Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

We're Not Kidding! A Tribute to Barry Louis Polisar

We're Not Kidding! A Tribute to Barry Louis Polisar

Fall 2010 Music
Ages: 5 - 11 yrs.
CD Price: $14.95

Barry Louis Polisar is an author and songwriter who has written hundreds of children's songs, as well as twelve children's books. Polisar's music is akin to the left of center writings of Roald Dahl or Shel Silverstein, so parents should be forewarned as much weirdness occurs. Yet this is precisely the kind of oddball, nonsense humor that young kids adore. This sixty-song, two-disc tribute is an amazing gathering of brilliant talent from around the country (and the world), performing songs in genres as diverse as hip-hop, folk, jazz, grunge, punk, klezmer, and rock. Highlights include the group Rutherford B. Hayes is Dead (from Oak Park, California) garage band inspired cover of "I'm a Slug," The Vespers (from Nashville, Tennessee) sweet mountain harmonies on "Barnyard Stomp," and the wonderfully named Radioactive Chicken Heads equally strange covers of songs such as "I Eat Kids" and "I Wanna Be a Dog". The compilers of this collection have done an excellent job of matching artist with songs. International contributions include Greek performers Le Page, of Greece, offering a beautiful cover of "I Wanna Be Your Baby". Eric Hartereau of France translates "All I Want is You" and sings it in French, while Los Huevos recorded Barry's song "Bad Guys Broke Into Our Car." Polisar himself joins the Radioactive Chicken Heads for a decidedly Punk rendition of "I Didn't Mean It," before turning in his own typically quirky, solo version of "All I Want Is You." Depending on your parenting style, Polisar's music might be too irreverent for you. However, if the idea of a kid's version of Frank Zappa or Captain Beefheart sung by some of the best indie bands around doesn't scare you, then this might become your family's favorite children's album.

Lahri Bond   ©2010 Parents' Choice
Lahri Bond is a father, a writer, music historian and an art professor in Western Massachusetts. His published books include Spinning Tales Weaving Hope (with the Stories For World Change Network) for New Society Press and People of the Earth (coauthored with Ellen Evert Hopman) for Destiny Books.

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