Seattle's Brian Vogan released his family music debut album Little Songs in 2008; though I never reviewed it here, it was not without its charms. (It also spawned an amazingly cute video for its song "That's How a Pumpkin Grows".) For his follow-up, Vogan recruited a new band, the Good Buddies. The result, Sing a Little Song, is a strong second album, fuller in sound, and more confident in its stories.
The songs here are still somewhat movement-oriented, reflecting Vogan's experience in preschool music programs. But they're more fleshed out here -- the leadoff "How To Fly" starts off as a very simple movement song, but by the time that Visqueen's Rachel Flotard joins in, and then the full band and synthesized strings, it becomes a very catchy movement song. Standard kids music subjects show up here -- counting ("27"), vehicles ("Tow Truck"), dinosaurs (uh, "Dinosaurs") -- but there's enough of a unique take (numbers 1 through 20 get barely cursory notice, for example) to hold the interest of a listener who's heard enough of the standard take. He pulls out a couple long narrative songs (the aforementioned "Dinosaurs" and "Last Thanksgiving," featuring the world's largest turkey). He wraps up everything in an indiepop sheen (I particularly adore "Gray Dog") with enough attention to detail (the car sounds on "Cross the Street") to stand up to repeated spins.
The songs are still targeted mostly at preschoolers, so it's most appropriate for kids ages 3 through 7. You can hear clips at the album's CD Baby page or "How To Fly" at his Facebook page. Sing A Little Song is fun, effectively translating preschool circle-time topics into full-fledged pop-rock for the home or car or, hey, maybe even preschool dance time. Recommended.