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

Radio Jungle

Radio Jungle

Fall 2012 Music
Ages: 3 - 9 yrs.
Producer: The Pop Ups
CD Price: $13.00

The Pop Ups are a pair of Brooklyn- based musicians named Jason Rabinowitz and Jacob Stein, who some may remember set out to write and record a really good children's music album in just a week. Recorded in Rabinowitz's home studio, the album Outside Voices won plenty of praise. Since then, the duo also wrote and starred in PASTA, a high-energy, educational, comic, and musical adventure through the magical land of Brooklyn. Naturally, expectations for a new album were high, and Radio Jungle does not disappoint.

It starts with a short comic introduction about both the stars in the sky, as well as the "stars" in the streets of Brooklyn, before launching into nearly forty minutes of great tunes, including the funky "Connect the Stars," featuring guest vocalist Shine (aka Shawana Kemp). There is also the deep jungle groove of "The Bat" which describes a Mexican bat, with great Spanish vocals by Clara Valencia. "Box of Crayons" is a radio ready pop tune, that sounds like it could have been recorded by one of those 80s', big- haired, boy bands. Elsewhere, there is the Prince-like "Pop Up City" and the mildly educational "Math Rock," while the character filled "Best Fruit" sounds like an outtake from The Muppet Show, and is irresistibly catchy and fun. "Banana" is a cool and crafty song that traces, step by step, the journey of the fruit from jungle, all the way to a child's mouth. "Feelings Change" is a unique take on emotions, and sounds like it was sung by Tom Waits doing a Cookie Monster imitation. The album finishes up with the phonetics exploring, fifties style rock of "Elephant," and the color mixing fun of "Color Wheel."

The CD comes with eco-friendly packaging, cool graphics, but sadly no lyrics with the CD or on their website for these great songs. It is wonderful to hear such young people dedicated to creating both fun and well made music for children. Pop in The Pop Ups latest into your CD player for yet more fun.

Lahri Bond   ©2012 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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