Maurice Sendak’s legendary children’s book, Where the Wild Things Are, was carefully crafted – words and illustrations bringing a story to life. Similarly, Karen O and the Kids’ original soundtrack for the recently released full-length movie is artfully crafted. Karen O is better known as the frontwoman of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs but makes a bold change as the composer for the soundtrack. Karen O has a range of talent making up the “kids” from actual children singing to various “grown-up” professional artists (see the line-up here).
At first listen, one wonders if this is really a children’s album. With the dreamy and stylish instrumentals and the almost-melancholy undertones, it is definitely a departure from traditional children’s music. The soundtrack seems to be a reflection of the emotions a child is sure to experience – joy, fear, love, excitement but not necessarily what is expected from a children’s album. The titles of the songs aptly represent the emotion that is sure to be elicited from listening –Hideaway is melancholy, Animal is wild, Worried Shoes is nervous. Interestingly, Rumpus is a hyper, crazy romp while Rumpus Reprise is the same thing only with adult supervision. Karen O can be credited with capturing the complexity of what seems to be something quite simple. Through her music she is able to bring to life emotions that a child would feel navigating the big world while in other songs the feeling of comfort from a loving parent is interwoven.
All is Love seems to be the standout with its appealing light-hearted sound. As for the rest of the soundtrack, it may not seem like a likely pick for your kids but if you listen carefully, you might just find yourself…and your child. You can find the album streaming here.
Anna is primarily found playing at home with her three year old son and pining for her husband who is busy in law school. She fits in a few hours of work from home on the side and tries not to feel guilty when she doesn’t update her blog. A native of Salt Lake City, UT she is still hoping that a Café Rio will open where she now resides in Indianapolis, IN. Anna is a book snob, loves stretchy pants and gets her news from either NPR or The Daily Show. Anna can be found at her blogOhh, Betsy! and on Twitter @ohhbetsy.