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African Playground CD
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Some high points: 1) The music is a fine cross-section of African musicology. There's representation from literally every continental compass point. The selections demonstrate a fine variety from the South African song that according to the liner notes inspired THE TOKENS hit "The Lion Sleeps Tonight (Wimoweh)", to a West African tune that has shades of a breezy mediterranean luluby.
2) The performances are excellent. (I lived in Kenya for a number of years and THEM MUSHROOMS, the presenters of "Jambo Bwana", were very frequently on the AM dial, though they never sounded this good!) These are authentic African groups (not afro-americans/europeans making music that attempts to SOUND african). That makes all the difference, as AFRICAN PLAYGROUND sounds decidedly non-western (those looking for a Lion King or Rugrats-like soundtrack are likely to be surprised but not for a second disappointed), but still holds all the joy and spontenaety that African music is known for. A number of songs (eg: Battu, and Kalimba) practially dare you not to bob your head in time, regardless of your age.
3) There's educational value here, and not just from the experience of new music. Putumayo provides outstanding liner notes, explaining the origin and meaning of each song, providing some info about its nation, and phoentically spells out a number of the lyrics.Read more ›
"Oh well," I said to my dog, "what the heck. I'm pretty immature anyway..." So I tried it out, and became completely addicted.
There is such a wide variety of styles, instruments, and languages throughout the disc, one could never become bored listening to it, and there's not a bad song in the bunch. What unites all of them is their unquestionable beauty and contagious happiness. One of the songs (Track 3, by the Mahotella Queens) is so beautiful it actually made me cry the first time I heard it!
While I have no doubt that kids would enjoy it, adults shouldn't be afraid of falling in love with with this gorgeous, cheerful, utterly charming CD.
P.S. My dog likes it too :)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This recording was made for children but I play it as a perky background when I'm working around the house. It lifts the chores and turns what might be drudgery into joy. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Maryh Holland
We absolutely enjoy the upbeat African music on this cd. My 3 year old loves it.Published 8 months ago by Dwana Smith
By far our favorite CD to listen to in the car. Love, love, love. My boys are 3 1/2 now and both have loved the music since they were about two. Read morePublished 8 months ago by twinmom11
Wonderful music for kids & adults to listen to! The music and the songs just pull you in...the kids I bought it for enjoy it as background while playing or doing little projects!Published 11 months ago by S. Boucher