Quick Spins

Greg Lato / Create My Own World

Greg Lato

Create My Own World (GLM)

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

Quick Spins

Jesse Jukebox / Awesome!

Jesse Jukebox

Awesome! (Self-released)

From the press kit, “With Irrepressible energy and an outrageous sense of fun, Cleveland’s beloved family musician Jesse Jukebox (A.K.A. Jesse Friedberg), celebrates a positive message of high hope in his third kids’ album, Awesome! Packed with lyrical wisdom born of Jesse’s experiences growing up with ADHD…

As a child, Jesse felt misunderstood and different from other kids because of his ADHD. Here, he sets his sights on making sure that others like him know that they’re not alone, and that there is, in fact, a whole community of similar-feeling kids and adults. 

This six-song e.p. is all kinds of fun, and the only thing I was disappointed with was its brevity. Jesse sounds a bit like, and sings with the enthusiasm of, Jack Black, which is a good thing in my book. The arrangements are snappy and sparse, Awesome and Incredible Shoes stylistically remind me of Violent Femmes. Listen To Your Gut, which implores kids to listen to their inner voice when dealing with difficult situations, is my fave of the set. I like this disc a lot.