Itty-Bitty Review: Music is... Awesome! (Yo Gabba Gabba!) - Various Artists

MusicIsAwesome.jpgI am perhaps not the best person to judge a Yo Gabba Gabba compilation, as I've never seen a complete episode aside from the premiere I received on a screener DVD a few years back. (That's what a lack of cable will do.) A soundtrack album -- that's pitched at the true believers, not at the casual fans, right? So, if anything, I started listening expecting not to like it so much.

Wrong. Even if you've never watched an episode and don't know your Brobee from your Muno, you and your preschoolers could definitely enjoy their new compilation Music is... Awesome!. For the most part, the disk alternates songs from the series with those from a list of artists with serious street cred; often they're set up as pairs. So a basic YGG song like "I Like to Dance" is followed up by Beastie Boys collaborator Money Mark doing a cool "Robo Dancing," an angular dance tune with lots of bleeps and bloops. "Don't Be Afraid" is followed by I'm From Barcelona's swirly pop on "Just Because It's Different Doesn't Mean Its Scary." Generally, the best songs are from the guest artists -- the Roots' incredible "Lovely, Love My Family" or Chromeo's funky ode to handwashing "Nice 'N' Clean" or the sunny "Hey, Won't Somebody Come and Play" from The Little Ones (a song which is destined to find its way onto a lot of hipster mix CDs yet is somehow totally appropriate for the 3-year-old in your life). But there are a few decent songs from the YGG folks, even if you're not a fan of the show (the cute "Party in my Tummy," or the shiny pop of "You Can't Always Get What You Want," credited to the Yo Dazzlers, but really just another YGG tune).

You can find the 37-minute CD at the usual places, including Amazon and iTunes. Besides your hipster 30-year-old friend with the chunky eyeglass frames, the album's most appropriate for kids ages 2 through 5.

I'd love to say that Music is... Awesome! is awesome. Unfortunately I can't pull the trigger on that obvious pull quote as some of the YGG tunes are just too dry to enjoy apart from the visuals. But a lot of the music is indeed awesome, which makes it the kids music compilation of the year. Definitely recommended.