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June 8, 2011

New Music: Love Me for Who I Am

I admit it: I hear alarm bells go off when I see a note on a kids' album stating that its songs were "inspired by the students at...a school for children with alternative learning styles, many...affected by autism, Asperger's syndrome, or related conditions." Not, I hope, because of any issue with these children or the idea of an album dedicated to them, but simply because such a high percentage of music of this kind turns out to be very well-intentioned and earnest, but...well, not very good. You buy the album for the good cause, but then you never want to listen to it.

But Love Me for Who I Am, the latest CD from Grammy nominee Brady Rymer, has taught me a lesson about not judging books by covers (one that fits in very neatly with the whole point of the album, in fact). Because it’s one of the best kids' albums I’ve heard this year, featuring wall-to-wall great songs that do use the kids at New Jersey's Celebrate the Children as inspiration—in the very best sense of the word. (Five percent of the proceeds from CD sales go to Autism Speaks, and additional amounts go directly to Celebrate the Children.)

Like the kids themselves, Rymer isn't primarily interested in generating sympathy here—this is sharp, smart point-of-view songwriting, with titles taken directly from true-life statements, from the title track to the on-point "I Don't Like Change." And he and his band also happen to be crack musicians—truly, one of the tightest-sounding groups I've heard in the kid genre, which these days is saying something. (P-Funk keyboard wizard Bernie Worrell—long a personal favorite—even makes a guest appearance on the "Tune Out.")

So as it turns out, Love Me for Who I Am is a CD without a weak spot, really. Its also one that your kids will want to play over and over—and it sounds so good that you’ll be just fine with that.

[Cover image courtesy of Brady Rymer]

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting this! Our 5-year-old son was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder last year; I can see him relating to songs like the title track (which I heard on Sirius' Kids Place Live station the other week) and "I Don't Like Change." Thanks again.

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