Imagine, if you will, What to Expect: the Toddler Years as a kid's musical production on the Broadway stage. Relax in a plush, red velvet seat as you're treated to a toe-tappin' family performance with song & dance numbers about picky eaters, babies learning their first letters, haircuts and a newborn's most important wardrobe accessory.
What I've just described is not on the stage (although maybe should it be) but if the idea of such a collection of music sounds super cool, check out Max's Family Band. Yes, they are indeed a family and their children's album debut is one which, if I didn't know any better, I'd think was straight from the Great White Way. All the staples of a fine stage show recording are here: vocals high in the mix, bouncy piano, a smattering of punchy horns and a focus on annunciation (the key, really, in any great musical cast recording).
I hear shades of Dear Edwina on "Picky" and "Grandma Time", with it's sweet "Grandma Time / it's all fine" backing vocal. On "I'm Glad You Discovered M" and "Kiss all My Boo-Boos Away" - a great companion song to Dreyer Family Band's "BooHoo"- I can hear a little of A Year with Frog and Toad, too.
With roots planted firmly in musical theater tradition, the family's foray into the kiddie music world yields some truly unique and highly enjoyable results. As a point of reference, Sandra Boynton's work is probably Max's Family Band's closest cousin musically.
Max's Family Band, the album, is a hit and if it was indeed an off-Broadway show it would no doubt be extended by popular demand.