Good Music for Kids, Seriously.
Rain for Roots: Big Stories for Little Ones.
Do I like this album? Double exclamation point–YES!! (Get it, along with all the chord chars here.)
From now on, “Rain for Roots” will be my first response when people ask me what we listen to with our daughter–a mighty big claim, since my old answer to that question was Matthew Perryman Jones, Wilco, Derek Trucks, Sufjan Stevens, Radiohead… I hope you get my drift. My 9 month old, E.V., already has a very refined palate for music, and we want to keep it that way; so the quality of the music Liz and I serve up for her really matters to us. [I dropped a picture of her at the bottom of this review because she’s just so stinkin’ cute.] We want her to grow up with an appreciation for truly appreciable art–discerning ears, eyes, mind, and heart. We also, even more than that, want to inundate her, saturate her, and envelope her with truth, that she might abide in it. Herein lies the problem, or so we thought: music is, we think, probably the best way to teach children anything mysterious or complex, but 99% of the music we’ve found that’s produced for people who can’t read yet also sounds like music written by people who can’t read. That’s a major problem. Or, it was before Rain for Roots.
Now, we can add an album to our “good kids’ music” playlist so that Andrew Peterson and Randall Goodgame’s Slugs & Bugs & Lullabies won’t be so lonely in there–we can throw out all that other music whose style and sound, I’m convinced, is actually what makes mom’s go crazy, and give a hearty “welcome aboard” to the ever-so-talented ladies who have produced Big Stories for Little Ones as we invite them to join us in our living rooms, nurseries, and car rides. Since downloading it earlier this morning, I’ve already listened to the album 6 times in my office, and I love it! I’m so excited about sharing it with Liz and E.V. this evening!
This is the epitome of God-honoring, Christ-exalting art.
Let’s talk about content.
The songs are adaptations of poems from Sally Lloyd-Jones’ Hug-A-Bible. Just like The Jesus Storybook Bible, Hug-A-Bible keeps Christ as the central figure of the Biblical Narrative. We get to follow God’s work from creation, to The Flood, to the stories of Moses, David, and Daniel, to, finally, Jesus’s birth, life, love, death, and resurrection! It’s a brilliant way to “tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and His might, and the wonders that He has done.” (Psalm 78:4)
Now to composition.
The music of Rain for Roots: Big Stories for Little Ones was written by Sandra McCracken, Ellie Holcomb, Flo Paris, and Katy Bowser. These were some of my favorite songwriters before Rain for Roots came to town, and the synergy produced by their collaboration shows the strength of their talents in full force. Andi Ashworth of Art House America said it best of the album, “This is music of the highest quality–lyrics that beautifully tell the stories of the truest truths of the universe and wonderfully strong, memorable, gorgeously sung and produced melodies. I am a huge fan of the Rain For Roots women and grateful for their collaboration in creating this excellent, artful, tender, and joy-filled music.”
You simply will not find a better children’s album, and, I imagine, that’s the way things will stay until Rain for Roots releases another one.
Thanks for reading,
Now, for a cute picture of E.V.: Rain for Root’s soon-to-be smallest, biggest fan!