By Missye K. Clarke
This isn’t your ordinary Kidz Bop™ CD. If unfamiliar with these, they’re the karaoke-esque teenybopper music made bubble-gum funk from the croonings of Kelly Clarkson, Jesse McCarthy or Jay-Z you see advertised on Cartoon Network or The Disney Channel between Danny Phantom or Kim Possible reruns.
When former Doobie Brother and multi Grammy winner Michael McDonald sings praises about a kids’ CD on the other hand, you know it has to be good.
Singer/songwriter Lanny Sherwin’s “Turn Up the Music!” CD collection is just flat-out phunky. Cut after cut of sweet melodies and original songs that the little one in your life surely won’t be disappointed with. His “Dream With Me Tonight” title track gently eases Junior into an easy nap or a works as a great comfort after a nasty nightmare. Or, try on “Monster Masher” to chase those night terrors back under the bed and in the closet. Lovely, powder light “Moondreams” is worthy of airplay on a contemporary jazz radio station or satellite radio and “It’s Not Fair” explains in the key of Concert A that, if you saw life from a spaceship, what a perspective that would be.
Wide awake, the kids are on a rainy Saturday morning? Entertain the under 10 crowd with “Turn Up the Music!” track of “A Cappella” (a sweet and perky way to pay tribute to Take 6 and Rockapella) or “Billy’s Birthday” and the “Lima Beans & Liver” jingle will have you retelling your birthday party memories or your kids tales of you giving your sprouts to the dog or hiding untouched black-eyed peas (the beans, not the funk group) in a napkin to feed to starving kids in Ethopia (and we thought we were doing something honorable!).
So, what’s so fab about “Turn Up The Music!”? Says Sherwin, “We try to write and produce children’s music that appeals to the kids as well as to their parents, grandparents, and teachers. This sounds simple – and many children’s’ CDs make that claim – but it takes a thoughtful blending of creativity, tenderness, humor, sophistication, and consistency to pull it off. I truly want moms and dads to love the music as much as, if not more than, their kids. We parents who have to listen to the music over and over and over again … that’s why I always try to follow our motto: DON’T DRIVE PARENTS CRAZY!”
Sherwin’s tapped into a market that most songwriters and musicians haven’t melded with ease as he has: a lovely musical gumbo of taste, humor, originality with a catchy melody, and sing a tune of familiarity: we all were kids, too. Now being parents of preteen kids, they want to sing and listen to stuff we wanted to sing and listen to when we were their age … and like us then, the sophistication of music’s not lost on them, now. This is why sing-a-longs like “Monster Masher” and “Lima Beans & Liver” will no doubt raise a reminiscent smile to a parents face … and a glint of understanding to a kid’s eye, knowing they have a Get Out of Chipped Beef Free card they will play, indubitably.
Geared to ages four to nine (my 8 year old son Jordan loves both CDs), girls and boys alike will go for the award-winning collection. To Sherwin’s credit, his “Music!” collection’s harvested great reviews from consumer groups like www.PreschoolEducation.com, The Los Angeles Times, www.BabyUniversity.com, www.Kidzmusic.com, Jeff Jacobs of Borders Books & Music and Amy Campbell of Child Care Business resoundly love the CDs and solid endorsements from Parent’s Choice Award, the NAPPA Gold Award, and Creative Child Magazine’s Seal of Excellence.
For expectant friends residing or parents of little ones living overseas, go to www.logicaltoys.com for this CD collection and other gifts for the discerning youngster. Be sure to visit www.sandmanrecords.net’s online store to order the CDs, retailed by your state venue–New York State residents can visit North Shore Gift Baskets in Westbury, Long Island–or visit www.CDBaby.com, www.LearningExpress.com, www.BarnesandNoble.com, or www.BestBuy.com for Sherwin’s listing there.
And hey, kids, move the jeans/neatest beats you’ve ever seen/Move your feet like on the movie screen/And Rock ON!