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Rena Strober and Friends / Imagine That! The Sesame Street Music of Joe Raposo & Jeff Moss

Rena Strober and Friends

Imagine That! The Sesame Street Music of Joe Raposo & Jeff Moss

renastrober.com

It’s no stretch to say that over 100 children’s CD’s cross my desk in a year, and I listen to the bulk of them, for better or for worse. Rarely, have I been so impressed by a release in this genre, that my socks were literally blown off. I only wish that it happened more often.

Listening to Imagine That! Was like taking in a first-class Broadway show. You know how when you see a professional production, and as soon as the singing begins, you’re so taken aback that you remark to yourself, “Oh, Wow! These people aren’t fooling around!”? This CD will give you that same sensation.

Rena Strober’s pitch-perfect voice is as friendly as they come, and her renditions of classic Sesame Street songs are delightful. Somebody Come And Play immediately transported me back to my Kodachrome childhood in the 1970’s, when it seemed like the sun was always shining. Kermit The Frog’s trademark Being Green is wistful, if not a bit sad, and it’s sentiments related to the world today are not lost on me.

My fave of the set, however, is Im Pretty/I’m An Aardvark, sung with all due silliness by guests French Stewart and Jason Alexander. They get lost in their characters, and the listener does, too. To be fair to the extremely talented Miss Strober, though, it’s a great moment that is surrounded by only great moments. Highly recommended!

From the press kit;

Imagine That! The Sesame Street Music of Joe Raposo & Jeff Moss is being released in celebration of National Guide Dog Month in September. A portion of the proceeds from all digital and hard copy sales of the album will go to Guide Dogs of America and the Gavin R. Stevens Foundation, whose mission is to find a treatment and cure for blindness, focusing on Leber’s Congenital Amaurosis (LCA).

Dan Pavelich

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Quick Spins

Greg Lato / Create My Own World

Greg Lato

Create My Own World (GLM)

http://www.greglato.com

Although this is technically music for kids, my criteria when listening is the same as any other genre. The main point being, how does this make me feel? Within thirty seconds of the lead-off track, I Like Sprinkles, I realized that I had a big smile on my face. Turns out my face often knows how I feel before my brain even has time to process it.

Greg Lato must be around the same age as me, as his musical touchstones are obviously the pop records of the 1970’s and ’80’s. Nothing wrong with that! Lato has a pleasant voice and a general friendliness that kids will like. While he covers a wide variety of topics, everything from lost socks to exploring, I especially enjoyed Hi, Gene, which begins as an ode to an imaginary friend, and sneaks its way into being a list of tips on cleanliness. 

Create My Own World is light and fun. Extra points for eye-catching sleeve artwork!

Dan Pavelich

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Quick Spins

Flor Bromley / Fiesta Global

Flor Bromley

Fiesta Global

http://www.florbromley.com

Whenever I hear Latin music, my first thought is, “There’s a party going on somewhere!” That very thought is proven true by singer Flor Bromley, whose Fiesta Global, aimed at kids and families, will move your feet as well as your very spirit.

Bromley’s pleasant voice is as uplifting as the rhythms that accompany it. “Fiesta” is a call to what sounds like the most fun street dance ever to take place. Complete with Mariachi and every manner of shaker imaginable, it’s a call to drop your troubles and pick up a tropical drink.

Listeners will be familiar with “Bamba,” the traditional version of the song made famous by Ritchie Valens. Here, it’s a jubilant duet with Claudio Vega, played on bouncy, nylon-string guitars. Bromley sings in a bilingual style, guaranteeing the wee ones will learn a bit of Spanish whether they realize it or not.

My fave of the set, though, is “We Came To America,” an anthem of inclusiveness that tugs at the heartstrings. Considering the state of the world today, it’s a message that many of us need to be reminded of. Highly recommended.

Dan Pavelich