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

Renee & Jeremy – A Little Love Kid’s CD Mini Review


A covers album. Yeah, I know. I feel pretty much the same way. Seems like tiptoeing through the tulips for wrinkled dudes like Manilow, Stewart, and Sir Paul – a way to keep one hand inside the wallets of their, um, more mature audiences without having to bother to pen original material.  But what of two vibrant, creative, and harmonious youngsters (well, relative to those rock relics anyway)?  What should we make of Renee Stahl and Jeremy Toback dipping ten familiar tunes from the pop music cannon – “Daydream Believer”, “Shiny Happy People”, “Give it Away” (no kidding), to name a few – into their soft & subtle sunshine music machine?  Well, here’s what I think of their new experiment called “A Little Love”:

After roughly half a listen you’ll wish for the power to weave R&J’s heartbreaking harmonies into a blanket, then wrap up your entire family in it; an over-sized musical Snuggie if you will.  Only $8.99 if you call right now!!  But wait, there’s more…

Here’s the set up: You’ve nearly overslept at nap time, thisclose to an abandoned-child disaster, but managed somehow to scrape yourself out of bed, slide on your sandals, scoop up your still-dreaming youngest, and deposit that adorable bundle gently into her waiting car seat. It’s overcast and rainy and while you clearly aren’t ready for sleep (you just woke up, after all), you’re also not yet comfortable with the idea of being awake.  Renee & Jeremy’s “A Little Love” is the album perfectly suited to score the bleary-eyed ride that follows to collect your oldest daughter from school.

The above may or may not have been the 3-sentence version of my Monday afternoon.

Listen, I know that these ten songs can’t actually make rays of sunshine sneak through the hazy grey.  Nor do they have the ability to nudge the mercury upward even a millimeter, but dammit if I won’t try to convince you that they can.  “A Little Love”, like the Renee & Jeremy albums that have preceded it, is everything in the world that is warm, good, and beautiful.  It is being hailed as a lullaby album but I do prefer thinking about this brand of peacefulness as wake up music; tunes to bridge that gap from being at rest to being in motion.  Since I don’t do the coffee or the tea (or any other hot beverage, for your information), Renee & Jeremy fill my morning mug and put a decaf smile on my weary face.

And as long as we’re being honest (dislike for cover albums, hot drinks), I’m not a fan of many of these songs in their original state.  They are just not where I come from musically.  There isn’t anyone on Earth besides Renee & Jeremy, with their fragile, perfectly meshed voices and hope-chest-worthy arrangements, who could make me want to listen to some of these classics.  Curses to them both for having me singing “Shiny Happy People”!

The proof is in the pudding, right?  So just listen to the California duo turn Coldplay’s first hit into an even more delicate and lovely thing:

If you enjoy the pop music of the last 40 years and also fancy quiet Sunday mornings with a good book, a bowl of fresh organic fruit, and a warm beverage (or, in my case, apple juice), I gotta think you’re gonna love “A Little Love”.  Yeah, your kids will probably dig it too even if they only know these songs from video games and movies.  But who cares about them, buy this one for yourself.

*OWTK received a copy of “A Little Love” for review considerations. The opinions above are honest and unbiased, as always.

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