Review: Jivin' in the Jungle - Barking Gorillas

Jivin' in the Jungle is the first CD from Barking Gorillas, a two-person band from New York. It's filled with upbeat and musically diverse songs targeted at toddlers and preschoolers -- songs about riding on the train ("Riding on the Train"), fire trucks ("The Fire Truck Song") and playing all day ("Play All Day," natch).

There are parts of the CD I was less than fully enamored of -- "Spinning" uses some sort of toy piano that sets me on edge, as does "Poopie Pants." And maybe this is a personal thing, but on some songs, the lead singer's voice annoyed me.

But there are also some very worthwhile songs on the album. For example, my personal favorite, "The Park," sounds like the result of the Dead Milkmen recording a kids' song, and I mean that as a compliment -- it has a very punky energy and is lots of fun. "The Fire Truck Song" doesn't do much more than sing about fire trucks, but does that very well. And the two slow songs placed in the middle and end of the CD, are sweet, speaking more to the parents than the kids. (And, for whatever, on those slow songs, I really liked the singer's voice.)

A lot of the songs -- even the ones I didn't particularly enjoy on CD -- I can envision being lots of fun in concert with lots of kids around. In the car with just you and your wee one(s), your mileage may vary. Still, this is a promising debut album, and I look forward to hearing their next go-round. (Just lose the toy piano, please.) The album is available from CD Baby.