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Sing-a-Longs and Lullabies for the Film Curious George

Jack Johnson

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iTunes Review

A laid-back surfer who makes everything look easy turns out to be the perfect musical alter ego for a pesky monkey who’s always in a jam. Who knew? While nothing in Jack Johnson’s previous work evoked anything nearly as kinetic as Curious George, the singer-songwriter’s songs have an innate playfulness — and an abiding sense of wonder — that make him a natural for children’s music. Though come to think of it, only two or three of these are children’s music at all. “3Rs,” for instance, gives an eco-friendly twist to the Schoolhouse Rock classic “Three is the Magic Number,” while “The Sharing Song” delivers an age-appropriate lesson in an upbeat surfer-dude way: “If you’ve got a ball/ Bounce it to the gang/ If there is a new kid/ Invite him out to hang.” But most of the other tunes here would sound perfectly at home on any of Johnson’s previous three albums, including the infectious shuffle of “Upside Down,” an irresistible, radio-friendly tribute to the monkey (and the kid) inside all of us. A cover of The White Stripes gem “We’re Going to Be Friends” fits the mood perfectly, while the delicate ballad “Broken” could be about a lover, could be about the Man with the Yellow Hat, and hey, does it matter? This is music for both preschoolers and parents to enjoy, a perfect companion to the film’s gentle sweetness.

Customer Reviews

Coolest Soundtrack Ever!

Oftentimes, I am dismayed at the amount of money and approval that a poor product or advertisement successfully endured to become real and a part of my life. For example, the Hummer commercial that aired during Super Bowl XL was hugely disappointing, not just because it was gross and stupid, but also because boards of executives and teams of people and millions of dollars all had to agree that it was a good idea to share with us, and that it would certainly sell the H3. And someone came up with the idea and decided to speak it out loud in the first place. Happily, this album is just the opposite. It stands out as the quintessential answer to all the terrible ideas that have ever been dreamed, expressed, approved, and paid for. Somewhere, a brilliant person thought that it would be excellent to have Jack Johnson create the soundtrack to a chldren's movie. Of course, Jack Johnson is the perfect candidate, as this soundtrack proves. As should go without saying, it is children's music (after all, Curious George is a children's movie), but it is superbly balanced with hipness, so that adults and children can enjoy it together. And if there's something that this world can use, it's more harmony between children and adults. Regrettably, the only real reason this soundtrack gets five stars is because the scale stops there. If you have a pulse you will enjoy this. If you don't, you'll probably like it even more.

What an awesome balance of kid-friendly and fun!

Wow! That's all I can say. As a nanny for a 3 year old little boy...I am subjected to lots of children's music that makes me want to scream. However, I was ready to scream with delight when I heard that Jack Johnson was doing the soundtrack to Curious George (as Jack is one of the few mainstream artists he likes--and I love)...so I preordered the album as soon as I could...and "Upside Down" is definitely his favorite song right now... I am sure this album will get lots of play on my iPod...both when he's in the car, and when he's not. :)

There’s No Stopping Curiosity

When I first heard that Jack Johnson would be making a children’s album for the soundtrack of the new Curious George movie I had a little trepidation. I am a huge fan of the surfer turned acoustic king but then again I’m not a kid nor have any of my own. But Johnson’s music already is for all ages and really wouldn’t need to have a drastic change aside from avoiding the occasional political song that sometimes peppers his albums. So as a kid’s record, Jackson and his band of merry men stick to themes of friendship and other social lesson found in other children’s entertainment. For the most part the songs still have the same breezy acoustic sound that is typically associated with Johnson. But without the diversity in topics, the songs tend to blend into each other over time. Although it’s somewhat odd that the downer Wrong Turn, that includes the line, “this was only the worst hour of my day” in it. I guess that it has to do something with Curious George getting in trouble in the movie before everything gets resolved happily. There are a couple of straight ahead kids songs most notable a remake of the old Schoolhouse Rocks! gem 3 R’s, or as I remember it, Three, is a Magic Number. But this time they focus on the three R’s, reduce, reuse, recycle, and you just know that Johnson would slip some Earth friendly lyrics in here. Johnson even brings some kids along to help him sing the song as well as the earlier Sharing Song. The kids choir aren’t the only ones that drop by to help Johnson out, help people being an overlying theme of the album, as some of his buddies stop by to lend a hand as Kawika Kahiapo (Talk of the Town), G. Love (Jungle Gym), Matt Costa (Lullaby), and Ben Harper (My Own Two Hands) all make appearances. In the end, the album is good for people of all ages and a must own for anyone with kids whose age are in the single digits. As an added bonus, maybe if you get you kids to listen to good music at a young age, they won’t listen to horrible music like My Chemical Romance or 50 Cent when they enter into the teenage years.

Biography

Born: May 18, 1975 in Oahu, Hawaii

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Before Jack Johnson became the 21st century kingpin of beachside pop/rock, he was a champion surfer on the professional circuit. The sport was second nature to the Hawaiian native, who began chasing waves as a toddler and, by the age of 17, had become an outstanding athlete on the Banzai Pipeline. However, Johnson was also testing other creative outlets — specifically film and music — and a serious surfing accident during his first professional competition convinced him to devote more...
Full Bio

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