Raffi’s Love Bug has 15 new tracks, including an inspiring bonus song called “Turn This World Around”—a tribute to the late Nelson Mandela. (Fun fact: Raffi performed this song to Mandela himself, when the legendary South African president came to visit Toronto in 2001 at Ryerson University.) The record employs themes of nature and family, uniting listeners both young and old to celebrate everyday life. Tracks like “Mama Loves It” encourage kids to help Mom and Dad out with chores around the house in a pleasantly upbeat way. Raffi’s famous acoustic guitar makes an appearance many a time throughout the record. Listen closely and you’ll hear the harmonica, accordion, and fiddle! The instruments blend together seamlessly to create sounds that are blues-y, country and even venture into reggae.
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Don’t be surprised if your little music lovers ask to have a hammock installed in their rooms after listening to Love Bug! The majority of the tracks are slow-paced and sound like lullabies because their melodies and instrumental accompaniments are so gentle and breezy. That said, there are definitely a few songs that’ll get your tots grooving to the music, namely, “Doggone Woods”—a personal favourite. The lyrics are simple and easy to remember and sing along to. They vary from reflections about playtime, (“Free to Play” is about playing with finger puppets) to the thrill of sports (“On Hockey Days” is about the excitement surrounding the trip to the hockey rink) to musings about the world (“Blue White Planet” is an ode to Mother Earth).
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Do the tracks in Love Bug have the same je ne sais quoi that made Raffi’s earlier songs so catchy and memorable? Not quite, but that’s only because most of the songs are mellower this time around. Nevertheless, the record is full of positive messages, smooth harmonies and makes for a blissful afternoon of easy listening. Enjoy, love bugs!
Love Bug, $10, iTunes.ca
Emily Piccinin is an Assistant Editor at Today’s Parent. She enjoys reading books and watching movies just as much as she enjoys writing about them. Read more of her articles here and follow her on Twitter @empeachyy.