Top 50 Baby Music Albums
Humans are hardwired to love music. It holds a place in us that almost nothing else can reach. As anyone who has seen a grin of delight spread across a listening baby's face knows, there's just something simple and profound about our relationship with sound. And while it's true that the littlest babies don't much care what's playing, as time goes on, they start to listen, move, and sing along (suddenly making half our old music collection off limits for the next 16 years). Luckily we live in a fertile time for kids' music, with rereleases of classic recordings, scores of talented newcomers making charming records, and seemingly every third rocker from the '90s inspired to settle down and create great children's music of their own. Read More ↓
For Babble's first Top 50 Baby Music Albums, we chose recordings that could grow up with babies rather than becoming obsolete as soon as the babies are old enough to crawl away from the stereo. This also meant we stretched the definition of "baby" into the toddler years. Since you may be hearing some of these songs fifty, a hundred, a thousand times, we chose with parental sanity in mind and included a category for the best albums for adults that also work for babies. With music so intimately wrapped up with our emotional lives, we're sure to have made choices you'll disagree with, so feel free to nominate any gems we missed. -Colin Murphy
35 / 50
Sing-a-Longs and Lullabies for the film Curious George Jack Johnson and Friends
Sing-a-Longs and Lullabies for the film Curious George‘s Rankings
Whatever you think of the music that surfing soft-rock king Jack Johnson creates for grownups (if you think of it at all), you’ve got to admit that his relaxed voice and loose acoustic guitar grooves do position him well for making songs about a fun-loving, juvenile monkey. Featuring collaborations with Ben Harper and G. Love, among others, Johnson’s smooth, eco-conscious 2006 album became one of the best selling soundtracks in history. That’s a sign that the appeal here goes beyond discerning toddlers, but it doesn’t change the fact that this album was made with them in mind.
Opening with the shuffling guitar of the big single “Upside Down,” the album gently explores the nature of friendship, mistakes, and responsible refuse disposal, along the way bringing the White Stripes’ “We’re Going to Be Friends” to what really should have been that song’s audience all along. Despite the title, it’s really more lullaby than sing-along, since aside from a couple of fairly upbeat numbers (notably “The 3 Rs,” a reworking of the Schoolhouse Rock song “Three Is a Magic Number” into a tune about reducing, reusing, and recycling), there’s not much that is memorably singable.
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