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This review is from: Here Comes Science (Audio CD)
I admit freely I skipped They Might Be Giants' previous children's albums, but I was drawn to "Here Comes Science" because they promised to correct the errors made in "Why Does the Sun Shine?" That, and the fact that I've been a hardcore TMBG fan for 20 years, and figured they deserved the benefit of the doubt.
"Here Comes Science" resembles any TMBG album, with catchy melodies and clever lyrics, sung in the nasal tones of John and John, along with guest shots by friends like Robin Goldwasser, who's worked with Flansburgh in Mono Puff. Truthfully, there's not a bad track on the album...my personal favorites are "I Am A Paleontologist" and "Put It to the Test," probably because these two tracks could easily fit on any TMBG album without any changes ("And all the kids who wanna see 'em/Are lining up at our museum"). These song-lessons occasionally put scientific accuracy (a good thing) at odds with song structure (a bad thing).
Of course, the album is called "Here Comes Science," so it's a good thing that the Johns are accurate. However, its reliance on sing-songy vocals (always a hallmark of TMBG, but usually more varied) makes this a minor struggle to get through on one sitting. However, for the under-10 crowd, it's easy to see both its usefulness and effectiveness. It's catchy, no doubt.
If anything, the songs on this album are better viewed in their video versions on the DVD. Not only is the animation goofy and fun, but the two Johns (in simplistic cartoon form) narrate and introduce the songs, often dropping useful facts and mnemonics to help the viewer better follow the subject matter. The DVD is consistently entertaining, fun, and educational, and therein lies the true value of this media project.
It's not your everyday TMBG release, but it's not meant to be. If you look at the album as a soundtrack to the DVD project (which I believe in many ways it was intended to be, and not vice versa), you'll enjoy it immensely. I know I did.
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Initial post: Apr 29, 2011 7:00:28 AM PDT
Alexander M. Walker says:
Haha, not only did you single out Paleontologist (my favorite thing to come from a TMBG kids album), but even the particular hook that keeps me going back to that song ("And all the kids who wanna see 'em/Are lining up at our museum"). Great review.
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