Grammy award nominated family music artist Brady Rymer’s new CD, Love Me for Who I Am honors the thoughts and feelings of kids of all abilities – particularly those on the autism spectrum. The ten original songs on Love Me for Who I Am are written from the child’s perspective and offer a bright, positive and highly musical way of celebrating life amid challenges.
The new CD, featuring guest vocals by Nick Jr. TV Star (and kids-rock-goddess!) Laure Berkner and a groovy keyboard performance by Bernie Worrell (Parliament Funkadelic, Talking Heads) was released on April 12th, just in time for Autism Awareness Month. Five percent of the proceeds from CD sales will benefit Autism Speaks, a non-profit research and advocacy group.
The anthemic songs on Love Me for Who I Am were inspired by Rymer’s work with students at the Celebrate the Children School in northwestern NJ. Rymer worked closed with the school’s founder-director who suggested ideas for the songs that were all taked directly from things the kids have said or the challenges they have faced.
Love Me for Who I Am Track Listing:
- Love Me for Who I Am
- Picky Eater
- Who Wants to Wear Shoes?
- I Don’t Like Change
- So Many Ideas
- Squish Me Squeeze Me
- Keep Your Wiggle Alive
- Soft Things (featuring Laurie Berkner)
- Tune Out (featuring Bernie Worrell)
- Bein’ With You
So…think this is a no-brainer category do you? You might be asking yourself, “how difficult is it to play a CD?” Well – if you’ve ever tried to get a child to listen to music they don’t want to hear than you know just how difficult it can be. And…if you’ve ever been forced to listen to some of those other “so-called” kids musicians (you know the ones that seem to be designed to drive well-intentioned parents out of their minds) than you know just how difficult it can be.
Well you can throw that all out the window thanks to Brady Rymer – who just might be the answer to the kids music dilemma! Rymer’s songs are a true joy to listen to – both for kids and parents. Think of all of your favorite adult acts that you’d want to play for your kids – musicians like Jack Johnson or Dave Matthews, that is the quality of production and fun, upbeat, totally listenable, totally rockable sound you are going to get with Brady Rymer!
Let’s put it this way – if you loaded Brady Rymer into your iPod, put it on shuffle with the rest of the artists you’d approve for your kids to listen to, we’re telling you, the Rymer songs would fit right in! And they are designed for kids to listen to, to think about and to enjoy! The music is fun, upbeat, inspiring and as far from “annoying kids music” as can possibly be.
So…when it comes to a CD for kids, we think ease of use has a lot to do with who is willing to listen – and with Love Me for Who I Am – everyone will be happy to tune in!
People always ask us how we rate the durability of a CD? It’s simple, really. If kids are allowed to handle the CDs on their own, chances are the younger they are the shorter they will last! Remember, little hands love CDs! Parents – you’ve been warned! If you want to protect them and make them last longer – you handle them or teach your children how to handle them the right way. Otherwise smudges, scratches, scrapes, fingerprints and worse will lessen their lifespan!
Visual Appeal for a CD – now this is usually a category that gets an N/A. However…we loved the cover art on Love Me for Who I Am and were even more pleased to learn who designed it. The CD art for Love Me for Who I Am was designed by Zoe Kakolyris, an artist with Asperger’s Syndrome who is also profoundly deaf. To quote the CD notes: “The vibrant world she portrays, full of children interacting with joy and humor, perfectly reflects the spirit of this collection of songs.” We couldn’t agree more!
Functionality for a CD like this is very similar to Ease of Use in our minds. Again, you aren’t going to find a more “listenable” collection of kids songs!
If you’ve read any of our other reviews for music CDs for kids you know we like them to be in the $10 range. And yes, this CD has a suggested retail price of $15. And yes, we still saw fit to award 4 stars in this category. First, you aren’t going to want to chuck the CD out the window after the third listen (did we mention yet that parents are really going to enjoy listening!). Second, a portion of the proceeds of all sales goes to Autism Speaks, a non-profit research and advocacy group. Put those together and the $15 price tag seems a lot more in line with what we would consider fair.
Oh kids songs…why does it seem that the classics are always the best…and the new stuff just sounds like retreads of the best, or to be quite honest, annoying squirrels? Finally, today’s kids artists are starting to understand that songs don’t have to quirky and annoying, they need to be fun, enjoyable, have some depth and some soul. Kids want to hear good music, just like their parents do – and that is what you are going to get on these 10 all-original tracks!
If you can’t tell by now, we absolutely love Brady Rymer’s album Love Me for Who I Am. It has everything a parent would want in a CD designed for their child. The music is as solid as today’s leading artists. The lyrics are heartfelt, thoughtful, full of depth, and dare we say soulful. Your child will love listening to Brady Rymer, and you are going to find yourself falling in love with the songs too. Add in the spirit of the music, and Brady’s commitment to children with Autism and we aren’t afraid to say that Love Me for Who I Am has the makings of a brand-new classic for children. Listen and enjoy today!