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
30 / 50
Sabroso: The Afro-Latin Groove | Various Artists
Sabroso: The Afro-Latin Groove’s Rankings
As a fusion of jazzy instrumental chops, American R&B, and African-by-way-of-Caribbean polyrhythms, it’s hard to beat the Latin jazz and boogaloo of ’50s and ’60s New York for sheer, chilled-out groove. This collection of 18 tunes is an excellent introduction to the genre and is also one of the greatest secret dance albums of all time. But it doesn’t mind relaxing in the background until the party starts, either.
Along with golden-age appearances from Latin jazz big dogs like Joe Cuba, Eddie and Charlie Palmieri, Mongo Santamaria, and Tito Puente, the anthology also collects lesser-known but no less talented acts. The songs here are a mix of instrumentals and vocal numbers, with most of the singing in Spanish (the album opener, Willie Bobo’s “Fried Neck Bones and Some Home Fries” is an appetizing exception, chanting only those words over a slow brass workout). We dare you not to find yourself moving to this one. We dare you too, kid.
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