Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Wiping Out Bland Kid's Music

SqueeGees Target Healthy Lifestyles

We first heard The SqueeGee's "Nala the Chihuahua" on Bill Childs' Spare the Rock radio show a few years back. Ben loved the singalong chorus but we never spent the time to listen to the lyrics. As with most kid's music, as long as the kid is happy, the adults are happy. But it took the arrival of their re-issued CD, "Meet the SqueeGees," for us to sit down and realize the message behind the song - namely

"A puppy from the pound...

No longer wears a frown...

Aren't we glad we found her?"

But that's the insidious (can we use that term in a positive manner?) thing about the light pop sound of the SqueeGees - the songs work their way into your head and then you realize there was more to them.

The Los Angeles-based trio has regrouped with original members Samantha Tobey and Rich "Shaka" Sherwood being joined by former Rilo Kiley bassist Pierre de Reeder. Their CD is experiencing a second coming of a sort on September 21 with a national exclusive release through Target and Target at iTunes.

The music, geared for preschoolers, gently hits on some of the themes mined by Sesame Street and Dora the Explorer. There's the environment ("The Elements of the Earth"), healthy eating ("Apples, Oranges, and Peaches"), and even the Internet ("The Ol' WWW"). The song "Jonathon the Tree" took on extra meaning for us this week, as hundreds of trees were toppled by the tornado in our region.

I could really do without another song about driving in the car ("Rules of the Road"), but hey, it's still a novel experience to people without their own driver's licenses. Same with bubble baths ("Bubbles"), but call me cranky.

It all comes back to, um, singalongability (my spellcheck just blew up). That translates to, the ability of listeners to sing along and later grasp the concept of the material. The SqueeGees pass the singalongability test. In that manner, they certainly hit the target.
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