Lemonade School

I wrote about David Tobocman’s debut CD two years ago.

It was good. Really good. And it had one song, “Home,” that approached greatness.

That’s a tough act to follow, but Tobocman doesn’t miss a beat on Lemonade School, his second album of kids’ music.

It’s a completely engaging collection of songs played in a variety of styles, from Count Basie-style swing to Beatles-inspired pop. In fact, Tobocman starts off the album with a spirited bluegrass rendition of The Beatles’ “Hello, Goodbye,” a daunting task that he pulls off with style.

From there, Tobocman shows off his strength as a master storyteller with clever songs like “Ice Cream on a Hot Dog,” “Mom is a Rock Star,” and “The Neighborhood.”

The showpiece here is the title track, an instant classic about a boy named Horatio, who works hard to develop the perfect lemonade recipe. It’s a fun message about persevering and achieving your dreams that any child can learn from.

Tobocman’s easy-going vocal stylings, coupled with the charming lyrics and pristine production, will appeal to all ages, from toddlers right up through the jaded middle school set.

My family highly recommends Lemonade School. It’s easily one of the best kids’ albums of the year.

You can hear samples, and buy the album, at Tobocman’s website.

CD Review: Leeny and Tamara

My kids and I have become rather tough critics of children’s music lately.

We hear more than most people, and after awhile much of it starts to sound the same.

So, we sit up and take notice when something different and fresh arrives in our mailbox.

That’s the case with Leeny and Tamara’s new CD, Sharing The Same Stars. Their music is charming and thoughtful, with hummable melodies, pristine studio production, and countless little touches that will make both you and your kids smile.

Leeny and Tamara first met in the early 90’s at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, where they were both songwriting students. Nearly twenty years later, they finally got together to write and perform this amazing kids album.

Their lyrics are geared toward kids ten and under, with topics that both teach and entertain. One of our favorite songs is “Hold It,” a wistful tune about having to pee really bad. We’ve all been there.

Another standout is “I Used To Be Shy,” a thoughtful little tale of overcoming childhood shyness set to a bouncy pop melody. I can completely identify with lyrics like “It may be hard to believe that things can change, With every brave little step you take, Today will be easier than yesterday.”

Most of this album is a mix of piano pop and guitar rock, with a touch of new wave, country, and rockabilly spread throughout. Leeny and Tamara beautifully harmonize from beginning to end.

You can listen for yourself at their website, where they have streaming samples of all their songs.

Leeny and Tamara have produced a wonderful set of songs that will please you and your kids for many years. Sharing The Same Stars receives my family’s highest recommendation!

They were kind enough to send me a copy of this CD to give away to one of my readers. If you’d like to win Leeny and Tamara’s CD, leave a comment on this post. I’ll pick a winner next weekend!

CD Review: Locksley

Last month I made my 5-year-old daughter a mix CD of Beatles songs that span their entire career. I quickly noticed that she kept hitting the repeat button after the early tunes, like She Loves You and A Hard Day’s Night, with all their hand claps, harmonies, and jangly guitars.

So she’s a little Beatlemaniac now, but it’s not necessarily the band she cares about… It’s the sound.

I love that early 60’s, British Invasion sound too, and am always interested when a modern band tries to imitate it. Most of the time they come off sounding like just another tribute group.

That’s not the case with Brooklyn-based band Locksley. Their debut CD, Don’t Make Me Wait, is an irresistible blend of power pop and Mersey Beat that sounds totally fresh and exciting. This is not kids’ music. It’s everybody music. Joyfully uncomplicated toe-tapping tunes that are just plain fun.

My family highly recommends Locksley!

Have a listen:

Locksley – “The Past And The Present”

Or have a look:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IjgjnveI5A]

You can buy their CD at Amazon.com!