Best New Children's Music 2012 / OWTK Kindie Album Reviews

Nick Cope – What Colour Is Your T-Shirt? CD Review


The Sound: Sleepy acoustic Brit-pop

In the Cafeteria, He Sits With: David Tobocman, Heidi Swedberg, John & Mark

Best Moments: The deceptively catchy, pause-then-go rhythm of “As I Lie Here in my Bed” is a feast of nifty minor percussion.  It’s also a tidy little story-song with a charming conclusion.  The Mouse devours “As I Lie Here in my Bed” in large chunks, 4-5 plays in succession and, impressively, the simple number maintains it’s cuteness even during her most obsessive stretches.

It’s not a multilingual song per se, but “12345” fuses four different languages that may very well teach, but that’s probably not really the point.  One doesn’t get the sense that this is an edutainment opportunity being seized by Cope, which is why the slight tune works.   “12345” is more likely to tussle the hair on your head than bop you on it.

The title track will, without a doubt, have your kids trying to remember what kind of tee they have buried underneath their sweatshirt, jacket and scarf.  It’s the most uptempo, and immediately enjoyable number of the ten on Cope’s debut kid’s CD.  Pay close attention at the 50-second mark, ’cause there’s a lovely little piano and bass breakdown that’s ideal for swaying and singing along.

Bonus Thoughts: Eventually, Nick Cope will have a fully illustrated storybook packaged with “What Colour Is Your T-Shirt?”  I’ve seen a couple of sample pages and can promise you that it’s going to be a special treat for children and parents alike (especially if your kiddos dig silly monkeys).

Bonus Bonus Thought: Add Nick Cope to the growing list of adult rockers who’ve found their way to recording music for a closer-to-the-ground fan base. While his old band The Candyskins may not be a household name here in the States, they were a bit of a sensation in the Oxford, England brit-pop scene of the 1990’s.

Okay, Time to Wrap it Up with a Nice Little Bow: I’m not going to bother to dress this up all pretty-like: I (and we) love this album.  Maybe it’s because I’m a sucker for a British accent, or maybe it’s my affinity for Oxford’s finest coppers (Inspector Robbie Lewis and Sergeant James Hathaway), or maybe it’s simply that Nick Cope has released a batch of endearing children’s songs that take full advantage of traditional concepts for younger audiences: movement, repetition, basic contextual material of jumping in mud, counting (with monkeys no less), language, and colors, all with a nimble beauty that when folded in with the tenderness inherent in Cope’s voice and guitar become positively irresistible.

“What Colour Is Your T-Shirt?” is a stunning and graceful debut kid’s album best appreciated by children 2-6.

*A copy of “What Colour is Your T-Shirt?” was provided to OWTK for review. The opinions expressed above are unbiased and true – no arm twisting took place in the review process.

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