Artist: Boxtop Jenkins
Album: You're Happier When You're Happy!
Age Range: 3 to 7
Description: If you're going to title your album "You're Happier When You're Happy," you darn well better deliver an album that makes listener happy (or happier). And on his debut, floppy-eared Boxtop Jenkins, the creation of singer-songwriter Franklin Bunn and producer Glenn Matullo, do indeed. "Wag More," featuring the Indigo Girls, from which the album title is cribbed, is a perfect dog-based attitude correction, while the take on "Five Little Monkeys" with Shawn Mullins enlivens a song that often gets boring long before that last monkey falls off the bed. The album covers a broad stylistic range (swing on "Swingin' Monkeys" or spooky on "Rattlin' Rattlin' Bones") but as you might expect from the presence of the Indigo Girls and Mullins, it hovers around an earthy folk-alt-rock sound. (Listen to the album here.) With Bunn currently living in Germany, it makes it hard for Boxtop to fully participate in the American kindie scene, but I know that he and Matullo are trying hard to get Boxtop in front of more North American ears. I hope they succeed, because this album could have a lot of fans. Recommended.