Little Songs, Big Science
Jeff Kagan & Paige Doughty specialize in songs about nature while including elements of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) learning. On their sixth album, for kids, Jeff & Paige merge their voices and talents together to present twelve new original compositions, which utilize their formula of combining silly, sometimes absurdist humor with energized performances, that also sneak more than a little science in through the back door. The album begins with their Thomas Dolby-esque overture, before going into a set of catchy little tunes, such as the Ennio Morricone-ish “Air Pressure,” the spiky and informative “Cactus” and a funny little explanation about human body temperature in “Hotter Than Chocolate.” A lesson about the life cycle of plants can be found on “Cottonwood Trees,” while their penchant for creative rhyming and puns is most evident in the funky and scientifically accurate “Static.” The basics of geology are dug up in the ridiculous rhymes of “Rock, It’s Remarkable,” and there is a lot of information for children to digest while they dance to “Carnivores, Herbivores, Omnivores.” Color and light are explained in the rapped “Rainbow,” while “Density” is weighed out in the form of a mock game show, and a reggae-tinged tune. A lovely melody is utilized to explain why “Autumn Leaves Fall,” and the album closes with an examination of the change of seasons in “Earth Goes Around the Sunshine.” There is a whole lot of real science packed into the album’s entertaining thirty-six minutes, and Jeff and Paige’s outrageous antics will certainly get younger children’s attention, while simultaneously convincing them that science is cool.
Lahri Bond ©2019 Parents’ Choice
Lahri Bond is a father, a writer, music historian and an art professor in Western Massachusetts. His published books include Spinning Tales Weaving Hope (with the Stories For World Change Network) for New Society Press and People of the Earth (coauthored with Ellen Evert Hopman) for Destiny Books.