Juno 2024 Children’s Album Picks

The Juno Awards are the biggest night in Canadian Music and they happen this weekend. To prep for the big event, I did a deep dive into a few categories.

The Children’s Album nominees run quite the gamut of styles, genres, and moods. Here are my thoughts on each of them.

ABC SingSong – Big Words

This album is fun but often silly. It doesn’t feel universal somehow. I’m not quite sure how to explain why it doesn’t quite work for me. Maybe, it’s a little too goofy for its own good. Plus, the artist name is kind of laughable.

Ginalina – Going Back: Remembered and Remixed Family Folk Songs, Vol 1.

This album is based on traditional songs from China and Taiwan but delivered in a uniquely Canadian way. I thought I was hearing First Nations languages but it turns out that she was singing Mandarin and Taiwanese. It’s a nice, relaxing listen.

Maestro Fresh Wes – Presents Young Maestro Stick To Your Vision For Young Athletes

Maestro is undisputed royalty when it comes to Hip Hop in this country. He is being inducted into the Hall of Fame this weekend as well. He deserves all the praise we can throw his way. However, this album, as well as his last venture into kids music, falls flat. This record tries to weave a narrative through it but it feels forced. The songs have very little going for them as his character of Young Maestro is just annoying. The story doesn’t pay off either. It was hard to listen to this one all the way through.

Splash’N Boots – Love-a-By

Splash’N Boots are royalty when it comes to children’s performers. They have been going strong for 21 years now and they took a left turn with this album. They typically close every album with a lullaby, this time they crafted a whole album of them. Each song has a warmth and heart to it that is undeniable. And they even have instrumentals so parents can sing to their babies or have an even softer tone for nap time. Brilliant!

The Swinging Belles – Welcome to the Flea Circus

This one is weird. It sounds like it was crafted 100 years ago when swing music was all the rage. I wasn’t sure if it was goint o stay in this style or switch things up. After the third song stayed in this range, I was ready to turn to my next category and skip over this one, but my son didn’t want me to change it. He was enjoying it. So, that’s a win right there!

My Pick

And, if it were decided solely by me, The Juno Award would go to Splash’N Boots.