Reviewing an album designed for children seemed an odd task at first, but listening to The Mudcakes is nothing like the nauseating offensive task of listening to The Wiggles or the HiFive crew encouraging everyone to wiggle and clap and jump up and down and buy overpriced merchandise adorned with the image of ridiculous characters like Dorothy the Dinosaur..


Songs For Little Sleepyheads is the third offering from The Mudcakes (Australia via Nashville based musicians, Sherry Rich and Rick Plant). After the first two records focused on 'awake time' activities – pooing and eating and playing and talking, it seemed fitting to have an album of lullabies. Some are Mudcake sounding takes on traditional songs ( Twinkle Twinkle, See The Moon) and some are originals penned by Rich.


One of the great things about The Mudcakes is they employ a lot more instruments than you would expect them to, proving that songs for children don't need to be overly simple for them to still be enjoyable and well-received. Instead of just guitar and vocals, we can hear ukeleles, harmonicas, piano and tin whistles. In Crocodile – a very sweet tune in which Rich ponders when the crocodile sleeps, admires his many teeth and ultimately decides to be friends with the creature – the use of percussion is spot on, conjuring images of the swamplands in which our new crocodile friend might spend his days, with the cicadas and bristling grass.


Froggy Goodnight is a the standout track for me. Inspired by Goodnight Irene, Rich and Plant sing goodnight to family members and favourite toys one by one in preparation for going to bed. Plant invites listeners to sing along wishing their special friends goodnight over the sweet twang of the guitar. Not only are they providing children with soulful music, appropriate for their age group – but it's interactive too! This is a lovely third effort from The Mudcakes, and a nice change of pace.


Eleven songs to play on a warm summer evening, all of which are songs I can imagine being played and sung to children, generation after generation. Long after The Wiggles have been replaced with the next big bright colourful and shamelessly marketed thing, long after the scandalous personal lives of Hi-Five have been splashed all over tabloid newspapers, long after you've bought a plastic doll of every Disney princess and they've been buried in the backyard – this record will still have a place in your home and in your heart.

Follow The Dwarf on Facebook

Comments ()

Use comma to separate email addresses
Or open in