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Monday, April 30 2012 17:35

Sesame Street: Singing With the Stars (DVD Review)

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Originally released last year as a TARGET exclusive, Sesame Street: Singing With the Stars hits the streets this week for non-exclusive wide-release. Since we've had this one here at Rock Father HQ for awhile, this is a perfect opportunity to throw down some virtual ink on the subject.

ssswtsWhen the DVD first caught our eye, it was on a Target display that was built around the release of Playskool's LET'S ROCK ELMO (which we bought, but sadly at full-price) and some other music-themed items from the hard-to-find NYC street.  Planning for Christmas, the DVD wound up being a gift from Grandma - one that's been enjoyed ever since. 

Similar in nature to 1998's ELMOPALOOZA, SINGING WITH THE STARS brings together popular performers and Sesame Street residents to break out the jams via re-worked pop hits. Some of the songs are a little fresher than others, but to the little ones that doesn't matter. While parents like myself can reflect on hearing HOOTIE & THE BLOWFISH sing "Hold My Hand" when it was new back in 1994 or how Darius Rucker has gone country, to the kids, the Sesame Street version of the song is brand-new. Reworked to take on a "safety" theme regarding crossing the street, "Hold My Hand" is now a very informative piece of teaching.

The fact that some of these songs reach back a bit is a pefect way to snag the 30-somethings that are raising kids right now. THE GOO GOO DOLLS, N*SYNC, R.E.M., and SHERYL CROW all show up to join in the fun, and then you've got more recent contributions by comedians like RICKY GERVAIS and ADAM SANDLER strapping on the acoustics to get involved. And they're all great... except for the will.i.am. cut "What I Am," which won an Emmy - yet I find it terrible. Auto-tune and Sesame Street are a toxic combination.

As for my daughter, her favorite song on the DVD seems to be FEIST's "1234," which the little one calls "Counting Sesame Street."



Tracklisting:

  1. "What I Am" — will.i.am
  2. "Slide (Pride)" — The Goo Goo Dolls
  3. "I Soaks Up the Sun" — Sheryl Crow
  4. "My Triangle" — James Blunt
  5. "Celebrity Lullabies" — Ricky Gervais
  6. "1234" — Feist
  7. "A New Way to Walk" — Destiny's Child
  8. "Believe in Yourself" — *NSYNC
  9. "Furry Happy Monsters" — R.E.M.
  10. "A Song About Elmo" — Adam Sandler
  11. "Dancin'" — Alicia Keys
  12. "No Letter Better" — Dixie Chicks
  13. "The Addition Expedition" — LL Cool J
  14. "Hold My Hand" — Hootie & the Blowfish
  15. "Don't Know Y" — Norah Jones
  16. "Outdoors" — Jason Mraz
  17. "Time to Say Goodnight" — Andrea Bocelli


The 2012 release is actually slightly cheaper that the 2011 version, and will include a a "5-song Sampler CD," which oddly enough includes songs not featured on the DVD. 

4
The Rock Father™ Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade as Publisher of The Rock Father Magazine, he joined Adventure Publishing Group as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider—a destination for all things pop culture. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 25 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, WGN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, BusinessWire, Babble, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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