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  • No!
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on June 18, 2002
No! is a great kids album. I have all their cds, and even though i'm 11, this is still a great album. They don't have to be Raffi with songs about cute whales, but they have to be Johns, with songs about grocery bags and hippos.Great animations also!
A good opening. Almost like a folk song.One of the best kids songs about imagination. One of the best flash games also on the
Another good {yet older} song. TMBG can sing about loving girls and dating, while still making it appropiate {and a bit confusing when they sing about bugs and flying cars} for kids. Great song.
On the "Working Undercover For The Man" they had an hard rock, fast version of this song. On No! it's softer, and more understandable, even though the game gets boring.
4. NO!
The title track. You get to change No blocks to Yes blocks! A good use of electric guitars.{!}
One of the best. Sung by their drummer, I think, this song teaches about other countries and their products while asking the age-old question, "Where DO they make balloons?"
An old cheesy 60's song, I think. Sorta dull.
Even though the songs consists of the words "Violin-lin-lin","Hippo", "Mop!" and "Speck of dus-dus-dust" and a fraction lesson using George Washington's head {You'll get a presidential surprise!}, it is one of the best songs on the album.
My personal favorite. A rocking tune about a guy that is a supertaster. Has a hilarious intro by John Flansburgh.
Originally on "Long Tall Weekend", this is still a great, spooky, educational song.The flash thing has the ghost of Thomas Alva telling you about phonographs and stuff.
My 2nd favorite, and the best game, where you try to save a treehouse by feeding a disturbing,fat mouse thats eating the house. If you dont feed him, the house falls down. The creepy little guy still pops his head out the window and waves at you.
The next four songs are all under one minute long, and, in my opinion, the worst. Anyway, CLAP YOUR HANDS makes you want to dance, I AM NOT YOUR BROOM is about what happens when your broom runs away, while the WAKE UP CALL song is a bit boring because the only words are Bo Bo Do Bo Bo. I AM A GROCERY BAG is about half a minute long, but you get to play with food in the interactive thing.
The last three songs are about sleeping and lullabies. LAZYHEAD AND SLEEPYBONES is a rather beautiful song that can actually somehom make you fall asleep. BED BED BED is a fast, energetic Beastles-esque type song guessed it, BED!
And SLEEPWALKERS is a med-tempo song about people who roam across the nation while they sleep.
In all, this is a good album and I recommend it to everyone.
{Try to find the bonus song on the CD-ROM!!}
-Thomas Neufeld
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on August 20, 2002
TMBG's sense of whimsy suits kids music perfectly, although from reading some of the earlier reviews it seems grown-up TMBG fans may be disturbed by the lack of irony. These songs sound just like kids talk, they are tuneful and easy-to-sing-along-with; kids will take them at face value and love them, they don't need the irony.
The computer animations in the enhanced CD are kid-level and fun from a kid's perspective (like if you click on the groceries in the song "I'm a Grocery Bag," they all spill on the ground. And what kid doesn't like to spill things?)
Here are our current favs:
1) Fibber Island - "Here on Fibber Island, we strum rubber guitars, our friends live on Mars, we sew buttons on our cars ". The exact same kind of imagination your 5-year-old has.
2) [Don't Cross the Street] In the Middle In the Middle In the Middle. So catchy you will find yourself singing it to yourself alone in your office (whether you want to or not, so beware). And, extra credit, the message is a good one for kids to hear. If you listen to this one on your computer, little cars drive around the screen and you can make them stop and go if you click on the stoplights!
3) Bed, Bed, Bed - After a mere 24 hours, our new family theme song for the evening hour. TMBD cleverly put this and two other sleepy-time songs at the end of the album, in sequence. Play the album through and past these 3 songs and presto, dozing children.
If you are the kind of grown-up who can't stomach another earnest Raffi album, you will still have the satisfaction of TMBG's customary irreverence and, yes, silliness. Also, it will MAKE THE WHOLE FAMILY DANCE.
