Tag Archives: Renee & Jeremy

Album Review: Renee and Jeremy, ‘A Little Love’

All About Renee & Jeremy Apart, they’re Renee Stahl and Jeremy Toback, both veteran recording artists in their own right — Renee has released a pair of solo albums, and Jeremy was a founding member of Brad before moving on to his own solo career and his latest band project, Chop Love Carry Fire. Together, they form what might be kindie’s soothing-est duo: the mellifluous voices behind the Dadnabbit favorites It’s a Big World and C’mon.

What They Sound Like Take one part acoustic instrumentation, add one part heartwarming two-part harmony, and you’ve got the basic ingredients. Simple but effective.

Album Highlights A Little Love is a covers record, so these are all songs you probably know by heart, from AM gold (the Monkees’ “Daydream Believer,” Simon & Garfunkel’s “59th Street Bridge Song”) to classic rock (Supertramp’s “Give a Little Bit,” John Lennon’s “Love,” Queen’s “You’re My Best Friend”), a few surprising choices from the last 25 years (“Shiny Happy People,” Coldplay’s “Yellow” and the Chili Peppers’ “Give It Away”) and even a little sweet soul music (“Put a Little Love in Your Heart”).

Suggestions for Improvement Tough question, because A Little Love is effortless listening, and the track listing moves smoothly from easy picks like “Daydream Believer” to wonderfully off-the-wall choices like “Give It Away” — and Renee & Jeremy manage them all with tuneful aplomb. It’s a lot of fun. If I had to come up with a nit to pick, I suppose I’d wish for more unexpected covers on the next installment, but that’s only because it’s so much fun to see the looks on people’s faces when they hear “Give It Away.”

Target Age Group Everyone

Final Verdict A creative holding pattern, perhaps, but as placeholder projects go, A Little Love is more fun than most. A wise man once told me that you shouldn’t bother cutting a cover of someone else’s work unless you have something of yourself to bring to the song, and Renee & Jeremy observe that rule religiously here — you’ll obviously recognize everything here, but none of the covers are slavishly faithful, and all of the new arrangements make sense. Listen to the whole thing below (or just buy it here), and see if you don’t agree.

New Video: Renee & Jeremy, “Yellow”

Yes, I know we’re like the tenth site to post on this video, including noted blogvillains the Huffington Post, who had the exclusive debut (hooray for added exposure, R&J!). But in case you somehow missed this lovely clip while I was wrapped up in KindieFest commotion — or if you just feel like watching it again, because it deserves repeated viewings — here’s the leadoff single from Renee & Jeremy‘s terrific new covers album, A Little Love, due May 8. Pre-order your copy here.

CD Review: Renee & Jeremy, “C’mon”

61I9u16d9eL._SCLZZZZZZZ_[1]Lullaby albums are like the Christmas records of the kids’ music world — they’re evergreen sellers that don’t really need to be great as long as they conform to a fairly narrow, easily reproduced aesthetic. But like Christmas albums, sometimes a lullaby record comes along that’s really special, and such was the case with Renee & Jeremy’s 2007 debut, It’s a Big World. A magical blend of hushed acoustic instrumentation and beautiful harmonies, It’s a Big World proved that not all children’s albums from pop music refugees are created equal; in fact, sometimes, they even surpass the artists’ “grown up” work.

Two years later, Renee & Jeremy have returned with C’mon, a markedly more uptempo collection that proves the duo isn’t only capable of soothing little ones to sleep. But don’t worry — these songs retain the peaceful warmth of It’s a Big World, thanks to comforting melodies and the soft embrace of Renee & Jeremy’s intertwined voices. It’s a more varied effort, but it doesn’t feel any less cohesive than the first; ballads like “Is It Really Any Wonder” blend seamlessly into peppier tracks like “Mama Papa Love,” and at just a shade over half an hour long, C’mon will reach the final notes of its closing track, “Rely,” long before you’re ready for the album to end. (The solution: hours on repeat.)

C’mon touches on familiar themes such as patience (“Right Now”), sharing (“Share”), and familial love (“Mama Papa Love”), but it does so with uncommon intelligence and grace. In a crowded kids’ music marketplace where hyperactive noise is often overpowering, Renee & Jeremy keep things simple, contemplative, and honest. This album will be a gift for you as much as it is for your children.

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