Best New Family Road Trip Music
Road trip season is upon us, and you need to make all necessary preparations -- including packing some good tunes for the car.
If you've got young kids, though, that can be tricky. You don't dare play the radio, lest Lady Gaga suddenly come on singing about disco sticks. Yet several hours of puppets belting out "The Wheels on the Bus" isn't a very attractive alternative. Here are five great new family CDs -- meaning they're intended for kids -- that parents in the front seats won't be afraid to hum along with.
Justin Roberts: "Jungle Gym"
If you want guaranteed quality in the world of children's music, you can always look to Justin Roberts. His newest CD features more of his joyous pop-rock tunes with lyrics that are relatable to kids and humorously nostalgic to adults. This album has fantastic songs about the euphoria brought about by a gym class parachute and the unlimited possibilities of a cardboard box. It's almost impossible to listen to "Jungle Gym" without a smile on your face, whatever your age.
Best sing-along track: "Obsessed by Trucks"
Starfish: "Enter Sandbox"
Classic rock is prime road trip music. And while this CD is brand spanking new, listening to this group of Jersey-ites can feel like you've just popped on a classic rock station, zipping from tracks that feel a bit like The Who, Kansas, or even the Sex Pistols. These are some very pure old-school rock tunes. About topics, of course, like elephants and treehouses. Frankly, you've got to love this album just for its title.
Best sing-along track: "My Name is No"
Laughing Pizza: "Let's Go Play!"
If you're more of a power pop fan, this family band (literally -- the trio consists of a mother, father and daughter) will feed your need for Kelly Clarkson-ish or Pink-style songs, without leading your kids to singing about destructive relationships. This is high-energy stuff, full of overwhelmingly positive messages.
Best sing-along track: "Clean My Room"
Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem: "Ranky Tanky"
Those who prefer a little more twang in their driving music should look no further than the jangling Americana of Daisy Mayhem. Ukuleles, fiddles and banjos whip up bouncy, bluegrass-tinged covers of folk standards and oldies rock numbers. This kids' album from the normally grownup-oriented Daisy Mayhem makes a perfect soundtrack for the open road.
Best sing-along track: "Wildflowers"
Roger Day: "Why Does Gray Matter?"
You might not expect a concept album of brain-themed songs to be a great road trip CD -- or even good. But the eminently likable Roger Day will prove you wrong. His witty lyrics (there's a song about a girl named "Sara Bellum") and happy-go-lucky beats will have entire families bopping in their seats. You might need to make a pit stop for a dance break.
Best sing-along track: "Brain Freeze"
Related: 7 More Bands "Yo Gabba Gabba" Has Introduced to Your Kids
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.