On her third kids music album How To Be a Cloud, Kira Willey continues, to my ears, to take tiny but graceful steps from the yoga-focused music that was the basis for her first album Dance for the Sun and second album Kings & Queens of the Forest.
All three albums feature a set of songs leading off the album, with a second series of tracks featuring most if not all of the tracks from the "front half," as it were, as the basis for a series of 2-to-3-minute pose cycles. Whereas on the first album the yoga versions of the songs were obvious, on the new album, the songs are used more often as soft backgrounds for a series of yoga poses whose relationship to the song and the lyrics than obvious.
The thing is, the poppy songs stand perfectly well on their own. Leadoff track "My Favorite Day" is a lighter-than-air confection with a surfeit of good feelings, with other tracks like "Gotta Lotta Happy" hitting the same beats. My favorite track on the album might be "Jazzy," a celebration of a girl who loves to sing and dance through her day, which sprightly moves along. Slower tracks like the title track and "When You Sleep" serve up nice counterpoints to the faster tracks. Willey also reworks her big hit "Colors" with a 75-student kindergarten choir and it's every bit as charming (albeit in a different way) as the original, solo effort.
The album will be of most interest to kids ages 3 through 7. You can listen to songs from the album here. I don't mean to put down the yoga part of the CD -- after all, my first hook into Willey's music was, as occasional yoga practitioner, that yoga part. But How To Be a Cloud shows that her music stands perfectly well on its own, no pose required. Come for the yoga, perhaps, but stay for the music. Recommended.
Note: I was given a copy of this album for possible review.