New kids' music reviewed by kids! -- Dalton Ross and his children weigh in on three albums

By Dalton Ross
April 07, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT

New kids’ music reviewed by kids!

I officially lost control of the CD player on July 13, 2000, the day my son Dale was born. So when it came time to review some new children’s music, I figured I would allow Dale, 5, and my daughter Violet, 3, to weigh in with their opinions as well… seeing as how they run the place and all.


This compilation of indie bands has entries sophisticated (Broken Social Scene’s ”Puff the Magic Dragon”) and satirical (”Be Nice to People With Lice” by Low’s Alan Sparhawk). But I can’t decide if the techno-infused ”24 Robbers” by Apostle of Hustle is the most creative or annoying song I’ve ever heard. Probably both.

Violet: ”I love ’24 Robbers’! I like when the girls sing, because they are little girls.” Dale: ”I like compilations because the songs all sound different. ‘Be Nice to People With Lice’ is good because it teaches you a lesson.” V: ”I like to do ballerina dances to ‘See You on the Moon!”’ D: ”And they don’t just say ‘moon,’ they say ‘mooooooooon.’ They take their time.”

DEvo 2.0 DEVO 2.0
Devo is a natural for the kiddie market, and having five young ‘uns ages 10 — 13 join the group to rerecord their greatest hits is an interesting concept. Still, if you want your kids to listen to Devo, wouldn’t you be better off just putting on… Devo? As in 1.0 Devo? I’m just sayin’.

V: ”It’s a little bit silly. It’s a little bit good. It makes me cry, like when my mama reads The Giving Tree, because I am so happy.” D: ”I love it. ‘Peek-a-Boo’ is my favorite song because I like it when the boy laughs.” V: ”I like the girl that sings ‘Whip it.”’ D: ”It’s not a girl, it’s a boy.” V: ”It’s a girl.” D: ”Is not!” V: ”Is too!!!”

My house was a designated Raffi-free zone — until now. This collection of mellow melodies is definitely for younger children, and parents who want to be sent to an insane asylum after hearing it for the millionth time. Dale might be too big for this. Lord, I hope so.

D: ”Every song on this CD except ‘Listen to the Horses’ is too babyish. Horses aren’t babyish. And I hate ‘Spring Flowers.’ I would give it an F. Or a Z. What’s the lowest grade I can give it?” V: ”I listen to Raffi at school. He’s fun. ‘Mary Wore Her Red Dress’ cracks my head up. The song matches my coat. And my gloves. This CD closes my eyes, because it makes me sleepy.”