Top 10 Music of 2022

These excellent albums have styles that will appeal to children and adults and include a wide variety of songs that can be used in story times, library programs, or just riding around in the car.

This year, children’s music was filled with innovative melodies and storytelling that gave listeners of all ages a wide variety of genres from which to choose. While the diverse styles range from a cappella to rock, and hip-hop to the blues, these selections do have one thing in common: they respect and embrace the universality of a child’s experience. These albums cover issues and sentiments that children are facing each day—acceptance, unity, empowerment, and love. Chosen by the reviewers from SLJ’s music column, these albums have styles that will appeal to children and adults and include a wide variety of songs that can be used in story times, library programs, or just riding around in the car. These selections are must-haves for every collection.

The Greats! Performed by Louis & Dan and the Invisible Band. Louis & Dan and the Invisible Band.
Through clever lyrics and well-crafted storytelling, Louis and Dan pay tribute to the musical stylings and performers of yesteryear. Celebrating artists like Frank Sinatra, the Beach Boys, and the Supremes, The Greats! has multigenerational appeal.

Into the Little Blue House. Performed by Wendy & DB. Tigerlily Music.
Wendy & DB use a combination of soulful vocals and top-notch instrumentals to introduce families to the blues. Listeners will enjoy discovering this rich musical genre through these educational, historical, and entertaining tunes.

Jukebox. Performed by Street Corner Symphony. 8 Pound Gorilla Records.
Sophisticated musical compositions and intricate vocal stylings shine on this a cappella album filled with fun and empowering songs. Overflowing with kid and tween appeal, this collection will keep the whole family entertained.

Let’s Move. Performed by Katie Dwyer. West Side Rose.
Dwyer’s second album for families lives up to its title, encouraging children to move and groove in a wide variety of ways. Sure to be a hit with the younger set, this jam-packed collection of 24 songs has something for everyone.

Mil Colores. Performed by Nathalia. NathaliaMusica.
Featuring seven songs in Spanish, two that are also performed in English, and two bilingual tunes, this album is beautifully crafted with gorgeous melodies and lyrics that encourage listeners to explore themes of empowerment and discovery. Nathalia’s vocals and the Latin beats make Mil Colores a joy to listen to no matter what language you speak.

Moonwalking. Performed by Young Folk. Stony Croft Records.
This collection of kindie pop rock songs aptly captures the whimsy and imagination of childhood, while also speaking to the grown-up experience. Imbued with love and joy, these songs will be enjoyed by both children and parents.

The Movement. Performed by Alphabet Rockers. School Time Music.
The kids from Alphabet Rockers are growing up and leading the way by crafting songs that encourage listeners to break biases, understand their personal power, and find unity in community. This collection of hip-hop tunes is essential listening and can work as a powerful introduction to important conversations.

Multiply. Performed by The Wise Channel. TooWise Productions.
Featuring guests like Snooknuk, Lucy Kalantari, Roy Moy III, and Kymberly Stewart, the talented Wise family’s latest encourages a dance party atmosphere while focusing each song on a single number from zero to nine. Not only does the Wise family make multiplication fun, they provide songs that children will want to listen to again and again.

Nutmegger. Performed by Steve Elci and Friends. Steve Elci and Friends.
Each of the tunes on this catchy, kindie rock album has its own sound, with themes of hope and empowerment tying them all together. This energy-filled collection with a much-needed message will keep entire families entertained and singing along.

Smith and Yarn. Performed by Aaron Nigel Smith and Red Yarn. Tuff Gong International.
Smith and Yarn combined their talents to create music based upon themes of unity, activism, and friendship. One’s a little bit country, one’s a little bit reggae, and together they’ve created a truly one-of-a-kind sound.

Veronica Schwartz De Fazio is the deputy director at the Peoria Public Library, IL.

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