Justin Roberts: The Soundtrack of our Lives

Photo of Justin Roberts on a jungle gym with his guitar.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.

  1. Justin Robert’s official site
  2. Jungle Gym CD and MP3s at Amazon
  3. Justin Roberts radio (nothing from Jungle Gym yet, but sample other songs)

Here’s a medley of new songs…

And older music videos:


6 Responses to “Justin Roberts: The Soundtrack of our Lives”

  1. Teresa says:

    Thanks for another good kids’ CD! This makes me think a lot of Snacktime by Barenaked Ladies.

    June 3rd, 2010 at 8:37 am

  2. Lisa says:

    OOOOOH you used our youtube video!! Ours is the one from Orlando with the blue and orange background…..and my son in the grey and green shirt. We (or just me?) are obsessed with Justin Roberts. Let’s point out that he is also an amazingly generous and accessible person as well. He talked for some time with my children after the show and was very patient with them.

    June 3rd, 2010 at 8:22 pm

  3. Diana (Ladybug Limited) says:

    Count us as more Justin Roberts fans! Just yesterday, my 4 year old sat on my lap for over an hour begging for just one more Justin Roberts video on YouTube! We saw him at the LA Times book festival when we lived in Orange County, but now, we too, are contemplating the drive to PDX. (Only 90 minutes for us, but the concert is on a Sunday morning and Hubby is a pastor, so… pastor’s family might be missing that day!)

    June 4th, 2010 at 10:30 pm

  4. My Boaz's Ruth says:

    Why do you have to stop listening to music when you are out of the suggested age range? if your kids love the music, they may well love it into adulthood!

    June 7th, 2010 at 8:17 am

  5. Mary says:

    Thanks for recommending this. I played a few of the songs that elicited some positive responses from my two children, 4 and 1. To further expose them to his music, I borrowed his “Not Naptime” cd from the library. My son likes the Brontosaurus Got a Sweet Tooth song since he loves dinosaurs. I’ll definitely be buying his music.

    June 16th, 2010 at 5:55 am

  6. The Mama says:

    Thank you so much for this post. You introduced me to Justin Roberts and I’m grateful! He is so great. I purchased Jungle Gym and I’m going to have to get the rest of his albums now. I linked to this post from my recent blog post. Appreciate it!

    July 23rd, 2010 at 1:04 pm

Post a comment

(will not be published)