Monkey CD right for adults

Nate Billings - Executive Editor

Nate Billings – Executive Editor

Jack Johnson and friends come together in a delightful combination of light-hearted music and serious business in their new album Sing-a-Longs and Lullabies for the film Curious George.

The CD itself may seem simplistic and childish, but it is far from it. The music carries the characteristic style of Johnson while bringing in a new flavor of children’s music fit for even adults.

Sure, it’s suited for the audience who got the most out of an animated monkey, but still, everyone seems to have grown up on Curious George. And, that’s why it’s important to have a soundtrack which appeals to both older and younger audiences.

Some songs do occasionally feel like something from Sesame Street, but they do carry a full array of lyrics to enhance a child’s vocabulary. Other songs incorporate a feeling of love and warmth by developing themes like family, sharing and love. These social-oriented songs are better suited for older children, but anyone of any age should appreciate the light-hearted, moving feeling associated with the lullabies.

Any fan of Johnson should add this CD to his or her collection. It will not insult one’s intelligence by bringing the level of conversation down, but rather enhance the level it’s aimed at through a proficient means of musical analysis. For example, the song “The Three R’s” begins a simple, but arbitrary reference to corresponding letters and numbers. Children would probably not get the idea right away, but for an adult, the lyrics are thought provoking.

Other songs keep children using their multiplication skills. This is perfect in a world of new math. Plus, it keeps the adults thinking on those simple problems they had in school but probably soon forgot to practice.

Overall, the CD is well worth the price and will surely go into Johnson’s classics album sometime in the future. The supporting musicians also do a perfect job of complementing Johnson’s Hawaiian styling. Johnson is usually a solo performer, relying occasionally on only a few other instruments to back him up. In this album the audience can hear him working with newer instruments being added to his repertoire. For example, the harmonica in the background is louder than what some may be used to in his works. The bass is noticeably there as well as the piano, which brings a smooth tone to a supposedly lighter subject of Curious George.

And, besides, there’s nothing better than getting 13 tracks on one CD, which means more than an hour worth of music. The deal is outstanding, considering many of Johnson’s albums are limited to 10 songs. Oh, and for the die-hard fans, the album still comes in the cardboard package everyone recognizes.

If fans continue to be curious, they should worry no more. This album will not disappoint.