Chris Ballew's I Found You!
is full of the cozy production, earcatching song structures, and instant likeability that characterizes all of his Caspar Babypants
work. His prolific musical output is pretty impressive, as Ballew releases a new Caspar Babypants album every nine months or so, but I Found You
is as high quality as any of his CDs. Original songs, reworkings of traditional tunes, and a guest appearance or two by Seattle
musicians make I Found You
one of the best kids' music CDs of 2013.
Chris Ballew once fronted The Presidents of the United States of America, an indie pop trio from Seattle who used their sense of humor and unique instrumentation to garner a couple of Top 40 hits during the mid-'90s, including "Kitty," "Lump," and "Peaches." Over the course of six albums of family music, Ballew has translated his musical vibe into kids' tunes that, well, aren't really that different from his grownup songs!
Ballew emerged as Caspar Babypants in 2009 with his kids' music debut Here I Am!, an album that topped our list of Best Kids' Music of 2009. Ballew was obviously still full of tunes as More Please! was also released in 2009, followed in quick succession by This is Fun! in 2010, Sing Along! in 2011, Hot Dog! in 2012, and I Found You! in 2013.
The Music of Caspar Babypants' 'I Found You!'
The bouncy, name-filled "I Found You" kicks off the album, a high energy ode to Ballew's wife Kate Endle
who also designs the Caspar Babypants album covers. The equally jaunty "Just Wondering" asks all kinds of child-like questions about nature, while "All the Fish" updates a traditional tune with a couple of nifty chord changes. The upbeat "Kangaroo" sounds like a mod British pop
tune from the mid 1960s, while "Baby of Mine" lets little ones know they will always be mom and dad's baby. Caspar Babypants' version of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" grooves along with a chugging beat, while "The Stump Hotel" is full of fantastic images of bugs. Caspar digs insects
, as you will hear throughout I Found You!
and the rest of the Caspar Babypants catalogue. "Yes and No" sounds like a They Might Be Giants
song with its back and forth conversation about multifunctional objects, while "Sleepy Head," another great pop tune that deserves indie rock radio play, is a lullaby in reverse, encouraging baby to wake up and play. The traditional "Say Farewell" sways like a sea shanty
as baby animals and insects grow up and leave their homes.
More Music from Caspar Babypants' 'I Found You!'
If there were to be a hit single pulled from I Found You!
it would be "Too Dirty to Love," a tune cowritten by Mudhoney
's Steve Turner, who also contributes guitar work. The humorously spooky "Skeletone" is perfect for Halloween
, while the traditional "Row Row Row Your Boat" is given a snappy Sun Records
rockabilly treatment. Twist along with "Cricket the King" and sing along with the chorus of "Fuzz," two more super catchy tunes from I Found You!
. Caspar then reworks a couple of traditional tunes into the banjo
-driven "Hobo Baby" and the loping, bluesy "Woods Behind My Home." I Found You!
ends with two quiet, soothing songs perfect for bringing a day to a close. "If I Was A" imagines oneself as various slimy invertebrates and gastropods
, while "Golden Sunset," sounding like a White Album
outtake, celebrates the night sky.
You just can't go wrong with a Caspar Babypants album, and I Found You! is no exception. Full of colorful imagery, unforgettable melodies, and all around good vibes, I Found You! will make a wonderful addition to anyone's music collection, definitely landing on our list of Best Kids' Music of 2013.
Released January 15, 2013; Aurora Elephant Music
- "I Found You"
- "Just Wondering"
- "All the Fish"
- "Baby of Mine"
- "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star"
- "The Stump Hotel"
- "Yes and No"
- "Sleepy Head"
- "Say Farewell"
- "Too Dirty to Love"
- "Row Row Row Your Boat"
- "Cricket the King"
- "Hobo Baby"
- "Woods Behind My Home"
- "If I Was A"
- "Golden Sunset"