Weekend Highlights

Published September 17, 2013
Going Places

A Parent’s Review: Baby Beatles

by Kelly Knox

Parents may know him as the lead singer of Presidents of the United States of America, but Chris Ballew is also one of the biggest rock stars in the kindiependent world. It only seems like a natural fit, then, for Caspar Babypants (as he’s known to the tiny-bopper crowd) to take on the biggest rock stars, The Beatles, in his latest release Baby Beatles

Unlike Caspar’s previous albums, the creative songwriter’s seventh CD is comprised entirely of cover songs of The Fab Four’s classics. Baby Beatles includes 20 covers of his hand-picked Beatles favorites perfectly suited for little listener’s ears, like “Octopus’s Garden,” “Birthday,” “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite,” and “Yellow Submarine.”

The songs have been re-imagined and recorded in Caspar’s recognizable style. His energy and enthusiasm add even more bounce to already upbeat tunes; “Ob La Di Ob La Da” is filled with delight, as Caspar Babypants accomplishes the seemingly impossible task of making the song even more buoyant and joyful.

Baby Beatles includes some songs that even grown-up fans of The Beatles might not be overly familiar with. “Your Mother Should Know” (from Magical Mystery Tour), for example, is a lesser-known tune but an absolutely perfect choice for a kids’ album. Caspar’s take on the song is lively, catchy, and guaranteed to put a smile on the face of every mom listening.

While none of the songs’ lyrics were altered, Caspar Babypants did make some changes to the originals to make them as kid-friendly as possible. The removal of some instruments on classics like “Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except for Me and My Monkey” and shortening of songs might give Beatles purists a nervous twitch, but the changes all work well and are tailored nicely to a tot’s attention span.

As the album winds down, Caspar closes with a few soothing songs and lullabies, making Baby Beatles a complete, entertaining experience for toddlers and preschoolers from start to finish.

The Beatles can be a tough sell for some young listeners, but once they are paired with Caspar Babypants, the songs are irresistibly fun.

Baby Beatles is available on Sept. 17 at a suggested retail price of $12.99.

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Chris Ballew, better known as Caspar Babypants to the tot crowd, sat down with Seattle's Child for an interview. Chris has a jam-packed schedule of shows around Washington and is already working hard on next year’s collaboration with the Seattle Symphony, but took a few moments to chat about Baby Beatles, his favorite tunes from the Fab Four, and what the future holds for Caspar Babypants and the Presidents. Read the full story here.