Dog on the Floor
In recent years, children’s music icon Raffi has returned to making fresh albums for a new generation, giving them fresh buoyancy, but the same gentle spirit that has defined him since he earned superstar status in the field more than four decades ago. Raffi’s 25th album of mostly new songs, recorded when he turned 70, is another keeper, filled with child-honoring, nature-celebrating, deceptively simple songs carrying a singalong invitation and delivered with Raffi’s signature vocal warmth and varied acoustic instrumentation (guitar, ukulele, clarinet, piano, violin and more). Raffi pays tribute to his clearly beloved pup, Luna, in three songs dog-lovers will relate to (“Luna’s Song,” “Walkin’ My Dog,” “Dog on the Floor”). “Take a Breath” offers calming techniques “to change how I feel.” To a ukulele pluck and strum, he sings a vivid image of a “Dragonfly,” swooping by with “silky, shiny” wings, “light as a feather in the sky”; and in “Love Grows Love,” he imparts the simple truth that “love grows brains, love grows hearts”. Children’s voices are an appealing addition to many tracks, among them “Play Play Play” and Raffi’s vintage “Listen to the Horses,” with a leisurely clop-clop rhythm and dobro twang. The album’s “bonus song”: Raffi’s heart-felt, 1999 anthem, “It Takes a Village (to raise a child”).
Lynne Heffley ©2018 Parents’ Choice
A freelance writer and editor for the arts and non-profit organizations, Lynne is a former staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, where she established the paper’s first weekly children’s arts and entertainment beat.