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on June 13, 2002
I'm not a child, nor do I have any children, or really know any children, or have any idea what they like these days. Therefore, I don't know whether your kids will like They Might Be Giants' first children's album. I DO know, however, that this is a great album, and despite (or maybe even because of)being geared toward children, it contains some of their best work. Songs like "Fibber Island," "Robot Parade," "Bed Bed Bed," and "Sleepwalkers" have a lot of the typical TMBG spirit in both the music and lyrics. There are excellent guest vocals provided by Robin Goldwasser (John Flansburgh's wife), Danny Weinkauf (the band's bass player), and Nick Hill (a WFMU disc jockey). There was obviously a lot of effort put into making an album that both kids and adults could enjoy. What's more, this is an enchanced CD, with cute interactive cartoon videos for most of the songs. Try to stop a giant mouse from eating a tree, play with food from a grocery bag with moving eyes, learn about Thomas Edison in fun facts that come out of his haunted mansion, and watch the planet Mars sing. This CD is well worth getting for TMBG fans both young and old.
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on June 18, 2002
For those TMBG fans that were disappointed with Mink Car, I'd definitely not give up on they might be giants, but rather, pick up a copy of No! Sure, that'll mean getting over your pride and buying a childrens' album, but I think you can manage. Yes, No! is made for kids to enjoy, too, but that definitely does not mean that it's bad. Quite the opposite, actually. Almost all of these songs could easily go on a regular TMBG album, and everyone would be more than satisfied. I absolutely adore "Bed, Bed, Bed", "John Lee Supertaster", and "Four of Two", but they're really all great. The animations and games are wonderful, too. "The House at the Top of the Tree" is bunches of fun, and "I am Not Your Broom" is hilarious. Another interesting track is "Where Do They Make Balloons?" sung by Danny Weinkauf, the band's bassist. It's surprisingly very good; a nice variation.
In summation, a very cohesive TMBG album, extremely fun and educational for kids, great songs live, and TMBG goodness all around. I DEFINITELY RECOMMEND BUYING THIS ALBUM. if you're a tmbg fan, you should already have it!
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on June 19, 2002
When I first heard that the Johns were putting together a children's album, I immediately thought that it was really cute idea--in a weird, frightening sort of way. For starters, the picture of the kids on the CD case was really scary. They look more like bugs than children. And what kind of impact might TMBG's surreal and oftentimes abstract music have on our younger generation's naive, impressionable minds? I mean, I didn't start listening to them until I was nineteen, and look what it did to me! (Ha, ha, okay, all you TMBG fans out there, please don't shoot or maim me, I was only kidding.)
In all seriousness though, I was more than a little bit curious as to how well the album would be accepted and appreciated by its target audience--namely, four to nine-year-old children. As a college student majoring in elementary education, I have taken numerous child development and phsycology classes, and--according to my professors--the majority of children at that age are mentally unable to grasp abstract concepts--a quality that has always dominated TMBG's previous albums. I honestly began to wonder if this was going to be something more akin to Gary Larson's "There's a Hair in My Dirt!" or Shel Silverstien's "ABZ's"--both of these satires are written in the same format as children's books, but in actuality they are geared towards adults.
Well, it turns out that the Johns' new album is exactly what they said it was going to be--a children's album. Not quite what you'd expect from a rock and roll band, even a band as unique and daring as They Might be Giants . . . so grown-ups beware, this is not a children's album for adults, but an actual, genuine children's album, complete with songs about crossing the street and going to bed. Listeners who are over twelve years old might find these songs to be rather immature and maybe even downright infantile. After all, this album speaks to kids on their level with the intention to entertain and have fun, not to preach or educate. I guess that's why the children that I tutor and babysit enjoy it so much. In fact, it's the only CD they've wanted to listen to since the day I bought it. On the other hand, NO! is probably my least favorite Giant's album simply because it's too childish for my tastes. It's kind of like watching Sesame Street when I'd rather be watching the Simpsons. Sure, I enjoy watchin Oscar the Grouch as much as the next person, but there comes a point when I want move on to something thats geared towards my own age level.
