Robbert Bobbert and the Bubble Machine

Robbert Bobbert and the Bubble Machine

Robbert Bobbert and the Bubble Machine

Robbert Bobbert and the Bubble Machine

Little Monster Records

Sometimes you need to put down the Fender, turn off the Arp, and make some simple music for little kids. Robbert Schneider (The Apples in Stereo) kicked off the Children’s Music Project with this entertaining disc that kids will like, moms will tolerate, and hipsters will find intriguing. Schneider recently invented a logarithmically-based tonal scale, which he graciously does NOT use on this 11-track disc. He sticks to the familiar scales so that the youth of America can sing along, but he also introduces some oddball sounds which aren’t fully explained. Schneider is a math geek on the side, and occasionally his music sounds like he took the knobs on the synthesizer and set them to 11+2i.

The musical styles reflect modern pop sensibilities and tend toward the danceable. “We R Superheroes” sounds like toned down White Stripes, and “Hey Little Puppy” might have come from Brian Wilson. The spirit of Alvin and the Chipmunks lurks in the rap-oriented “Fee Fi Fo, Fee Fi Fum” and every child’s fear of getting lost in the wide, wide world projects into “The Little Duck.” Robbert Bobbert aims for the single-digit set, but never with the insulting tenor so much mass-produced kiddie material relies on. Some thought went in to the packaging, which includes a mini coloring book and a mini cartoon book loosely based on the song lyrics. There’s no hair-ripping purple dinosaur in Robbert Bobbert, just fun music that treats children like potentially intelligent beings, parents as partners in the entertainment, and no one like a socket for consumer marketing.

Little Monster: • Robbert Bobbert:

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