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World Music CD Reviews Europe

FRENCH PLAYGROUND

By Paula E. Kirman
Published June 27, 2006

Putumayo Kids

Don’t let the title of this CD fool you: French Playground is definitely not just for kids. Though the offerings of light, whimsical chanson may appeal to younger ears, older members of the family can enjoy these upbeat tempos and fun rhythms. Educational as well as entertaining, lyrics for the songs are presented in both French and English. French Playground presents artists from different French cultures: France, Quebec, Haiti and Africa. Most of the artists are not specifically children’s performers, but rather, popular musicians such as Ariane Moffat, Tryo and Pascal Parisot. The songs topics are light and mostly deal with nature, small pictures of everyday life and family. “Petit Français” from Polo is about memories of staying with grandparents. The playful vocals of Lole-Lolay’s “Sensation (Bidi Bom Bom)” is an Afro-Caribbean treat. “Bonjour Bonjour,” from L’Autobus à Vapeur, describes a bus rolling merrily through a neighborhood. As an introduction to the world of Francophone music, French Playground succeeds as a melodic playground for the ears.