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
11 / 50
After the Gold Rush | Neil Young
Neil Young’s 1970 solo album is a restrained masterpiece, with an ambling pace, beautiful instrumentation and vocal harmonies, and Young’s songwriting at its melancholy best on songs like “Tell Me Why,” “Don’t Let it Bring You Down,” and the title track. With its downbeat atmosphere of solitude and longing, it might seem an odd choice for kids or expectant moms. But the songs are less about loneliness than they are about an introspective journey, about coming to terms with the changes we find ourselves undergoing through powers much greater than we are. In places, it seems as if Young couldn’t be singing about anything other than the terrifying love we have for our babies, as in “Birds” (“When you see me fly away without you / Shadow on the things you know / Feathers fall around you / And show you the way to go”) or “Only Love Can Break Your Heart.” Morning, evening, naptime, weepy time, this one is filled with perfect moments.
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