Laura Veirs – Tumblebee
The genre of children’s entertainment can be sanitized to a point of condescension–we simply don’t give kids enough credit. But, every so often, an artist comes along who remembers that kids are participants in the same world, players in the same game that adults are…albeit, smaller players. On Tumble Bee, Laura Veirs manages to speak the language of youth without falling into the traps of over-simplifying matters or censoring herself. I’m not saying this is a dark or explicit children’s album–actually, it’d be better described as a ray of sunshine in the depths of winter–but it’s a children’s album that feels organic and true, rather than some act or voice an adult puts on in order to relate to a child. “Tumblebee” has the sound of a lighter-than-air Nellie McKay track, the familiar bright tropes of a children’s tune but, most surprisingly, it also possesses a seriousness that is rare in the world of children’s entertainment. And, if there’s one thing we know about kids, it’s that they like to be taken seriously.