My Favorite (and the Best?) Kids Music of 2016

In past years, I have written a lot about my favorite kids music over the prior year -- here's my summary of the best kids music of 2015 -- but the past year or so has been more challenging for me in terms of writing reviews of kids music.  That doesn't mean that I still haven't been listening to a lot of kids music, just that I haven't felt compelled to share my thoughts about it as much.

I did, of course, submit my votes for the annual Fids and Kamily Awards I co-coordinate, and sadly I've never actually listed my albums here.  You can read all about the 2016 Fids and Kamily Award winners here, but for posterity's sake I feel compelled to list my own ballot, even if the eligibility window closed on Sept. 30, 2016, several months ago.  (As you look at the list below, you'll note that I was not big into distinctions this year -- a lot of ties.)

A lot of my overall thoughts for the year match those of the prior year -- lots of great music, but a feeling that I wasn't introduced to as many new artists as I have in years past.  And the changing economics I discussed in my 2015 summary continue apace -- I believe it is increasingly more difficult for artists to make a musical living in this genre unless they diversify greatly and move beyond album sales and touring in purely entertainment settings.  When everything is available on Spotify, you have to find your tribe, and I'm not sure if Spotify (and streaming generally) helps or hurts in that regard.

In any case, this is late enough as it is, so enough of my yappin', let's boogie!

1.  Explorer of the World - Frances England

2.  Why? - They Might Be Giants

3. (tie)  Are You Listening? - The Not-Its

3. (tie)  Phineas McBoof Crashes the Symphony - Doctor Noize

5. (tie) Infinity Plus One - Secret Agent 23 Skidoo

5. (tie) Music Is Everywhere - Mista Cookie Jar

5. (tie) Ear Snacks: Songs from the Podcast - Andrew & Polly

5. (tie) Mi Viaje: De Nuevo León to the New York Island - Sonia De Los Santos

5. (tie) Wake Up and Sing - Red Yarn

5. (tie) Owl Singalong - Raffi