February 20, 2006 12:00 PM

Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies for the Film Curious George
CRITIC’S CHOICE

KIDS

Since everybody knows that Curious George doesn’t speak, Jack Johnson provides a musical voice for the mischievous monkey on this delightful soundtrack to the new animated film about the children’s book character. The ever mellow surfer dude gets in touch with his inner simian on fanciful folk-pop ditties that will have both kiddies and grown-ups happily singing along. The first single, “Upside Down,” swinging along a buoyant groove, captures the spirit of discovery and imagination that encourages young minds to explore the world’s possibilities and challenge its norms: “I want to turn the whole thing upside down/ I’ll find the things they say just can’t be found.” It’s a sentiment we adults could learn from as well. Elsewhere, Johnson remakes the White Stripes’ school-chum serenade “We’re Going to Be Friends,” while pairing up with pal Ben Harper on the campfire-ready “With My Own Two Hands.” On the jazzy “The 3 R’s,” with its environment-friendly message to “reduce, reuse, recycle,” he cleverly borrows a bit from “Three Is a Magic Number,” which will surely bring a smile to those who grew up on Schoolhouse Rock.

DOWNLOAD THIS: “Upside Down”

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