Putting words to music, that's what it's all about.
When the music is 100 years old, or even more, that's another story. Or is it?
We've been fans of the Beethoven's Wig series for years. The songs introduce children to the composers and get across their styles and why "classica music is kinda important."
The question remains, is there enough room in the genre for a second (or third) version of that product? Short answer, not for us.
From the first song on WHATEVER I WANT TO BE, the new CD from Young Avenue Kids (YAK), we were non-plussed. The wife commented, "This is on Beethoven's Wig." Well, of course. It's a classical tune. But aren't there OTHER classical tunes that could have been chosen? Or are the YAK brain trust (Ilana Melmed and Stephan Cohn) blissfully unaware that someone before them did this same thing?
The gimmick here is slightly different – there are children singing along the lyrics. But in some cases, those lyrics are merely words that rhyme that in no way these kids would have thought of. For instance, this couplet from "William Tell Is So Sweet":
Let's shake our bodies head to toe
Remember Barry Manilow?
Doubtful any of the kids singing the song had a concept of who Manilow was until they Googled him. If you're pitching this as a CD by kids for kids, that's just sloppy songwriting. Even Matt (who is 2), asked us to turn off the CD after five tracks.
If you want to judge for yourself, you can find Young Avenue Kids on their Website. The CD will also be available on Amazon in May.