Coalition for Quality Children's Media KIDS FIRST! Endorsement 2017
Like her song Sweet Potato Pie, Carrie Higgins' 'Life Circles' album is chock full of terrific musical ingredients that will bring a satisfied smile to your face and will keep you coming back for more. Her vocals and songwriting skills are terrific and her choice of subject matter skews well for her target audience. With the extra added baked-in pinch of love throughout, this CD is quite perfect for home, school and travel time! There are a lot of positive values, catchy tunes and variety in subject matter. The songs are well-produced and performed including stimulating musical styles and effects. It is very supportive with clear participatory call and response and overall gentleness and love. There are positive behaviors modeled: connection with the Earth, love for all people, appreciation of our differences and love of family. She never talks down to the children and keeps concepts understandable to her target audience. It is very well recorded. Carrie Higgins' voice is terrific! Well-played all around. It offers a plethora of pro social benefits from the importance of love and family, the boomerang effects from lying, the importance of healthy food and the idea that dreams and aspirations can be attained. I would hope that this album would be subject to repeated listening and instill a stronger sense of belonging and self-esteem in the children. I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 3 to 8.
Reviewed by John Wood, KIDS FIRST! Juror.
Tillywig Toy Best Family Fun Award 2017
The spectacular collection of original songs on Life Circles appeals strongly to children, parents and grandparents alike, no easy feat. Hearing the album's opener, Circle of Life, conjures images of the sun rising over a verdant hillside while conveying a strong Irish feel (anchored by bagpipes and pennywhistle) that elicits feelings of pride and unity. Sweet Potato Pie, the song that follows, offers up joyously authentic down-home bluesiness that gets your foot stompin' and body moving. Mama's Robe has some absolutely killer fiddle playing, while Rock-a-Bye, a '50s-ish blend of rhythm and blues and country & western gets everyone on their feet in a heartbeat. If Blood Sugar Blues doesn't make you smile, nothing will. There are too many standouts to mention here. Suffice it to say that Ms. Higgins' vocal skills and clever, catchy lyrics are on full display throughout the album's 14 songs, and that the superb musicianship of her extraordinarily talented band is evident every step of the way. Includes booklet with liner notes and lyrics.
Review by Dan Levy
Parents' Choice Silver Honor Award 2011
Here is an excellent debut album by someone sure to become a major voice in children's music. California native Carrie Higgins shares fourteen mostly original songs with her assured, strong and friendly voice on Life Circles. A diverse and professional set of musicians back her with acoustic and electric arrangements. Each song carries little messages such as the beautiful opener "Circle of Life," which bring home how all of nature (including humans) are interconnected.
"Sweet Potato Pie" is reminiscent of Maria Muldaur's early work, and celebrates the joys of family cooking traditions, while "Mama's Robe" explores how favorite clothes contain the essence of those we love. "Rock-a-Bye" addresses the scary subject of earthquakes, in a way that is reassuring and understandable to young children, and does so with a great rockabilly rhythm. Elsewhere, she even manages to instill lessons about instant karma in the Bo Diddley rhythm of "Boomerang," and gently warns about bad eating habits in "Blood Sugar Blues." Though "Jellyfish" relies on a bit of a cliché Calypso motif, she bounces back quickly with a splendid gypsy jazz reinterpretation of "Itsy Bitsy Spider," which transforms the song in a lesson about determination.
The River" is an extraordinary sound-making, story-song about a little girl's adventures in Kenya, which uses inventive percussion to teach a wonderful lesson in patience. "Birthright" celebrates children's need to be loved and cared for, and "Mi Sombrita" is a lovely Spanish language song, which is given an English translation as a bonus track.
The album finishes with a kid's sung reprise of "Circle of Life" and "My Voice." The latter is a powerful, percussion backed, spiritual celebration of self expression. The CD contains complete lyrics, and brief, informative liner notes, housed in a beautifully illustrated booklet, and is further supported by Higgins' website. In every way, Carrie Higgins’ Life Circles is a perfect example of how good children's music can be.
Review by Lahri Bond
© 2012 Parents’ Choice Foundation
Awarded the Hot Diggity Seal-of-approval 2017
This CD is packed with lots of fun kids' songs and has a wonderful folksy bluesy vibe! The melodies will appeal to parents while the lyrics will engage and entertain the little ones.
Awards and Reviews
NAPPA Award Winner 2017
"The album has interesting multi-cultural layers", says NAPPA Director Elena Epstein. "Kids and adults will enjoy Higgins' soulful vocals."
For song samples go to CD Baby
Lyrics are included with the physical CD