Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Album Review: Slugs & Bugs & Lullabies

Slugs & Bugs & Lullabies
Andrew Peterson & Randall Goodgame
Square Peg Alliance (2006)

Are you ready for some great kids' music?

God made slugs and bugs
And rats and bats
And nasty bees that don't say please
They'll sting your elbows and your knees
If you chase them

God made snakes and snails
And killer whales
And if you were a baby seal
Then you would make a tasty meal
For orcas

But God made me like He made the sea
Filled it up with green and blue
Sent His Son, His only one
To fill me up and make me new

OK, so you don't have the frentic energy of the music to make these lyrics come alive. But, this is good stuff. I promise. 100% of the children who have listened to this album in my house have found themselves compulsively dancing along to this song and many others on Slug & Bugs & Lullabies. I'm so grateful that Andrew Peterson and Randall Goodgame collaborated on such a wonderful project -- we were getting pretty desperate for some new kids' music around here.

What a panoply of fun! The album can be divided into two parts: The "slugs & bugs" part is filled with laugh-out-loud lyrics and stomp-your-feet tunes; the "lullabies" are just that -- warm, soothing, sweet and earnest ballads that please the ears and calm the spirit. I'm exceedingly fond of every song, but I think that my favorite has to be the quirky, slightly edgy "Bears."

Bears, bears
They got no cares
Bears don't drink from a cup
Sharp teeth and claws
And furry paws
To catch you and eat you up.

How great is that? How many children's songs would dare to go a little dark? Yet, kids love that. The Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen knew well that kids like a tickle of uncertainty in their entertainment, and these guys know that, too.

Andrew Peterson and Randall Goodgame know more than that about children. They know that kids have wild imaginations and plan grand schemes, and they tap into those creative resources with really smart lyrics that resonate with my two little listeners (and, frankly, with me as well). It's refreshing to hear demands of "Play it again, Mom!" and gladly, willingly comply.

I would recommend this album for anyone who spends time with kids between the ages of Newborn to 12 and anyone else from 18 to Dotage. Jaded teens may poo-poo the magic, but, when they regain their ability to be enchanted, they will want to come again to the land of Slugs & Bugs & Lullabies.

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