My almost-10-year-old has developed an ear for music. After years of being “subjected” to plenty of kiddie music for her mom’s work, she has been able to weed out the “boring” from the “too-babyish” (her words, not mine). So when she sits up and takes notice of a new sound that is both catchy and one that she thinks will appeal to discerning listeners such as herself, it makes me pay even closer attention. Danny Weinkauf’s No School Today is our latest conquest and in both of our humble opinions, it does not disappoint. Right from the opening track, “Hey!,” the upbeat tempo and catchy lyrics (“It’s easy to sing along to…they just keep singing ‘Hey'”) makes for a smooth start, segueing into the delightful “Archaeology.” Astute listeners may recognize this as a natural follow-up to Weinkauf’s “I Am a Paleontologist,” a nod to his work with They Might Be Giants. As if that connection to indie rockers weren’t enough, Laurie Berkner lends her lush voice to “Our Love Fits,” a sweet song that celebrates great combinations like this singing duo. Blink and you might miss “Ambivalent,” a quick little song that manages to impart some great wisdom in under a minute. No matter the track on this musically diverse release, Weinkauf clearly knows how to play to his audience…and I’m thinking that’s exactly what my daughter picked up on. If he can continue to tap into this reserve of original sounds and spot-on lyrics, he can count on a growing fan base. No School Today drops on April 29th.
In a Nutshell: A good excuse to play hookey, if ever there was one. Packed with plenty of unforgettable tunes, this just-released kids’ CD is an education in itself.