Review: Dream Big! - Roger Day

DreamBig.jpgLet's get the negative out of the way right from the get-go: "Turn Off the TV" might just be the worst kids' song you'll hear this year. Not only is it very "you should do this," it's also done in a faux-rap style. The combination may just make your kids want to turn off the CD player and turn on the TV for several hours watching Spike TV or something.

OK. I've gotten that out of my system. It's not really the worst kids' song you'll hear this year -- certainly not the worst one I've heard this year. But it sticks out like a big ol' sore thumb on what is otherwise a pretty strong collection of kids' pop from Tennessee-based Roger Day on his third and just-released CD, Dream Big!.

Day can craft decent kid-friendly pop tunes, and there are a number worth enjoying here. "I Like Yaks!" is a goofy little ditty which uses the percussive stylings of master percussionist Billy Jonas. Day also does a good job with character studies or studies. One of the best tracks is "Happy Hippos Hopping," a lilting mid-tempo story song about hippos playing (while the parents watch out for crocodiles). "Zachary Hated Bumblebees" is a simple tune of sorts relating the tale of poor Zachary which uses a string quartet to good effect.

On one song after another, Day puts together well-sung lyrics and catchy melodies. For those of you looking for grit in your CDs, Day is not your man -- the lyrics are uplifting through and through (save for the snotty -- literally -- bonus track). The title track is almost too vague in its exhortation to "dream big!," but there are certainly way more vapid things to shout along in a catchy chorus. Day generally avoids the saccharine pits that musicians making overtly positive music sometimes fall into. Even though Day is very good at what he does, as with artists and bands like Joe McDermott and Milkshake, what he does won't resonate with every family, while others find him an essential component of their library.

The music here will be most appropriate for kids ages 4 through 9. You can hear samples at the album's CD Baby page as well as at Day's music page.

So, "Turn Off the TV" aside, Dream Big! is a nice collection of kid-friendly pop tunes with positive messages. Unless that description makes you run away with your fingers in your ears, then you'll want to give the CD a spin. Recommended.