Artist: Rock 'n' Rainbow
Album: Let's Boogie
Age Range: 3 through 7
Description: File this in the "don't judge a book by its cover" file -- the cacophony of colors on the cover of this album set off all sorts of warning sounds in my head, making me leery that I was in for a cheesy third-rate glam-inspired version of other preschool bands in color-coordinated outfits you may have heard of.
But once I put the CD in my player, I was pleasantly surprised. The band is the brainchild of Mike Whitla, who runs Rainbow Songs, an early childhood music education program in Toronto, and has released 6 other kids music albums. He's brought together other Toronto musicians and producer Tor Hyams to give these songs a slick sheen. Some of the songs ("Hands Together, Hands Apart," "That Is the Right Hand") are clearly intended to be movement-oriented songs -- they're well done, but they're not necessarily unique. Some songs, however, are pure brilliance, like the album opener "I Like To Ride My Bike," which musically references Queen's song of nearly the same title and then proceeds to out-Queen Queen in its over-the-top production. The Ramones-referencing "I Can't Fly" and the funky "Five Senses" also transcend their origins -- they're just plain fun.
The best way to listen to songs from the 45-minute album is on Whitla's YouTube channel. Let's Boogie is energetic and a different spin on a lot of early childhood music education music. For families looking for a slightly glitter-infused take on music for their kindergarteners, this could fill that niche well. Recommended.
Note: I received a copy of this album for possible review.