January 08, 2001 12:00 PM

Crystal Gayle (Madacy Kids)

Who would have thought 25 years ago, when Gayle was seductively purring her way through “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue,” that she would evolve into such a splendid singer of songs for children? This collection of 17 original kids’ tunes is a marvel of warmth, melody and security—the kind of thing a child and his or her parents will retreat into over and over. If there is a weakness, it is that writers Steve Ivey and Denny Jiosa overdid it in the warm, fuzzy department. And although Ivey and Jiosa, who also produced, may have miscalculated by including eight New Agey instrumental tracks, there are more hits than misses. The title track is a classic tune about a mother considering her child’s infinite potential, even as she holds him. And throughout, Gayle, who has two teenage children, displays a sweet yet purposeful approach to even the most stubbornly puerile of the album’s lyrics. Not many albums for kids are this musical and this comforting.

Bottom Line: If you don’t have a child to play this for, you’ll wish you did

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