Artist: Alphabet Rockers
Album: The Playground Zone
Age Range: 3 to 7
Description: On this brief (17-minute) EP, the Bay Area hip hop musicians Kaitlin McGaw and Tommy Shepherd wear the educational mission they have lightly. Yes, they sing songs about encouraging fair play on the playground ("Players' Life") and skin color ("Gimme Some Skin"), but it sounds way better than most kids' songs that tackle similar topics. Since first joining the kindie scene more than 5 years ago, the Rockers have gradually broadened their musical sound -- it's still hip hop, to be sure, but the musical bed (and beats) on which the rhymes lie is fuller and richer. (Fans of old school hip hop are definitely welcome.) And while I respect their educational mission, it's tracks like the dance-encouraging "Wiggle Jiggle" that make me hope Kaitlin and Tommy will throw in the occasional goofy track or plain story just for kicks. (You can listen to the album here.) Recommended.
Note: I was provided a copy of this album for possible review.