Wednesday, November 02, 2011
I'm a sucker for good kids' music, and when I say "good" I mean music that has great songs for the kids to enjoy, but also has things I enjoy. So yes, good is very subjective! ...But really, you can't go wrong with Slugs &Bugs, and I'm thrilled that the new album, Slugs & Bugs Under Where? is now out.
I've been trying to find the right word to sum up why I like the Slugs & Bugs music as much as I do...and there's no one word. The songs are whimsical, catchy, hilarious, lovely, thought-provoking, simple, deep--any of these words will describe one or more of the songs. There's a childlike innocence that permeates the songs, but there are truths that pop out and whop this "grown up" over the head. Random silliness is set beside moments of eye-opening truth, just like my everyday life with my kids. My kids love the tunes, and we all can sing them, elaborate on them, etc. In the past year since discovering Slugs & Bugs & Lullabies, I've happily spread it around to infect friends' and family's children. I apologize if you've been a recipient (well, actually, I don't!).
One of the things I've loved about both the first album, and even more the newest, is the broad spectrum of musical styles. I like variety, and appreciate it, though unfortunately I'm not educated enough to define all of it--I just know it's well done. In Slugs & Bugs Under Where? Randy Goodgame, along with a host of talented artists, incorporates (to name a few) New Orleans street jazz, Asian themes, African themes, classical, klezmer, Beach Boys, arena rock and Queen. And some of those are all in one song, "Mexican Rhapsody," that you can listen to here.
The touch is light. Don't expect the glitz and rock of Go Fish, which, speaking of, my kids and I like. Their lyrics are great, and we love to bop around to it now and then. But their tag line, "Great music for kids that won't drive parents bonkers," just doesn't apply to me. After one listen-through of an album, I'm done or I will go bonkers. It's just not my style. On the other hand, the deceptive simplicity of Slugs & Bugs keeps me, my husband, and my kids coming back for more. The other day my four-year-old wanted to hear Go Fish, so we had an album on for a run-through. I couldn't help but smile later, though, when she trotted around repeatedly singing, not a Go Fish lyric, but "Rooster, rooster, rooster, you're a cockadoodle-dooster," from Slugs & Bugs "Mexican Rhapsody." Tonight it was "I am very, very capable of anger.... Tell it to Jesus, he already knows. Tell it to Jesus, before it grows." ...I think I've mentioned in a previous post that I'm fully in favor of brainwashing my children....
So if you're looking for a treat for your kids (and whole family) for Christmas, these are some albums worth getting.