Simple Kids Music Review: Dance for the Sun by Kira Willey

The following is by music reviewer Jennifer Brown.

This month I’m continuing my “wish list” series from January with Dance for the Sun by Kira Willey.  I purchased this album during the dark days of winter and it continues to be a source of brightness as the summer sun shines bright through my window as I write today.

Dance for the Sun

I was initially drawn to Dance for the Sun after hearing the song “Colors” which some of you may recognize as a Dell advertisement theme song.  I was pleasantly surprised that we love the rest of the album just about as much as “Colors”—an adorable song about expressing how you feel based on which color you are today.

I am still taken with the idea of being “bright and happy purple,” “chirping with joy green” or “hopping mad like a playground ball red.”

This song is a terrific example of how Kira’s lyrics are packed with vivid and descriptive imagery, and I almost always ask to repeat this song when it comes on in our car; it’s really that beautiful and captivating.

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What We’re Listening To: Family Time

Earlier this year I wrote about our family’s new music wish list for the year, and this month I’d like to present the first review from that list.  Since Simple Kids is talking about family relationships this month, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to review Family Time by Ziggy Marley.

I was initially intrigued by this album when hearing the song “Walk Tall,” a collaboration with Paul Simon, that’s simply fun & singable.  My three-year-old was singing along almost immediately to this simply repetitive tune about holding your head high and trying new things again.  While it’s fair to say that’s still probably our favorite song from the album, it’s definitely also representative of the collection as a whole—both fun & singable.

Reggae for the Family

Family Time is best described as reggae for the family, with a sweet collection of songs that have definite childlike overtones with “ABC” and “Ziggy Says” (his own musical taken on Simon Says) to songs that are equally enjoyable by a listener of any age such as “This Train,” “Take Me to Jamaica” and the title track “Family Time.”

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Music Review: Dan Zanes Concert DVD and a Surprising New Find

Don’t you just love when something both free & fun arrives in your inbox?  Last week I was pleasantly surprised to see such a surprise in my own inbox and it made the perfect bonus content for this month’s review—read on to learn more!

Dan Zanes

But first, I’d like to introduce you to Dan Zanes. You may already know him as a very popular and successful children’s music artist, but he’s one our family had not tried out until recently.  On one of our last trips to the library Dan Zanes & Friends – All Around the Kitchen! Crazy Videos & Concert Songs! was out for display with a cover that just said fun.  Knowing that Mr. Zanes was someone we wanted to try out we decided to give this DVD a whirl.

We don’t watch a lot of TV in our house so my three-year-old was ecstatic about having a new “movie.”  At the same time I was ecstatic about being able to try out a new children’s music artist and put my swollen, pregnant feet up on the couch for 30 minutes.  We were both pleasantly surprised by our choice to give this band a try.

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What We’re Listening to March: Music Together, adding Rhythm to Your Days

At Simple Kids this month we’re talking about rhythms and routines and as the resident music reviewer, I thought what better way to add a little more rhythm to your life than with a music class?

My son was less than a year old when we attended our first Music Together class, and it was a fabulous experience for both of us.  As a new mom, it was a great way to get out of the house and actually feel like I was doing something with my baby.  We did nothing more than sing, dance and play instruments with other moms and kids, but this early music exposure helped make music an integral part of our family’s rhythm.
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What We’re Listening To: New Year, New Music

Jennifer returns today with suggestions for your family’s playlist for the coming year . . .

It’s officially a new year and I feel certain our family will be looking for some new music to brighten those gray winter days.  I plan to allot a portion of gift money we received for Christmas to add to our music collection, and I would love to have your help!   I’ve so enjoyed sharing some of my favorite artists with you over the past few months and reading what tunes and artists your family enjoys.  You have inspired me with your comments and suggestions to reach wider to find more great music I can share with you.

So, here’s a preview of what I hope to add to our household’s collection this year (and subsequently review for you!).  After reading through our wish list, I invite you to share what’s on your family’s wish list for 2010.  In the meantime I wish you many moments of happy listening in the New Year!

Our 2010 Music Wish List

* Dance for the Sun by Kira Wiley I recently heard the song “Colors” off of this album and am in love!  I can’t wait to hear more!

* Here Comes Science by They Might Be Giants If you read my first review, you’ll know I’m a big fan of this band & their music for kids.  We haven’t added their latest album to our collection yet, but definitely will in 2010.  One of my friends said she thought it was the best yet!

* Something from Putumayo Kids There are so many terrific choices, I can’t decide which one to add next, but we’ll definitely get one of these.

* Family Timeby Ziggy Marley I recently saw this featured in one of my parenting magazines and upon checking it out on was pleasantly surprised to find it contains some great collaborations including “Walk Tall” with Paul Simon.  This is a song we happened to have heard on the radio and was able to sing along with after one listen!  I hope to find the rest of the album just as enjoyable.

* A New Lullaby Since we’re expecting a new baby in our home later this spring, I’ll be on the hunt for a new lullaby album to add to our collection.  I don’t have any particular one I have my eye on yet, but I’d love to hear your suggestions!  I’ll be sure to review the lullabies we have enjoyed later this year.

What would you add to this list? What is on your family’s musical wish list for the coming year? What music are you enjoying this winter?