Best Kids' Music of 2010

Kids' Music for Adult Tastes

recess monkey kids' music!

Call off the battle between your music versus theirs. Kindie rock’s been cool for a long time, but this year’s releases got us hooked. (Confession: We played them even when little ears weren’t around.)

Recommendations to help you decide what to put in rotation.

If you like … funk and dance pop,
check out Recess Monkey’s The Final Funktier, $13
Three Seattle elementary school teachers seem to rarely come up for air as they kick out high-energy, danceable jams. The songs “Moon Boots” and “Jet Pack” are perfect for wishful little astronauts.

… girl power pop à la Katy Perry,
check out The Not-Its’s Time Out to Rock, $14
The bass guitar riffs and banging drums are enough to make any girl jump on her bed. Angsty lyrics (“My mom wants me to pick up my toys when I’m not in the mood”) are delivered by Sarah Shannon, former lead of the ’90s indie band Velocity Girl.

… soul-searching female singer-songwriters,
check out Essie Jain’s Until the Light of Morning, $12
Hush. Baby won’t say a word as these dreamy melodies drift in. Each song is a lullaby with a magical message of love.

… mom’s folk records from her hippie days,
check out Elizabeth Mitchell’s Sunny Day, $11
You can imagine the smile on Mitchell’s face as she sings each bright and playful nugget, many backed by banjo and tambourine. Things are at their best when Mitchell’s daughter, Storey, pipes in.

… The Ramones and all things punk,
you’ll like the Boogers’s Let’s Go, $12
We sneaked an early listen (the album releases today) and nearly shaved ourselves a Mohawk when the Chicago band let rip a thrasher version of “Pop Goes the Weasel.” But, seriously, it rocks.

… radio-friendly rock,
you’ll like Jeremy Plays Guitar’s Use Your Words, $15
Singer Jeremy Zmuda’s pop/rock confections tell playful tales about the facts of wee lives (sharing, lunch food, house rules). Bonus: Guest vocals by Kirk Douglas from The Roots and Madeleine Peyroux.

It all makes for easy listening.

Listen up! We’re giving away the entire collection of music featured in this story. Find out how you can win on Facebook.

this week’s kids deal!

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Photos: Courtesy of Recess Monkey; Courtesy of Papeterie Baby