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CD Review: “Come Dance with Us”

Various Artists – Come Dance with Us (2007, First Wave)
purchase this album (Amazon)

First Wave, the company behind Come Dance with Us, is also responsible for the Fundamentals series of DVDs, which is geared toward teaching very young children to speak clearly — so it should come as no surprise that this CD is a perfectly old-school slice of kids’ music, about as far removed from the hipper, more rockin’ stuff that’s popular with the parental units these days. On the junior set continuum, it’s far, far closer to Barney than Yo Gabba Gabba!

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For what it is, though, Come Dance with Us is very well made, and it comes with a sweet back story: First Wave is run by a daughter-mother duo, Melissa and Dolores Ormandy Neumann, and the songs on this disc were sung by Dolores to Melissa when Melissa was a young girl. Those songs — with titles like “I Know a Little Girl” and “Sitting in a Train” — are arranged around a story about a brother and sister who take a trip to visit some family the day before vacation.

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(I suppose this makes it the kiddie music equivalent of a concept album.

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) The storyline, such as it is, is incidental to the songs, which are just as short, cute, and catchy as you’d expect for something geared toward the under-5 set.

The music is stereotypically “kiddie,” by which I mean it’s performed with a lot of not particularly expensive-sounding synths, and the vocals are coated in syrup — and although that lessens its appeal to older kids and parents, it won’t have any significant impact on how your young ones respond to it. To hear samples of Come Dance with Us (and/or purchase it), click on the above link or visit the First Wave website.