When I say that Wag Your Tail, Jamie Barnett's third, recently-released album of kids music is gentle, don't mistake that for bland. As with his previous CD, Just Look At You (review), on his new disk the California-based Barnett rarely rocks, but there's beauty of different sorts there.
Sure, there might be a lead single of sorts in the almost-peppy "Waterbottle," with its catchy chorus ending in the delightfully tongue-pleasing phrase "Packed myself a snack sack / Put in my backpack / Got a water bottle / Full of water." For the most part, however, Barnett is content to explore the gentler side of life, like the ecosystem around a single tree ("This Tree"), pets (the title track) or tiny pleasures ("Lemonade"). The music will remind you a bit of John Prine or perhaps John Hiatt, though with about 1% of the trials and tribulations their music brings to mind. The album concludes with 4 traditional songs designed for singing along and playing along. If they don't quite fit with the production on the rest of the album, they do fit philosophically with Barnett's sing-along approach (as with the prior CDs, Barnett's kids and friends join in on the fun throughout the disk). Think of it as a separate EP appended to the end of the disk.
The 46-minute album's most appropriate for kids ages 3 through 7. You can hear clips at the album's CDBaby page. With Wag Your Tail, Barnett isn't making any great artistic statement other than appreciating the world we live in on a daily basis. Which, come to think of it, isn't a bad artistic statement to make. Recommended.