Kids – it’s Keller Williams for kids

There’s no question that my taste in music veers toward pure pop – smooth harmonies, eighties-style anthems and bouncy choruses that have me humming for days dominate my playlist. When it comes to choosing albums to review for Babyology, I force myself out of the pop-comfort-zone, given we have country and western, classical and heavy metal fans out there. I can’t promise anything on the horizon for heavy metal fans (although I’m happy to accept suggestions!), country crooners will be all over Kids by Keller Williams.

Keller Williams is by no means a newcomer – for decades he has impressed as a singer, songwriter, guitarist and basically a one-man jam band. Kids is Williams’ sixteenth album but the first recorded specifically for children. Williams has taken his signature, eccentric guitar compositions (he is known for ‘looping’ himself) and added fun and silly lyrics to create an album fit for little tykes.

From the outset you’ll hear that Kids is aimed at the kinder crowd – songs about taking a bath, sitting in your car seat, finger-painting and rhyming ditties about goats and moats plant this album firmly on the children’s playlist. At the same time, William’s musical prowess saves it from being one of those CDs that adults would happily never ever play again.

There are a number of standouts on Kids. I admit that as soon as I got the album I skipped ahead to track thirteen, a cover of John Denver’s Grandma’s Feather Bed. I have fond memories of listening to this song when I was little and Williams has certainly stamped his own style on this classic for a new generation of listeners.

Car Seat is terrific – a neat little song about chilling out in your car seat, buckled in tight and watching the world go by. The style is similar to Jack Johnson but the lyrics are aimed at the under-fives. I also really like Keep it on the Paper, a tribute to art and craft sessions, kid-style.

My favourite is Because I Said So – how often have I heard myself drag out that all-too-familiar refrain “Because I said so”? Williams puts it to music and the lyrics are gently funny – “You can’t have an alligator, tractor, giraffe or hippopotamus, cause I said so”.

And because farts are funny, no matter what your age, Mama Tooted is guaranteed to have kids in stitches. “It can sound like a duck, it can sound like a frog…Mama tooted”. I can just imagine Williams’ introduction to Mama Tooted when he is playing live – it’s just too good an opportunity not to ask his young audience “Put your hand up if your mum farts?”

Overall, the feel is bluegrass and folksy and while that may not be everyone’s cup of tea, these pure-pop-ears enjoyed the change of pace.

Kids is available directly from Keller Williams’ online store for US$15.

Katrina Whelen

Katrina studied planning and design, did the hard yards working in a big office building and then traded it all in for a relaxing (!) life at home with four children. She now fills her time with writing, completing a degree in genetics and taxiing her children around Melbourne to their various sporting commitments (not necessarily in that order).

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