I was recently offered the opportunity to review Randy Kaplan’s CD: The Kids Are All Id:
Kids who laugh at bee stings, a Hebrew-speaking bear who eats shoelaces, a monkey-like girl and George Washington’s favorite giant sheep inspire the songs on Randy Kaplan’s third not-just-for-kids music release, The Kids Are All Id. The Parent Picks poll on Nickelodeon’s Parentsconnect just named it as one of five Best Kids’ Music CDs of 2010. Kaplan performs in Brooklyn, NY on July 18th and has more concerts scheduled soon in New York, Boston, Los Angeles and Portland.
From the first song, “My Little Laugh,” in which a kid’s emotional responses are all topsy turvy, it’s apparent that Randy Kaplan’s slant on life is a little different. Offering a Woody Guthrie-esque style that blends a chatty kind of storytelling with an eclectic range of rootsy music, Kaplan paints a humorous and poignant picture with every track. Highlights include his takes on all-time classics: “I Got Plenty O’ Nuttin’” from the Gershwin musical Porgy & Bess, “The Money Song” (a Dean Martin/Jerry Lewis gem), “The Derby Ram,” an old British folk song which was supposedly George Washington’s favorite. The CD ends with “Forever Young” by Bob Dylan, which Kaplan says “is as much of a blessing as a song.”
Three of Kaplan’s original songs are inspired by books by Ezra Jack Keats: “Whistle for Willie,” “Dream Hat” and “I Like Cacti.” Kaplan performed some of these songs last year at a Keats tribute event at NYC’s Symphony Space. Kaplan will return to the venue for two solo shows on October 9th.
Other original songs demonstrate Kaplan’s empathy with the plights of childhood. “The Kid Is All Id” explores the psychology of tantrum-throwing, self-absorbed kids, and their maniacal genius. Any kid with a babysitter will relate to “Don’t You Leave Me Here.” Kaplan’s interview with a toddler named Julian (after they watch the entirety of Wagner’s Das Rheingold together) becomes “This Guy.” And “Joe and Finn” celebrates the simple playtime joys of a friendship between 3 year olds.
Kaplan’s 2008 family music release, Loquat Rooftop, was voted a Top 10 Children’s CD of the year by National Public Radio and CoolMomPicks. His songs “No Nothing,” “Shampoo Me,” and “Roaches” are among the most-requested songs on Sirius-XM Radio’s Kids Place Live. “No Nothing” was also nominated for Best Children’s Song of the Year by Just Plain Folks.
Retails for$12.99 for the CD and $9.99 for the MP3 download of the entire album.
My take: We had a great time listening to this CD and I laughed out loud at several comments. The boys’ favorites: Whistle for Willie, Little Bee. My favorite: Forever Young.
I was not paid in any form of cash for this posting.
I did receive product or services to keep for my testing purposes.