The Johns' tounge-in-cheek, subtle sense of humor is still present in NO!, although the lyrics aren't quite as clever as they were on previous albums, and the music in general is much less complicated. In conclusion, the fact that TMBG has been "dumbed down" quite a bit makes this album less appealing to me as an adult, but considering the fact that this was meant to be a children's album, I feel that John and John were completely justified in simiplifying both the instrumentation and the lyrics. And when I see the kids I tutor happily singing in unison, "Electric cars, electric trains, here comes a robot with electric brains!" I can't help but think that TMBG has created something that is truly wonderful. So, just remind yourself that this is a children's album, enjoy the music, sing along, and let the kids have their fun.
The only REAL gripe I have about this album is the fact that they didn't include 'monsters of mud.' I absolutely love that song, but they have yet to release it on a disk. Oh well, perhaps next time. :)
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on October 9, 2005
My 2 and a half year old son loves this CD. It is very funny for kids and adults alike. After only about 5 listenings, we have caught him singing several of the songs to himself in his stroller.
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on May 25, 2004
This album captures the triumphant exuberance of childhood in a way that few other children's albums do. Songs such as "Fibber Island" and "Robot Parade" encourage children to exercise imagination and creativity. In "Bed, Bed, Bed," watching TV is but one of many activities in a full day that includes meeting friends, riding bikes, and playing the guitar. Even better, some of the songs are educational ("Where Do They Make Balloons?", "The Edison Museum") with the spirit of play, not lectures. But best of all, the songs have both simplicity and sophistication to their goofiness to appeal to children and older listeners alike. "Violin" and "John Lee Superstar" are good examples of this.
This album contains no bad language, violence, or encouragement of such, so most parents would not object to the material in this album. While some of the songs ("I Am Not Your Broom") may be interpreted as encouraging rebellion in children, I do not feel they are any more subversive than say, the poetry of Shel Silverstein.
The whimsical interactive sequences mostly require only that you run your mouse over the images, so children who can't click the buttons can still enjoy them. My one-year-old nephew insisted on going to listen to the CD on the computer first thing in the morning for quite a while. I also bought this album for my TMBG fan friends who were soon to be parents, and they were delighted.
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on February 23, 2007
This is a brilliant record in every sense of the word; it may be, next to "Flood", my favorite TMBG album. Getting it for your kids is just a great excuse to buy it, although I can honestly say that you haven't lived until you've heard your 18-month-old singing "Robot Parade" or "Four of Two" or "Fibber Island" - it's just so bloody funny hearing our son deliver lines like "Our dog is two miles wide/And all he talks about is pie". Purchase this immediately.
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on May 11, 2005
This was They Might Be Giants first childrens album, and it's a great one. A lot of TMBG's songs already had a lot of appeal to children, since they are short and silly, so this was sort of a natural progression. I believe that some of the songs here are just regular They Might Be Giants songs, which weren't specifically written for children. This is just a fun album that can be enjoyed by children and adults alike. Highly recommended.
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on September 19, 2004
I do not have children... so why did I buy it? I am a TMBG fan, and frankly this album was to round out my collection. I knew how it was being marketed as a family album and listened to it as objectively as I could on the first pass. I was pleased to hear Edison Museum on an album - since it was only released on the MP3-only album "Long Tall Weekend" - and a few others (Four of Two, The House At The Top Of The Tree, I Am A Grocery Bag) were very much in the style of TMBG. The rest of the songs I figured sounded like standard kids' music fare.

Then I came to the realization that "No!" is not just a TMBG album for kids or the whole family as they state. It is specifically targeted to people who have grown up with TMBG and now have kids of their own. On the surface I find that it is a TMBG album tamed down - without sarcastic references to death or other unpleasant topics - and presented as a family album. A parent who would like to introduce their children to the more intelligent musical world of John and John but aren't ready to subject them to the light-hearted approach to serious topics in TMBG's other songs will pick this up and have a safe way to show the fun side of music.

If you are a TMBG fan with young kids (5 to 10 yrs or so) consider buying this to get your kids away from the 'popular' mindless garbage that's been offered up recently. If you are a TMBG fan but don't have kids, or a parent that's not sure about TMBG, give a listen to the samples here on Amazon, go to and see if you like what they offer. As a TMBG album it's ok, but better if shared with a younger crowd.
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