Saturday, July 01, 2006

Review in Brief: Songs For Kids Like Us - Robbie Schaefer

[Here because Robbie sent you? Welcome! If you dig this album, there's plenty more great music here at the website (but few carp). Explore and thanks for stopping by!]If you're an adult, and you title your debut kids' music CD Songs For Kids Like Us, you've implied a certain level of (im)maturity to the prospective listener. On his 2006 kids' music debut, Virginia-based Robbie Schaefer (guitarist for adult rock band Eddie From Ohio) meets those expectations. Indeed, in the liner notes he thanks his family for seeing that he's got the "emotional maturity of a five-year-old" and recognizing that he should "use that to [his] advantage." The best songs on the CD are those where he lets his inner five-year-old out -- the backwards lyrics on the countryfied "Cowboy Bob," the sheer silliness of "There's a Carp in the Tub" (with a background group of... carp? singing "Carp. Carp.") Schaefer sticks mostly to folk and bluegrass in his tunes, though he employs pop on the album's best track, the leadoff "No! No! No!," and pulls in accordion and trumpet on the mariachi-inflected "Fredinand." He also turns two versions of "Chicken Lips," covered by someone slightly more well-known (Bruce Springsteen) a number of years ago. I could do without one of those versions (one version goes a long way) and the bland version of a "There's A Hole in the Bucket," though -- it seems out of place amongst the rest of the weirdness. (Oh, and the cartoony "Professor Schnoodle," bugs me too, but longtime readers know my aversion to cartoony voices.) You can listen to three songs off the album at the album's website. Overall, Songs For Kids Like Us is a nicely thought-out and well-executed debut that makes me hope that Schaefer hasn't exhausted his immaturity just yet. Recommended.

2 comments:

deb in sf said...

whoa! silly. 6 year old humor. max would dig it. I don't know if I could listen, but he could blast it in his room all he wanted.

one thing about missing a whole week is coming back and finding a week's worth of new stuff all at once! it's amazing!

Matt said...

I got this album when it was released, when Schaefer gave a concert near me. It's a lot of fun, and not too bad for grownups to listen to. Beware, though: "There's a Carp in the Tub" will get stuck in your head.

My kids (5 and 3) love the album, and ask to listen to it all the time. I highly recommend it.