Noteworthy new kids music

Ralph Covert – Welcome to Ralph's World (Disney Sound): Ralph Covert, whom your kids probably already know from Playhouse Disney, kicks off the new Disney Sound label in fine style with a greatest-hits-type collection. (The lone new release, "With a Friend (The Pooh Song)," celebrates the 80th birthday of a certain beloved Bear of Little Brain.) Covert takes inspiration from polka, The Beach Boys, and everything in between to create sweet and bouncy tunes likely to please fans of indie-infused groups such as The Laurie Berkner Band. Standouts include "Riding With No Hands," "The Mighty Worm," and a tune that kicks up the responsibilities of pet ownership a notch, "Dinosaur Rumble." A bonus DVD of six new videos mixes live action and animation. Grade: B+

Stephen Fite – Gobs of Fun (Melody Music): Kids may want to have "Gobs of Fun," but whether parents do will depend on their appetite for '80s-style pop and hair metal. My mom begged me to turn off the CD after two songs, but my son happily danced his model horses across the floor to the beat. A grocery shopping trip inspires the most clever track, "What's on the List," and Fite's emphasis on good manners and making the right decisions won him several awards from parenting groups. Personally, I'd still rather rely on Jiminy Cricket as my musical guidance counselor, but '80s-music lovers looking for a head-bopping time for the tykes could do worse. Grade: B–

Various artists – Asian Dreamland (Putumayo Kids): This CD goes into heavy rotation at our house around bedtime. The fact that my son doesn't speak Japanese (or Chinese or Tatar for that matter) does nothing to dampen his enjoyment of these gentle fusion lullabies. India's famed classical musician Ali Akbar Khan lends his abilities and sarod to a track, as do folk singers from faraway corners such as Tibet and Tatarstan. Upping the multicultural ante even further is Emme: Her "Dokokade Yoruga Naita (The Weeping Night)" is actually based on a Celtic melody. Part of the proceeds go to the Worldwide Orphans Foundation to aid Asian orphans, which will help you sleep better as well.Grade: B

David Weinstone and Music for Aardvarks and Other Mammals – Taxi (Music for Aardvarks): Music appreciation classes used to be code for "slightly less boring than watching mold spores grow." As many New Yorkers and Noggin subscribers already know, David Weinstone has managed the not-insignificant feat of keeping the fun quotient high while still introducing kids to a wide variety of music styles. By "wide" I mean everything from folk to techno to tango. And his songs have been subject to rigorous field testing: According to one estimate, 300 Music for Aardvarks classes are held in New York City each week. Parents can have fun guessing the inspiration – "Is that 'Hernando's Hideaway?' " – and the lyrics won't make their teeth hurt from too much artificial sugar. And for those who fear that parenting is dampening their hipster cred, fear not: This CD comes complete with raves from comic Jon Stewart and composer Philip Glass. Grade: A–

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