Thursday, June 3rd, 2010
Justin Roberts: The Soundtrack of our Lives
The dilemma I face with children’s musician Justin Roberts comes in the year 2017. My youngest child will be 9-years-old, leaving the 3 to 8 age range of Roberts’ music.
What excuse do I give my kids for my still listening to his music?
Roberts is our family’s favorite children’s musician, no question. We’ve been fortunate to be enjoying a preview of his latest CD due out June 8th, Jungle Gym, an opportunity I looked forward to as much as my 5-year-old daughter.
In the past, I’ve described Roberts as “high energy all-ages guitar pop (with some nice diversity in supporting instruments) that is perfect for creating an impromptu toddler mosh pit in your living room.”
Talking to my daughter, I’ve come to realize with this CD what makes Roberts special.
I asked my her what she likes about track #1, We Go Duck, an upbeat story about a rainy day at school with recess being held indoors. Answer: it strikes a cord with her. Even though her class doesn’t play the Duck, Duck, Goose game referenced in the song, she feels the same level of energy and excitement about school that Roberts conveys.
What does she like about #2, Sleepoverland? She likes having a sleepover too.
What does she like about #3 Trick or Treat? Yep, she loves trick-or-treating.
And so forth.
I love his music because it rejoices in childhood. Many musicians write songs from a child’s perspective and fall into the trap of personifying a little too much. But Roberts can do a song about a tantrum meltdown and pull it off rejoicing in the absurdity of it all rather than ranting or commiserating on a too realistic level.
I feel as though, when my kids’ magic years of childhood are behind me, I’ll still be listening and rejoicing in these songs on a wistful, philosophical level.
Roberts’ songs are simply fun and joyful. It’s perhaps why you’ll find his music spread across Youtube in family home videos, because so often Roberts is writing the soundtrack of our lives.
That’s It’s Your Birthday from Roberts’ Meltdown! CD.
In his latest offering, Jungle Gym, you’ll find a mix of songs for a blend of ages, from Obsessed by Trucks and New Haircut for younger kids to Gym Class Parachute and Snow Day for elementary school age kids.
If this is your introduction to Justin Roberts, you can’t go wrong picking up the CDs produced since 2004 where he and his Not Ready for Naptime Players have really hit a groove: Way Out, Meltdown!, Pop Fly and Jungle Gym, although as fans, we love his older stuff too.
Just our luck, Roberts performs most of his concerts on the east coast, but he’s heading out to Portland, Oregon in August. We might just make the eight hour drive.
- Justin Robert’s official site
- Jungle Gym CD and MP3s at Amazon
- Justin Roberts radio (nothing from Jungle Gym yet, but sample other songs)
Here’s a medley of new songs…
And older music videos: