The first CD I pulled out of the 266 CD pile is Dan Zane’s Rocket Ship Beach. The TL;DR summary is that this CD is all about songs for kids, but they are played so that adults will actually enjoy them too.
Here’s the long version : The songs on this CD reminded me of the giant 33 LP records from my childhood, but with modern musical interpretations. The overreaching hyper-kinetic-sweetness of the old vinyl era music isn’t here, but the innocence of the songs and the good will of the singers is.
My favorite song by far on this CD was “All My Friends Live In The Woods (with Simon Kirke)”. A close second was the very heartfelt final song “Over The Rainbow (with Donald Saaf)”. Every other song is outstanding, though. Sheryl Crow gently knocks “Polly Wolly Doodle” out of the ballpark, and Suzanne Vega does a great “Erie Canal” you really feel compelled to sing along with. The only hiccup is that “Father Goose (with Rankin’ Don and the Rocket Ship Singers)” takes a minute to get to the music, but once it does, the song mixes snippits of childhood favorites over a gentle beat that’s pretty addictive.
This CD comes in a cardboard-style book with the CD case/insert as part of the back cover. None of the songs will get kids overly hyper, but it won’t leave them bored either. I think it strikes a perfect balance of entertaining the kids and getting them up to dance but not over-stimulating them enough to have them run around the house screaming one vowel at the top of their lungs. I really think it’s the perfect CD for kids to listen to and for parents to have nearby.
I rate it a five out of five. It’s a perfect CD for kids and genuinely fun for adults to listen to.