Thursday, July 13, 2006

Justin Roberts

Justin Roberts is definitely one of the best in the kids' music field today and seems to be emerging in a big way. Before I got into doing kids' music, a friend of mine in Buffalo suggested I get in touch with him, as she had known him in college and knew he had been doing a lot of kids' music since then. He was gracious enough to respond to my inquiry and offer some suggestions, and I really appreciated that. At the time, I hadn't even really heard his music beyond a few samples online, but I was able to find his Yellow Bus CD at the local libraries and enjoyed it quite a lot, especially the songs "In the Car" and "Giraffe and Nightengale".

Since then, Justin's songs have been kind of hit or miss for me (eh, that's probably the case for just about anyone else), but when they hit, boy do they hit big. His new album Meltdown has a song called "My Brother Did It", which I think is one of the best kids' songs I've ever heard. It's very funny and incredibly infectious, with some cool rhythmic flavors and melodic turns. There are several other gems on Meltdown, too, including "Training Wheels", "I Chalk" and "Imaginary Rhino".

One thing that's absolutely unique about Justin Roberts is his voice, which is almost reminiscent of a brass instrument in the way it pierces through the speakers. I keep reading about his voice being compared to James Taylor and I'm like, "wha??" For some reason when I hear his voice I picture Zach Braff, the guy who plays J.D. on Scrubs. It's sort of become an acquired taste for me, like the voices of singers like Gord Downie (The Tragically Hip), Tom Petty or Leonard Cohen. But it's a taste that has really been worth acquiring.

Justin Roberts' website


Amber said...

I always think that Justin Roberts reminds me of Michael Stipe from REM. I guess we all hear something different. :)

Eric Herman said...

Oh yeah, that's definitely a good comparison for the sound of the voice.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree that he sounds like Zach Braff - I almost wonder if it's not a secret identity and he's moonlighting as a singer!

Bethany said...

So glad that other people think Zach Braff!!!!