Well, summer is just about over. The kids are going back to school in two days, the leaves are already turning, and there is a morning chill in the air. But what have we been listening to this summer? Well, mostly dance remixes for some reason.
Laurie Berkner has a new album of old favorites out, but with a twist. The album is called, and rightly so, Laurie Berkner: The Dance Remixes, and what you get is an amazing mash-up of classic children’s tunes with club music. Kids are going to love this. You know how children and/or people on drugs love to listen to the same thing, over and over and over and over and over and over again? Well, this takes the best of Berkner’s impressive catalog of music and kicks it up a notch in terms of dance-ability and repeat-ability. And isn’t that what’s best about a good club remix anyway? You can put it on an endless loop and no one would ever know the difference. Put this on an endless loop. You’ll know, but your kids will be happy and your toes will be tappy.
Normally I single out the best tracks on albums they send me (for free!) to review, but these tunes are all familiar ones already. And if they aren’t, you need to go out and buy all of Laurie’s music right now. My guess is that your previously favorite tracks will be your new favorite tracks on this album too. But give the whole thing a listen. On repeat. My personal favorites: We Are the Dinosaurs, Drive My Car, and Rocketship Run. But again, those were my favorites already. (“Laurie Berkner: The Dance Remixes” is out September 22nd)
But Laurie is maybe just stepping into what could be called a trend, because she’s not the only one putting out dance albums for kids. Twinkle also has a new album coming out called Just Dance, full of original tracks that belong in a club where they don’t card if you are under 12. Some of these EDM thumpers also try to be slightly educational, although I don’t know how you can fill your head with knowledge when it is banging so hard. I mean, you probably can if you are 10. I am just old and my head can only do so many things at a time. My kids are rocking out to this album while simultaneously learning even as I type this.
Best tracks? Just Dance kicks off the album with a hard rocking ode to the emotional and psychological benefits of funk face. Solar System calls to mind the hilarious music of Toybox, earnestly squeaking out a happy call to groove while also teaching kids about the space. And you will definitely want to throw the last tracks on repeats as Kidz Rock features the brilliant Mista Cookie Jar. (“Just Dance” is out October 6th)
And although this isn’t a new album (although, seriously, could we get a new album pleeeeease?!), kindie superstar Tim Kubart released a dance remix of his song Superhero. It is awesome and amazing, it features Carly Ciarrocchi, and you can download it on iTunes right now! So do it! Kubart is one of the best people making music out there today, so anytime he puts anything out you will want to snap it up!
Although it occurs to me that maybe you are a little techno-danced out. Maybe you yearn for the simpler days of sitting around a campfire and singing simple songs with friends and family. Because, hey, you need both, right? So when the party dies down and you can no longer move your knees, settle in with Ella Jenkins and listen to Camp Songs. It is exactly what it says it is, and you will be transported back to the days of s’mores and bug juice as Jenkins (and friends) sing the beautiful and entertaining songs that we all grew up with.
You probably already know most of these songs, but maybe not all of them. Down By the Riverside is a song we all need to sing more these days, and Tumbalalaika kicks off a set of songs Jenkins learned at her Jewish summer camp, all of which are a treat. Tzena, Tzena, Tzena is my personal favorite, but there isn’t a clunker on the album. As you put away the tents and swimsuits and begin to pack lunches and sign homework, put this on and sing along to a collection of songs that never go out of style. (Camp Song with Ella Jenkins and Friends” is available now!”)