To call Justin Roberts a creator of children’s music is to deny his songs’ adult appeal. It would be like restricting Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts cartoons to kids. Like Schulz, Roberts has a knack for creatively (and tastefully) folding scriptural wisdom into his work. In the two-CD effort Why Not Sea Monsters? Songs from the Hebrew Scriptures and New Testament (CarpetSquare) he steers clear of any ham-fisted agenda while staying faithful to the power and majesty of the Bible stories.
And he makes those stories his own. On the “Hebrew Scriptures” CD, Roberts gets things off to a clever start with “Why Not a Spark?” Singing in a style that suggests John Lennon, James Taylor and Glenn Tilbrook, Roberts lays out the tale of creation as if God were a smiling child in a swirling cosmic sandbox: “On the fourth day / God said, Where are the stars? / Where’s Mercury, Venus and Mars?/ Where’s all those old rusty cars? / Wait, that’s later!”