Jack Johnson and Friends – Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies for the film Curious George (2006)
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Sing-a-Longs and Lullabies for the Film Curious George

I’ve developed sort of a reputation around my house for hating Jack Johnson’s music, but that isn’t really true. It would be more accurate to say that I don’t understand the concept of Jack Johnson, musician, and I’m often unable to remember his songs mere minutes after they’re over.

(This is painfully true. At a dinner party around the time of Brushfire Fairytales‘ release, the hostess forced me to listen to the album, in full, at least three times. She wanted me to tell her what I thought of this great new Jack Johnson guy. My embarrassed, honest answers ranged from “We were listening to music just now?” to “Um, it was okay, I guess.”)

He seems like a nice enough guy, and he makes nice enough music. They’re both…genial, for lack of a better word. Which is perfectly fine and all; I just can’t figure out how it’s turned out to be several million units sold worth of fine.

(What would be more than fine — what would be seriously cool, in an otherworldly way — is if Jack Johnson did a duet medley with Michael Franks. “Popsicle Bubble Toes.” Think about it.)

So, anyway, I haven’t seen the movie, but (much as I sort of hate to admit it), the Curious George soundtrack is kinda cool. This is due in large part to the fact that it’s a children’s album, and children’s albums typically suck a lot; with the bar set so low, an enjoyable trifle like Curious George can stand as a towering achievement. It does boast the second Jack Johnson song I can remember anything about after hearing it (”Upside Down”), as well as a groovy cover of The White Stripes’ “We’re Going to Be Friends” (download) and the sweet “Lullaby” (download).

Get it for your kids, or for your next hacky sack tournament. It won’t set your world on fire, but it’s a whole lot better than the goddamn Wiggles.