If you’ve been following this blog long enough, you know that I have a fondness for music made for kids that appeals to adult ears. This round up is no different! Two new family music releases prove that music can be made for the entire family without compromising stellar composition.
First up is the Dark Pie Concerns of Gustafer Yellowgold. The songs are sung from the point of view of Gustafer Yellowgold (the brainchild of Morgan Taylor), who is a little yellow guy who came from the Sun. Like much of Taylor’s “Gustafer” work, the songs from this album each have their own incredible animated video, illustrated by Taylor himself. (You really should watch these! You can find the videos HERE).
Dark Pie Concerns, the seventh and last installment in the Gustafer Yellowgold series, is a food-centric album, which is right up my alley. The album opens up with “Sunny Side.” With its driving beat and double-meaning lyrics about sunny side up eggs and greeting the day with the right attitude, it’s one of my favorite tracks on the album.
The music is, in part, alternative-pop, but with a dash of “out there”-ness that defies classification. If I had to pin Gustafer Yellowgold in to one music category, I’d have to invent one called Happy Solar Funkpop.
Taylor’s music features lush and layered instrumentation reminiscent of bands I grew up loving like XTC. “Dark Pie” reminds me of the indie pop band Ivy, with its lilting melody and uptempo beat.
Perhaps the catchiest, and another personal favorite, tune on the album is “Rock Melon,” about Gustafer’s mischievous pet eel, named Rock Melon, who likes to chuck melon balls.
What I love about Taylor’s Gustafer Yellowgold music is that it never goes where I expect. There’s a sophisticated humor in the unfurling of his compositions – unusual contexts wrapped in accessible music. One minute you’re tapping your toes and humming along, and then you realize you’re singing along with Gustafer as he warbles about making objects out of tear-inducing vegetables (“One’s Onions) or serenades a fruit (“Strawberry Love”).
Other songs on the ablum include “The Brightest Beef” (a quest for the best slab of beef to slap on his black eye), “Gravy Insane” (about amazing gravy made by bats), “I Sandwich,” and the dreamy “Cinnamon Tap.”
Closing out the album is “Cakenstein” an unforgettable tune about a robot made out of cake that is a big hit on Sirius XM’s Kids Place Live.
If your child is a fan of the host of the Sprout Channel’s “Sunny Side Up Show” Tim Kubart, then they will surely get a kick out of his second family album, Home, which was released on September 25th.
Home is an album that makes me feel nostalgic about my own childhood memories, and it’s perfect for parents who prefer pop music.
The opening track “Last Turn Home” is one of my favorites, and feels like a sibling to anything the band Fun. might produce, with it’s pop drums, instrumentation, and harmonic, full-bodied chorus. “Breakfast Club” is a wakeup song with a solid dance beat that borderlines on disco. Surely, the title will strike a chord with parents of my, uh, generation, and this track features Sprout host Carly Ciarrocchi on the rap bridge.
I have fond memories of my neighborhood friends and I staging big shows for our family, and “Showtime” captures those memories perfectly. It begins with a lively drum beat, and its feel-good vibe that reminds me of Paramore’s “Ain’t it Fun.”
I love how Tim Kubart is able to create songs that are relatable to most kids’ experiences with songs like “Backyard Swinging.” What kid hasn’t had to use their imagination when there are no friends around to play with? The ballad “Moving Day” will resonate with anyone who’s ever had to move out of a much-loved and lived in home. “Biggest Brother” addresses the anticipation of a new sibling in to the family. Laurie Berkner appears on the ballad “Better,” which focuses on the importance of togetherness with a charming use of banjos and the classic indie music “Hey!” shout.
Chores are saluted in the three part series “Job at the House,” where doing the dishes, making the bed and folding laundry are discussed in short and sweet tunes.
Other tracks include “Sunday Crafternoon” (which celebrates creativity), the disco-infused “Rooms,” the lullaby musical arrangement of A.A. Milne’s “Halfway Down” and “Dancing in the Kitchen” with it’s sizzling Latin horns and percussion.
Disclosures: I was provided a copy of these products for review purposes. All opinions are 100% completely my own. Full Of It is a participant in the iTunes Affiliate Program. If you click on some of the product links above, I will receive a small commission which in turn helps run this site. Don’t fear, I only recommend tunes that I think you’ll love!