Copyright ©2009 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

MELISSA BLOCK, host:

There's no shortage of children's music out there, but finding something that won't annoy the adults in the house? Well, that's a different story. Blogger Stefan Shepherd is always on the lookout for quality kids' albums, and he thinks the South Carolina trio Lunch Money has a children's CD that even those without kids might want to give a spin.

(Soundbite of song)

Ms. MOLLY LEDFORD (Singer): (Singing) It only takes one night to make a balloon your friend. When you first get them, they only want to fly away, but…

STEFAN SHEPHERD: One characteristic of good art is giving a new perspective on something familiar. That's why a lot of kids' music annoys adults. It covers familiar subjects in a routine manner. But the band Lunch Money is an exception to the rule. On their latest release, "Dizzy," they put an entirely new spin on subjects familiar to kids, subjects like libraries, zoos and balloons.

(Soundbite of song)

Ms. LEDFORD: (Singing) So take your balloon home and show it around. Introduce it to all the toys on the floor. Balloons are shy and might hide on the ceiling for the rest of the day, but in the morning they'll be sitting there waiting to play. 'Cause it only takes one night to make a balloon your friend…

SHEPHERD: The hook-filled melodies and indie-pop arrangements will have a familiar appeal to adults. The band often features just enough guitar, bass and drums to set off Molly Ledford's smooth voice, a voice which sometimes sounds like she can't believe she's having this much fun.

(Soundbite of song)

Ms. LEDFORD: (Singing) I'm going to the library to see my librarian, to send me on (unintelligible) as if I could carry them. (Unintelligible) and you might like this one, too, and (unintelligible) and feels like love. Oh, the librarian…

SHEPHERD: Even more than the melodies, the way the lyrics elegantly negotiate the divide between kids and adults sets "Dizzy" apart. A song like "Wake Up, World," about awaiting spring's return, is written at a first grader's level, but its spare lyrics conjure up images and emotions that have a far broader appeal.

(Soundbite of song, "Wake Up, World")

Ms. LEDFORD: (Singing) I'm standing in my yard, whispering in your ear, wake up, flowers and new ground, when will you appear? Flowers and new ground, I miss you. Wake up, world.

SHEPHERD: Kids' music parents will love is a tired cliché, and its use often constitutes false advertising. But like great children's books that provide delight to both kids and adults in equal measure, albums like "Dizzy" show that it's possible to make music that engages everyone who has a little kid in their house, or a little kid inside themselves.

(Soundbite of song)

Unidentified Child: One, two, three, four.

Ms. LEDFORD: (Singing) I don't want broccoli. I don't want lima beans. I don't want whole-wheat bread. I want a cookie as big as my head.

BLOCK: Stefan Shepherd writes about kids' music at zooglobble.com. He reviewed the CD "Dizzy" by the band Lunch Money.

(Soundbite of song)

Ms. LEDFORD: (Singing) I want a cookie as big as my head, a cookie as big as my head. I promise not to eat it in bed. I want a cookie as big as my head. By the way, my cookie policy is chocolate-chip only. Raisins and oatmeal, sounds like cereal. I already had breakfast.

SIEGEL: You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

Copyright © 2009 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.