Thursday, January 14, 2010
My parents always told me that school wasn't a popularity contest or a beauty pageant. It was a learning institution first and foremost. (Tell me you had that talk too...right?) But who doesn't want to be well-liked and a member of the "in" crowd? Everyone wants to belong. Unfortunately, the brainy kids often labeled as nerds, geeks, dorks, or "Poindexter" are frequently denied access into this exclusive club. It's cooler to be a rebel than to turn your homework in on time.
But Roger Day seeks to change all that with his new album, Why Does Gray Matter? The Parents' Choice Gold Award-winning musician's fourth CD contains 14 original tracks, all dedicated to the fascinating perplexity that is the human brain. In the spirit of Schoolhouse Rock and Bill Nye the Science Guy, Roger encourages kids to acknowledge their potential and assures them that it's hip to be smart.
1. Why Does Gray Matter?
2. Sara Bellum, the Brainy Girl
3. Inside My Crainum
4. The Left Brain/Right Brain Song
5. Brain Freeze!
6. Get Your Brain in Gear
7. It's a No Brainer
8. The Brain Train
9. Brain Food - Eat It Up!
10. Concentration (Turn On Your Brain)
11. Use Your Noodle
12. Build a Better World
13. Monkey Brains
14. Shake Up Your Brain (Live Bonus Track)
Well, whaddya know? Science can be pretty fun with Roger Day as a teacher! And let's not forget math. Or health. I don't think there's any other children's album that would help you count Pi to the 24th decimal place ("It's A No Brainer"). Or describe the benefits of folic acid, omega 3 and lycopene ("Brain Food"). Or identify anatomy like "corpus callosum" and "basal ganglia" ("The Brain Train"). I think I actually got a new wrinkle on my brain after listening to it. The lyrics were entertaining yet educational, so much fun that I don't think kids would even realize they were learning.
Roger reminded me of a nerdier version of Mister G, with a Tom Petty-esque voice. His brainy theme for the album was accented with ethical messages such as perseverance in "Use Your Noodle" and social responsibility in "Build A Better World". My personal favorites were "Sara Bellum, the Brainy Girl" (how can you not dig that uber-creative title?) and "The Left Brain/Right Brain Song", in which an eloquent Baroque left brain battles an English punk right brain. Clever and brilliant. It was a little over Nate's head, as he's only a toddler and "frontal lobe" is a bit beyond his vocabularly skill set, but once he hits school-age , I think this album will be a fast favorite.
Bottom line: I would highly recommend checking out Roger Day's Why Does Gray Matter? It's one class you won't want to skip. Actually, you'll want to sit in the front row and raise your hand because you'll know all the answers.
BUY IT: Why Does Gray Matter? will be released on February 9, 2010 on iTunes, Amazon, www.cdbaby.com, and at www.rogerday.com (ARV $15.00).
WIN IT: One lucky reader is going to win a copy of this album before it hits shelves!
MAIN COURSE (MANDATORY ENTRY): Visit the Roger Day website and have a listen to the songs from the album. Comment with your favorite track. Remember to please leave your email address in your comment if it isn't visible on your profile to prevent disqualification!
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! Remember to leave one comment per entry.
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 on Twitter and tweet about this contest. Just leave me a comment with your tweet link. (1 entry)
3.) Add my blog button and leave a comment with the link to where I can find it. (1 entry)
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 January 28, 2010 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 a review copy of this Roger Day CD from Elizabeth at Waldmania P.R. to facilitate my candid review. I was not compensated in any other way for this post. The thoughts and opinions expressed in my review are purely my own, and your experience may differ.