Performers include: Toots & The Maytals, Rita Marley, Judy Mowatt
Burning Souls, Eric Bibb, Asheba, Alain Schneider, Johnny Dread, Dal Dos Santos, Marty Dread, Mousta Largo, Jessica.
Liner Note Author: Jacob Edgar.
Illustrator: Nicola Heindl.
Translator: Julien Massardier.
Continuing the line of kid-friendly music from around the world, Putumayo Kids Presents: Reggae Playground takes up the standard and runs through a series of reggae works from a tour manager's nightmare of locations. Starting and ending in the Caribbean, the album makes stops in Europe, Africa, the Indian Ocean, the Americas, and the South Pacific. Pedigrees are excellent on Playground, with connections to Bob Marley tossed in here and there. The music is all upbeat (even the surprisingly sad "Le Vieil Elephant" has a happy tone if one doesn't know the French). There have been other compilations of reggae from around the world (including Putumayo's own Reggae Around the World), but this one is an excellent showcase of both directions of influence. On some tracks, the artist clearly is essentially a non-Jamaican performing straightforward Jamaican reggae. On others, the artist fuses aesthetics of the form with their own forms and ideals, and on still other tracks Jamaicans take up American and British pop (the Burning Souls take up the Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun" ably, and Toots & the Maytals provide an excellent cover of "Take Me Home Country Roads," hearkening back all the way to Yellowman in the process). An outstanding album for children by any measure, and moreover an entirely enjoyable album for adults, with relatively little "dumbing down" of the music as far as children's albums go, and some excellent performances all around. ~ Adam Greenberg
Dirty Linen (p.84) - "Throughout, the instruments put on a full-force beat that makes you want to laugh and dance..."
The previous reviewer has it all wrong! This is an album with reggae musicians around the WORLD adding in their own local, cultural instruments and influence! This is CLASSIC Putumayo style and it's a beautiful collection that i think kids will enjoy! There is Hawaiin Reggae, Sega Reggae, and Samba Reggae among others! It also shows how easy Reggae beats blend into other songs and styles with the (unfortunate?) variation of The Beatles Here Comes the Sun, but a really neat version of John Denver's Country Roads!
By far the best song on the album is Jessica's YING YANG with her beautiful creole language. Get it just for this song! But you also get Kal Dos Santos - a gem on this album! Rita Marley's HARAMBE is great! Judy Mowatt, Mousta Largo, and Pat Gulipat contribute great pieces.
How the previous reviewer didn't get a "Reggae" feel is beyond me. My partner, a long time traditional reggae fanatic, thought it was good. This CD is more the Island, Upbeat Reggae and not the "roots" Reggae just like all the Putumayo Reggae compilations.
My copy also came with the Putumayo Kids Sampler! Good deal!
Another great cd from the putumayo playground series: music that kids love that is actually fun for adults to listen to as well. While I am not personally a reggae fan, I found this cd enjoyable and all of the music very accessible. My three year old loves it. This cd gets frequent play at our place.