Wednesday, November 18, 2009
My son may only be 15 months old but he is all boy. 100%. As a matter of fact, I think his picture may be displayed next to the definition in Webster's Dictionary. He loves digging in dirt and climbing on anything and everything. Especially if it's been deemed "off limits". He's adventurous and curious - always into something. He loves to wrestle and rough-house. He likes bugs and squirmy things. Snips, snails and puppy dog tails all the way. But most of all, he loves to be downright silly. Big cheesy grins (especially after I say "no" to something), making funny faces, chasing me around the house with a bucket on his head.
I love music that can capture his energy and spirit, without being hokey. No big purple dinosaurs in this house if I can help it. So, when I received a request to review the newest album, Toddlerville, from Baze and his Silly Friends, I had high hopes. An album aimed at toddlers? How perfect! Most of the music we own is either geared toward infants or preschoolers/school-aged children. Sure, this can cross over to the toddler market and we deeply enjoy a wide variety of genres and types of music in our house, but it's nice that there are artists like Baze who recognize this niche.
Baze and his Silly Friends (BAHSF), formed in 2007, is a New Jersey-based quartet of four loving dads. The band evolved from songs that singer/songwriter Marc Bazerman would sing to his son, Jude. Their goal was to create fun music that would invoke hours of dancing and joy - something parents and kids alike could both rock out to. These "Masters of Toddler Rock" hit the stage at 1000mph and bring that same energy home with their adrenalized soundtracks. BAHSF has been featured on HBO Family as well as in the October 2009 edition of Parenting Magazine.
1. Everyone Everywhere
2. This is Your Body
3. Big Boy Now
4. My Family
5. Said the Boy
7. Time of Your Life
8. My Imagination
9. Water Comes Out of Your Nose
10. Scare Me, Scare You!
11. Gettin's Good
12. Happy, Happy Birthday
13. Funny Feeling
14. I Got the ABC's
The first time we listened to the album, I wasn't sure what to think about it. It reminded me of a rockier, more hip version of The Wiggles. It was...well...silly. Water coming out of your nose? An uncle dancing and losing his pants? I didn't know if I could handle playing this everyday. But I glanced down at my son and could tell that he loved it. That's what's most important anyway, right? He danced happily to the tracks, and even grabbed the pillows off the couch to throw on the floor and jump on them. He was so playful and joyful, I just had to give it another chance. And I'm glad I did because this CD has really grown on me.
Baze and his Silly Friends are undoubtedly talented, covering a diverse group of musical stylings. They blend their brand of quirky pop/rock with genres such as rockabilly, reggae, hip-hop and even Irish dancing music. Marc Bazeman's voice at times channeled Pete Yorn and the band's exhuberant personality was reminiscent of alternative rock bands They Might Be Giants or Cake. Each of the 14 songs on the album were original, which I appreciated, since I really don't need yet another version of "Old MacDonald".
The themes were perfectly tailored to the goings-on in the life of a toddler, from potty training ("Funny Feeling") to welcoming a new sibling home ("Big Boy Now") to body parts ("This is Your Body"). My personal favorites were the peaceful "Everybody Everywhere", the uplifting "My Imagination" and the calypso flavored "Gettin's Good". Nate's favorites were the fun-filled alphabet-chanting closing track "I Got The ABC's" and the toe-tapping "This is Your Body", to which you can listen for yourself below:
Baze and his Silly Friends never "talk down" to their audience or ask them to act older than they are. They grow up so fast as it is, it's nice to stoop down to their level and see life through the eyes of a child. I could definitely see BAHSF rockin' out on Yo Gabba Gabba one day.
Bottom line: I may have had to listen more than once to appreciate it but I ultimately enjoyed my trip through Toddlerville with my tour guide Baze and his Silly Friends. It was celebration of silliness and a fun ride I plan to take more often.
BUY IT: You can purchase Toddlerville on the BAHSF website (ARV $14.99). You know I love a company that gives back so I'm happy to share that $2.00 from the sale of each CD will be donated to Autism Speaks. Awesome! While you're there, check out their tour schedule and see if they're coming to a place near you!
WIN IT: I have another copy of Toddlerville up for grabs for one lucky reader!
MAIN COURSE (MANDATORY ENTRY): Check out the Baze and his Silly Friends website and tell me what song you like best. Remember to please leave your email address in your comment if it isn't visible on your profile or if you are not a blogger!
SUGAR ON TOP (BONUS ENTRIES): To maximize your chances of winning, you may do any or all of the following. Be sure to complete the above mandatory entry or your bonus entries will not count!
1.) Follow my blog or subscribe via reader or email. Comment telling me which method you chose. If you already follow or subscribe, that counts! (1 entry)
2.) Follow me and @BAHSF on Twitter and tweet about this contest. Just leave me a comment with your tweet link. (1 entry)
3.) Add my blog button and/or my holiday button to your site and leave a comment with the link to where I can find it. (1 entry for each)
4.) Enter any of my other current giveaways and leave a comment telling me which one(s) you entered. (1 entry each)
Giveaway will end on December 2, 2009 at 11:59pm EST. Open to U.S. only. Winners will be chosen via Random.org and will have 48 hours to respond to congratulatory email or prize will be forfeited and another winner will be chosen.
Disclaimer: I was sent two CDs from Baze of BAHSF: one to facilitate my candid review and one to give away in a contest. I was not compensated in any other way for this post.