Reviewed by Katy Killilea
Did you dress your baby in a Ramones onesie? Parents firmly opposed to certified children’s music don’t need to read any further. Justin Roberts is definitely a children’s music star. And he has a new album (his sixth) out, Pop Fly.
This is not something you might listen to when your kids aren’t asking for it. More kid-oriented than Dan Zanes or Justin Kleinberg, but way less irritating than The Wiggles and groups of that ilk, Justin Roberts songs are about childhood angst and experiences, and they have catchy hooks that suit his gentle, James Taylor-ish voice. Topics range from having a big sister who’s a crossing guard to everything that surrounds a big field trip: in the song “Big Field Trip” kids will croon along with the lyric, “Did you get your permission slip siii-iii-iigned?”
One of my sons gave what is perhaps the finest compliment a Rhode Island youth can bestow upon a storyteller-singer: “Is this Keith Munslow?” Like Munslow, Justin Roberts’s greatest gift is being an adult who remembers what’s important in childhood–not whales or rainbows or pointing your finger and doing the twist, but relationships and trying new things.
Carpet Square Records