(Disclaimer: I received a promotional copy of this album for review)
Those of you familiar with Laurie Berkner’s music won’t be surprised to hear that her new album is full of lively, danceable music. I dare you to listen and try to sit still. Laurie Berkner has been described as “the undisputed queen of kindie rock” by USA Today. The Ultimate Laurie Berkner Band Collection, released last month, is a compilation of greatest hits and fan favorites from six previous albums. She says the new album consists of songs “I’ve been requested to play over and over through the years and are classics at my concerts”. Berkner is very gifted at lyrically capturing kids’ interests through music; families, bugs, making messes, and driving cars are some themes you’ll find in this fun collection. Many of her songs encourage young kids to play with their imaginations, whether it’s riding in an airplane (The Airplane Song #9), reading a book with a purple dinosaur inside (These Are My Glasses #13), or trying to track down a missing birthday cake (Where is the Cake? #3) . Some of the tracks focus on movement. A song called “My Energy” (#8) declares “this is me, this is me and my energy…I’m gonna wiggle my legs, I’m gonna click my heels, I’m gonna stomp my feet, because I have energy!” Another song, “Shake Your Body Down” (#17) asks “Do you wanna to play a game?…Stand up tall…move from side to side…make your body wide…shake your body down, shake it up and down, shake, shake, shake it up and down!” These would work well in a music and movement themed storytime program. Three “never before released” bonus tracks complete the album with a total playing time just under an hour. I recommend The Ultimate Laurie Berkner Band Collection for both long-time fans and those who are just getting familiar with good kids music. I also recommend her previous album from 2010, The Best of the Laurie Berkner Band. I’m looking forward to seeing more from her soon.