The following is by contributor and music reviewer Jennifer Brown.
This month I wanted to give you a surefire winner, something you could count on to immediately improve your personal music library. Then of course I realized that there’s no such thing as one size fits all when it comes to music. We all have our own personal tastes and opinions, and while I do my best to find those gems that will make parent’s ears happy—our ears are not all created equal.
So…I decided I would give you my best of three albums to kick off our new year of music together at Simple Kids. Simply because just as our ears aren’t created equal, all tracks on any one particular album aren’t created equal either.
In our house, we’ve compiled the following selections performed by contemporary artists into a playlist we lovingly call Cool Kids Rock.
The Cool Kids Rock Playlist
For the Kids
I’ll start with “For the Kids,” a various artists compilation album, which now has three versions. Our personal favorites come from album one, but you may want to check the others out to see what they have to offer. Your kids are going to love “The Hoppity Song”—it’s great for getting the wiggles out.
- Mahna Mahna by CAKE
- La La La La Lemon by Barenaked Ladies
- I’ve Got To Be Clean by Guster
- The Hoppity Song by John Ondrasik
- It’s All Right To Cry by Darius Rucker
- Sing by Ivy
- Twinkle Twinkle Little Star by Raine Maida & Chantal Kreviazuk
Mary Had a Little Amp
My next group of songs comes from a terrific little gem called “Mary Had a Little Amp,” a benefit CD released in 2004 from which the proceeds go to the People For the American Way Foundation’s Start Smart America program. We’re loving these tunes from some artists you may already find in your adult music rotation. My husband, a huge Dave Matthews fan, has been known to sing along with “Sing Along.”
- Pure Imagination by Maroon 5
- We Walk by R.E.M.
- Rainbow Connection by Dixie Chicks
- Sing Along by Blue Man Group featuring Dave Matthews
- The 3 R’s by Jack Johnson
- Anchovie by Moby
- Wild, Wild Party in the Loquat Tree by Indigo Girls
- How to Be Strong by Roseanne Cash
- When You Wish Upon a Star by Joe Henry
- Teach Your Children by Graham Nash
Muppets: The Green Album
Finally, we just picked up a new album over the holidays: “Muppets: The Green Album.” I really planned to love every track on this album, in full disclosure I’m a huge Muppet fan. But I found, while there’s nothing really wrong with any of the tracks on the album, I ended up choosing a handful of songs that would get more playing time on the playlist . The following tracks are the ones that made me want to sing along. The rest of the album is what I’d classify as a little more mellow.
- Movin’ Right Along by Alkaline Trio
- Muppet Show Theme Song by OK Go
- Bein’ Green by Andrew Bird
- Our World by My Morning Jacket
I also have to say I enjoy The Fray’s version of “Mahna Mahna” and Weezer and Haley Williams’ “The Rainbow Connection.” They are totally interchangeable with the versions I previously mentioned.
All of these songs can be found and sampled on Amazon (“Mary Had a Little Amp” is not available on iTunes). You can also check out the creative antics of the Blue Man Group featuring Dave Matthews on You Tube.
What other songs would you include on your Cool Kids Rock playlist?