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
10 / 50
No! | They Might Be Giants
Ask any group of parents what music their young kids are enjoying lately, and They Might Be Giants is almost certain to come up. 2002′s No! was the first album the band made expressly for children, although it’s unclear quite what distinguishes their “children’s” albums from the rest of their quirky, playful oeuvre. One of the only clues might be a slightly greater concentration of songs with explicitly childlike subjects or points of view – songs that individually, on any other TMBG album, wouldn’t seem out of place at all. The album also closes with three songs in a row about bedtime.
So beyond these questions of ambiguous musical identity, what does everybody like about the album? Maybe it’s the absurd and memorable lyrics. Maybe it’s the odd, clever production touches and musical allusions hidden throughout the 17 short, tightly executed songs. (Bonus points for the nod to the Muppet Show on pedestrian safety paean, “In the Middle, in the Middle, in the Middle.”) Or maybe it’s just that, at the end of the day, the album is filled with great songs that make everybody happy, whether they can understand language or not.
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