Kid's music. Ugh. Think of all of the times that, as a parent, you have reluctantly played and repeated the latest Laurie Berkner, Wiggles or Kidz Bop offering, just to keep your 3-year old from throwing a tantrum in the car. We love our kids and give them what they want, even if it means that we must tolerate excruciatingly bad music aimed at occupying the developing minds of our little ones. Put quite simply, most of the music aimed at kids these days is manufactured garbage.
So when my wife asked me to listen to the latest CD by Gustafer Yellowgold, A.K.A. Morgan Taylor, I was naturally skeptical. Another collection of kids music which will turn my children into zombies and offer no valuable musical or lyrical content, I thought. Boy was I wrong. Mellow Fever is a wonderful assortment of indie pop songs which will have you singing and humming right along with your kids in the back seat.
In order to be appreciated by parents and kids alike, the subject of good kid's music can't be too elementary or too clever. How many songs have we heard about ABC's and 1-2-3's? This is where Mellow Fever really gets it right. It never tries to be too hip or cool. It never attempts to teach your kids a lesson. It is, however, great pop music for all ages.
Each song is a heartfelt story about the adventures of Gustafer Yellowgold, a yellow, banana-shaped creature who hails from the sun and has travelled to earth seeking new adventures and friendships.
Getting in a Treetop opens the CD and tells the story of Gustafer climbing to the top of a tree, where he finds happiness by observing all that is underneath him. Butter Pond Lake is another standout track, which tells the story of our hero spending his day at fictitious pond made of butter with his dog, Ray.
"Can't wait to say about Butter Pond Lake. Pretty melted, buttery circle full of life and light. What a day, playin' by Butter Pond Lake. Makin' our darkening bugs and beetles honey-jarred."
Each song's lyrics tell the simple tale about the character's discoveries on our planet, with catchy melodies, acoustic guitars, french horns, and beautiful string arrangements as the driving force behind the music. As a parent, I rarely find myself singing to a kid's song because I want to. In the case of Mellow Fever, I found that I just couldn't help singing right along with the music. I had to sing these songs!! My kids, age 5 and 3, also took to the music immediately and listen to the entire CD from start to finish, making this not just music for kids, but music for the entire family to enjoy. A little secret just for you; I have 3 of these songs on my own iPod, part of the same collection as Radiohead, Grandaddy, and other alternative favorites.
Also of note: Each CD is accompanied by its own DVD, which includes videos for each song. If you like great music and good storytelling, Mellow Fever is a must buy. Click here to get your own Copy of Mellow Fever.
-The Housewife's Husband