Martha Johnson

Songs from the Tree House

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Martha Johnson, of Martha and the Muffins and M + M fame, goes solo on this interesting outing, although she is assisted by her partner (and the other M of M + M) Mark Gane. This is also Martha's foray into children's music, and to be honest, she is very successful in this venture. Martha and Mark have managed to make a whimsical, heartwarming album for children that parents will also enjoy. The vast majority of songs are originals, with classics thrown in for good measure. The songs address all aspects of childhood, from best friends (the beautiful "My Best Friend") to finicky eaters ("Don't Give Me Those Beans") to long car drives ("Are We There Yet?") to new additions to the family ("My Little Sister"), to give just a few examples. All topics are handled with sentimentality, honesty, and warmth, with beautiful, almost folk-tinged melodies. Mark Gane continues to layer sounds, although this time it is to create a more fun atmosphere, and at times (as in "The Wind") uses his talents to paint a sound picture. Of note is the incredible arrangement of "White Coral Bells," which features just plain beautiful singing and harmonies from Martha. Overall, a wonderful children's album that neither children nor parents will tire of hearing.

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