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Best kids' albums of 2010

Listen up! These are the year's best kids' albums.

Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem
Ranky Tanky
The roots rockers' first foray into kids' music is a foot-tapping blend of traditional songs ("The Green Grass Grows All Around") and unexpected covers (Tom Petty's "Wildflowers"). raniarbo.com

Photo: Cory Godbey; Design: Brannon McAllister

Coal Train Railroad
Coal Train Railroad
The adorable collection of original jazz tunes stands out thanks to Katy Bowser's warm, playful voice. coaltrainrailroad.com

Photo: Cindy Hoose

Dean Jones
Rock Paper Scissors
Featuring retro-rockers the Felice Brothers, the disc overflows with inventiveness ("stomping" even gets an instrument credit in the liner notes). First track "Hail! Hail! The Gang's All Here!" blows the door open on a party that doesn't stop till the final song ends. dogonfleas.com

Photo: Drawings by Randy; Design by Laurent Rivelaygue

Randy Kaplan
The Kids Are All Id
An eclectic mix of songs—a retrofitted 18th-century drinking chant ("The Derby Ram"), a suite of Ezra Jack Keats--inspired tunes, and plot-heavy originals—keeps Kaplan's third album for kids fresh. randykaplan.com

Bari Koral Family Rock Band
Rock & Roll Garden
City preschoolers love this local singer's original pop songs, inspired by everyday moments including riding the subway, packing a backpack and playing with a best friend. barikoral.com

Photo: Todd McHatton

Todd McHatton
Sundays at the Rocket Park
McHatton's disc is rife with vivid imagery—"What Once Was Grand" evokes the way dandelion feathers "dart and drift along in shallow loops"—and will likely impress hipsters-in-training. mchatton.com

The Pop Ups
Outside Voices
Created by a Brooklyn duo, the whimsical romp pays homage to '80s modern rock (as in synth-heavy "Big Wheel") and '70s-era Sesame Street (the song "F & G" contemplates those letters of the alphabet). thepopups.com

Recess Monkey
The Final Funktier
Featuring dance-worthy songs and a space theme, this record compares younger siblings to orbiting satellites and makes building a flying robot from "a flashlight and a jar of red sequins" seem plausible. recessmonkeytown.com

Justin Roberts
Jungle Gym
Kindie heavyweight Roberts mixes intricate pop arrangements with iconic childhood experiences, such as sitting in the barber's chair for the first time ("New Haircut") and awaiting word of school being cancelled on winter mornings ("Snow Day"). justinroberts.org

Secret Agent 23 Skidoo
Underground Playground
The North Carolina kid-hop star proves his stellar debut (2008's Easy) was no fluke. Pounding beats and catchy hooks anchor positive lyrics about friendship and self-confidence. secretagent23skidoo.com


Best children's albums of 2010 by TimeOutNewYork

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