Laura Doherty’s signature folk-pop stylings and her gift for making young listeners feel that she is singing directly to and for them infuse this new album with cozy fun and notable, kid-respecting warmth. There’s an upstairs, downstairs game of “Hide and Seek,” and “Muddy Puddles” that require both boots and bathing suits. “Now I Go to School” celebrates a kid’s big step into the world of backpacks, cubbies, new friends, and learning, and Doherty’s assured vocals ukulele strum light up “Lucky Charm” (“You are my lucky charm/I’ll keep you close to my heart”). Rob Newhouse’s lead guitar accompaniment on “Pasta Noodles,” deepens Doherty’s clever recitation of all kinds of pasta, and gentle “Wonderful 1” and captivating “Can’t Wait To Turn 8” acknowledge two special birthdays. (Doherty is notably joined in the latter by Justin Roberts.) The album’s overall tone is set by the title track, “High Five,” perfectly calibrated with mellow bounce.
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.