Following on the heels of the immensely smart, hip Wild Thing (and a string of gems before that), Car Tunes is a top-shelf concept album for kids. Here the theme is utterly simple: these are all tunes associated with cars. From washing them ("Car Wash") to driving them ("Fun, Fun, Fun"), cars are not only the subject matter, but also the place where the Sugar Beats insist Car Tunes ought to be played. Every song has a danceable vibe that goes from big, bright hip-shakers (Fine Young Cannibals' "She Drives Me Crazy") to simple snap-alongs, such as Roger Miller's "King of the Road." An especially charming component of "King" and the funky "Mustang Sally" is the colorful use of kids' voices, either as chorus or simple, cute background effect. In their previous work the Sugar Beats have hung their hats on an old-school set of instruments, but here they revel in rhythm tracks and keyboards.
As purveyors of retro-pop tricked out in contemporary finery, Sugar Beats can't be beat. Their credentials, for one, are impeccable. Leader Sherry Goffin Kondor is the daughter of 24-carat popmeisters Carole King and Gerry Goffin. Their modus operandi -- Kondor and the soulful Russell Velasquez share lead vocals with crackerjack kid singers -- makes these oldies but goodies even more appealing to kids. With Car Tunes, Sugar Beats offer their first themed collection of hits, all having to do with automobiles (except the O'Jays' '70s soul hit "Love Train"). The variety here is most impressive -- '80s tracks like Fine Young Cannibals' "She Drives Me Crazy" ("drives" -- get it?), Gary Numan's proto-electronica "Cars," and Aretha Franklin's effervescent "Freeway of Love" mix with '60s favorites like Wilson Pickett's "Mustang Sally," the Beach Boys' "Fun Fun Fun," and Roger Miller's "King of the Road" (fret not, parents: the line "I ain't got no cigarettes" has been changed to "I don't want what I can't get"). This baker's dozen ends with "Route 66," leaving listeners with a sense of the wide-open road; all in all, a perfect album to accompany those summertime car trips. Moira McCormick, Barnes & Noble
NAPPA Gold Award Winner
Wonderful CD ★★★★★
Sugar Beats Is A Musical Group Of Children Directed By Carole King's Daughter ( Tapestry, Really Rosie ). The Songs Are Familiar To Adults, With A Kid-friendly, Upbeat Arrangement. "love Train" Is Our Favorite. The Electronic Drum Beats And The 70's Style Rhythm Guitar Lead In Hooks You In Immediately. The Musicianship Is Top Notch. My Teenage Son Even Liked It. Great Road Trip Cd Too, Won't Annoy The Adults. They'll Want To Sing Along Too!
By Kay V. - Reviewed: 2010-03-12 11:14:23
Our family NEVER agreed on music before Sugar Beats ★★★★★
My 12 Year Old Daughter, And 8 And 3 Year Old Sons Had A Hard Time Agreeing On Anything. Since We Bought Sugar Beats Cds, There Has Been More Peace In The Car Than Ever Before.
By Avery - Reviewed: 2010-01-18 05:07:16
Kids Love It ★★★★★
I Bought This Cd For My Girls They Are 7 & 11. We Are Homeschooling Family And We Spend A Lot Of Time On The Road. This Is Just A Great Cd To Relax And Fun With. No - Trying To Learn Something New, Just Have Fun! They Have Really Enjoyed It.
By Helen K. - Reviewed: 2010-01-16 02:10:13