Laurie Berkner's second children's album doesn't tamper much with the formula that made her first effort, Whaddaya Think About That?, an overnight success. Once again it is Berkner's finely tuned understanding of her audience that sets her apart. Her songs are characterized by an uninhibited absurdity that is fresh and unpredictable. One song is centered matter-of-factly on the idea that "Laurie's got a pig on her head [and] she keeps it there all day." Another is about an elusive bunch of pretzels that keep escaping a hungry person. Berkner also has a knack for colorful rhymes that aim to engender an enthusiasm for language in her young fans. Her lyrics are populated with lines like "you pull it like a taffy and you whop whop whop," "their names were Jackson and Max," and "sizzle sizzle pop a-pop pop." Berkner writes most of her songs in preschool music classes, and they depend a lot on her interaction with the children. That helps to make them dynamic and engaging, but somehow Buzz Buzz doesn't seem to hold up as well as its predecessor in the depersonalized context of a studio recording. "I Had a Friend," for instance, was originally a platform for improvising rhymes for her students' names. It seems a little stiff on a pre-recorded CD. Her rap number "I'm a Mess" would probably be a little less grating if there were toddlers in the house to back her up. But chances are good that Berkner's listeners will be too busy dancing their heads off to notice any shortcomings.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Evan Cater