Kansas City's Krista Tatschl Eyler -- AKA Funky Mama -- has been laying low in the kids' music world for a few years since the release of her previous album Sing! in 2010, but she's back in fine vocal form on her new album 10.
The album title is a recognition that 2015 marks the ten-year anniversary of the release of her first album in 2005. But this is no retrospective of an album. Instead, these ten tracks (appropriate, that) are celebratory. It's nice to have her voice back in kids music -- Shawana Kemp of Shine and the Moonbeams is the only kids music artist who can belt out a song like Eyler can. Eyler has a powerhouse voice and the best songs here take advantage of that. "Action, Friends, Action!" is a horn-drenched movement song that demands movement from anyone within listening distance, while on "Safe Seat" is a blues-drenched song sung from the perspective of a student who just can't sit still (and might have gotten in trouble a few times at school for it). She brings in some local guest artists to good effect -- Sugar Free Allstars' Chris Wiser funky organ on "Gonna Be Alright" and Rappin' Roy Scott's vocals on "Dance!" work particularly well.
The album and its kid-targeted subjects (e.g., dogs eating homework, the joys of eating corn, dancing) will be most appropriate for kids ages 4 through 8. 10 doesn't reinvent any kids music formulas, but one listen may remind that there's room for all sorts of kindie musicians, including those who know how to belt out a tune without fluttering off into American Idol silliness. Recommended.
Note: I received a copy of the album for possible review.