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John Rich

For the Kids – 2011 (Warner)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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CDs by John Rich

A better title for this six-song John Rich album is "For Parents of Kids" because these tracks aren't really directed at kid listeners. There are no tunes about animals or toys. Rich never sings in a silly voice. Heck, he doesn't even tell a corny joke.

The most telling song on this collection is Thank God for Kids, once a big hit for The Oak Ridge Boys. The former is significant because all these songs express thankfulness for the little ones in our lives. She's A Butterfly speaks to raising self-esteem. It's specifically directed at a girl, where it describes how inner beauty trumps the outer kind every time. Naturally, these songs are mid-tempo, gentle tunes.

There are many mentions of "God," "love" and the joys of living throughout. Much like Big & Rich, which has a partying side and a sensitive side, this short disc focuses on Rich's tender muse. All of these songs are good ones, although nothing really stands out as great. Instead, Rich basically tells us stuff we already know, in songs that sound familiar even if we've never heard them before. He sings songs for parents because it sounds like he's truly pulling for the parents in his audience. The disc, with its overall softness, may work as a Sunday morning listening choice. It won't challenge you all that much, but it certainly isn't ever abrasive.