid-centered, and isn't dumbed down.

3. Gunnar Madsen - I'm Growing
If I were looking for a songwriter to compose tunes for a Broadway musical for kids, this is the guy I'd pick. An amazing array of music and lyrics.

4. Randy Kaplan - Loquat Rooftop
Storytelling via song, par excellence. Kaplan's unique cover song choices and intimate delivery make his second kids' album a truly rewarding listening experience for the whole family.

5. The Terrible Twos - Jerzy the Giant
The New Amsterdams record their second kids' album under their children's music moniker The Terrible Twos, and, to the advantage of kids and their families, seem to be saving their best songs for their youngest fans.

6. Recess Monkey - Tabby Road
The fourth kids' album from these Beatle-worshiping educators from Seattle. And the thing is, they just keep getting better!

7. Sunflow - Under the Stars
Best "Naptime" album of the year. If Harry Nilsson wrote the music to the daydreams in your head, this is what it would sound like.

8. Barenaked Ladies - Snack Time!
BNL's first foray into the kids' music world features their trademark humor and between-the-lines wit. Plus lots of radio-friendly pop music!

9. Brian Vogan - Little Songs
Warm, friendly, and funny rock and folk songs from Seattleite Brian Vogan. One of the best rookie kids' albums in a while.

10. Little Miss Ann - Clap for Love
A combination of subtle socially conscious messages and rousing covers and originals lets kids know that they can have fun and get involved at the same time. A great sophomore album from Chicago's Ann Torralba.

Instead of ranking any more albums, I've simply listed below some of my favorite children's CDs of 2008, all of which deserve a spin on any family's record player. Enjoy!

Astrograss - Let Me Stay Up All Night
Baby Loves Hip Hop - Dino 5
Board of Education - Board of Education
Joel Caithamer - The Biggest Everything in the World
Matt Clark - Funny Little Fella
Daddy A Go Go - Rock of All Ages
Kimya Dawson - Alphabutt
Harmonica Pocket - Ladybug One
The Jellydots - Changing Skies
Lisa Loeb - Camp Lisa
me3 - "The Thin King"
Medeski Martin & Wood - Let's Go Everywhere
Mr. Leebot - Activate!
Putumayo Kids - African Dreamland
Justin Roberts - Pop Fly
Peter Rundquist - Bug Feathers
Danielle Sansone - Two Flowers
ScribbleMonster - Songs with No Character
Spanglish Wrangler - Spanglish Sing-Along!
They Might Be Giants - Here Come the 123s
Various Artists - Funky Kidz
Dan Zanes - Nueva York!


Anonymous said...

We can't thank you enough for being so kind! What an exciting way to end 2008! Thanks Warren!

stacey said...

Our favourite this year is Bobs and Lolo's Action Packed, their third album. They're the ones that I keep listening to in the car after I drop my son off!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting your favorites! I love to hear good recommendations...

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