CD review: Here comes science!
They Might Be Giants are back with another catchy album of educational kids music
Published: Wednesday, October 7, 2009 - 10:30pm
They Might Be Giants
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- THE SUN IS a miasma of incandescent plasma,
The sun's not simply made of gas no, no, no.
The sun is a quagmire, it's not made of fire,
Forget what you've been told in the past …
They Might Be Giants are probably the only band to have issued a scientific correction statement to one of their previous songs. And most definitely the only one to hire a scientific consultant.
On their most recent release, "Here Comes Science," TMBG takes on the children's music genre. Again. And though I was disappointed to hear that the once-famous alternative rock band was still releasing educational music then, I'm not now.
"Science" may well be the cutest album since Sufjan Stevens' 2005 release, "Come On Feel The Illinoise!" — blissfully free of any dark moments or emotional lyrics. And I'm actually learning things. Go figure.
Leaning more toward synthpop than rock, TMBG takes on everything from scientific theory to evolution in a cheery and bright fashion that's absolutely adorable.
Musically, this album is as sound as anything they've ever released, with very few moments that actually remind me that this is children's music, and not a regular album.
Of course, there are a few of those unfortunate mishaps, but that's only to be expected on an album of such a nature.
Songs like "How Many Planets" are a little puerile, sure, but they make up for it in humor as well as in extremely aesthetically pleasing accompaniment videos, including this gem that made me laugh for about 15 minutes.
As I've said, this album is of an educational nature … and I'm actually learning. It's not only for little kids. On "Shooting Star," they sing:
- A shooting star is not a star
Why does it shine so bright?
The friction as it falls through air
Produces heat and light.
I will admit, I could have logically deduced this conclusion. But having never taken the time to consider the scientific nature of shooting stars (which are not stars, kiddies, but in fact meteorites), I was impressed by the accuracy of their explanation, as well as the charming rhyme.
Other songs, of course, are less informative but equally amusing. "Roy G. Biv" contains the standard message but is absolutely adorable, and "The Ballad of Davy Crockett (In Space)" requires no explanation further than the title. Instant love.
Overall, I quite enjoy this album. Despite a few childish moments, They Might Be Giants have managed to produce an incredibly expressive as well as educational album well worth hearing.
In short, don't blow this off just because of the genre; it defies such easy classification.