OWTK Kindie Album Reviews

David Tobocman – Lemonade School CD Mini Review


The Sound: Tobocman utilizes an “all styles” approach to his children’s music, but regardless of genre (and many are touched upon here: bluegrass, rock, folk, piano ballad, and hip-hop), elegance reigns.

Best Moments: Never before has waking up pre-dawn with your child sounded more lovely than it does on “Rope Around the Moon”, the album’s closing lullaby.  And individuality has never sounded so, um, gross, as it does on “Ice Cream On A Hot Dog”.  Tobocman uses the foot-stomping bluegrassy tune to point out that a kid with, let’s call it ‘a creative palette’, is simply expirementing with flavors and, at the same time, their own uniqueness.  The slight tongue twister “I like what I like / and what I like may be unlikely / but it’s not wrong” is the icing on this [gulp] bacon cake.

My favorite track, the Carpe Diem-ish “No Time Like The Present”, sways with a piano-bar cool, and finally, the title track is a less-than-3-minute story song that feels, in a very good way, much longer.  Tobocman squeezes so much sweetness into this gentle Bacharach/Hal David-esque piano number that no matter what you’re doing, you’ll stop and focus on Horatio and his juicing prowess.

Okay, Time to Wrap it Up with a Nice Little Bow: David Tobocman is the sophisticated uncle of the kindie music scene. He’s not going to wow you with the latest, tricked-out gadgetry, but when all you want to do after a busy afternoon of crunching leaves is curl up with your mom and dad by the fireplace, there are few people you’d rather hear sing a song at the piano. This is because Tobocman, who’s music is tantamount to that cozy scene, is more interested in subtlety than spectacle.

You’re going to want to enroll your family in “Lemonade School” if you’re a parent who regards Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood as the apex of children’s entertainment and/or you fondly recall when Sesame Street music was thoughtful and textured, and filled with sounds from The Street (conversations with civil servants, etc.)

“Lemonade School” is classified as kid’s music and while that’s appropriate it’s also not entirely accurate.  Tobocman makes what I’ll dub parent music by focusing on thematic material that is fair game for the children’s genre while taking special care to craft nostalgic songs for adults who still love the musical tapestry of their own childhood.

Listen to all of the songs from “Lemonade School” here.

*A copy of “Lemonade School” was provided to OWTK for review. The opinions expressed above are honest and unbiased.  No arm-twisting took place in the review process.

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