Looking for the perfect gift for your indie-hipster friend that recently had kids, your niece or nephew that you want to indoctrinate on good music early or something for yourself to find a happy medium between what you used to listen to and the music your child keeps bringing home from play dates or preschool. Then Nettwerk’s For the Kids Three! compilation should be your next purchase.
As a father myself I put this album to the test with my five year old daughter. We both like the start, with Great Lake Swimmers’ “See You On the Moon” reappearing here from the Paper Bag Records compilation. But we have both outgrown “The Poopsmith Song” by Over the Rhine so carefully consider the age group you are aiming at with this album.
I would be surprise if someone over grade five would enjoy this album but maybe everyone can be engaged by great sing-alongs like O.A.R.’s reggae influenced “Itsy Bitsy Spider” or my album favourites, Submarines’ “My Darling Clementine” and Kyle Andrews’ “The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round”. Of the big names I recognize, Mates of State’s “Jellyman Kelly” is just as good as the James Taylor version I have from Sesame Street but Moby’s “Sleep so Very Long” featuring Chrissi Poland slipped by without a notice even on repeat listening.
Being a big fan of Canadian music and with Nettwerk being a Canadian label I was disappointed at the lack of CanCon on this disc. Of the twenty tracks only three are Canadian and all of them have been released before. The afore mentioned Great Lake Swimmers, Barenaked Ladies’ “The Other Day I Met a Bear” and P:ano’s “Sunny” are all thankfully not duds so at least Canadian quality can be celebrated if not quantity.
All that being said the beauty of this compilation is that there are enough good tracks to withstand repeat listens by the average adult. And with a record aimed at kids you can bet there will be many spins of this disc. So do something good for parents caring for our next generation by buying For the Kids Three! and feel good knowing a portion of the proceeds go towards the Sarah McLachlan Music Outreach program.
By Rob Pingle
Nov 1, 2007