Posts Tagged ‘John Lee’

No! by They Might Be Giants

When I first heard that TMBG was going to be releasing a children’s album, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The second or third time I saw them live was right before No! was released, and they announced that they would be performing some of the songs off the album. I was a little pissed about it, thinking I was about to see the TMBG version of the Wiggles. I got something totally different.

The album is such a mix of children’s themes and the signature style of TMBG that it is easy for the average fan of the band to enjoy and for their kids to enjoy as well. Songs like “No!” and “Bed, Bed, Bed” are totally geared toward children lyrically, but the music is still catchy and well written.

Listening to No! pretty much still feels like listening to a standard TMBG album. The music is interesting and fun, and the lyrics are smart and witty. There are only a couple of songs that seem a little too childish to look beyond and accept as a song for adults AND children. The songs “Violin” and “In the Middle, In the Middle, In the Middle” are not subtle in their intentions to simply be silly or to teach children to cross the street at the crosswalk. This would be fine if the music was more accessable to a larger audience.

A couple of songs, “I Am Not Your Broom” and “The Edison Museum” were actually written a long time before the album was released, and “The Edison Museum” was actually released on Long Tall Weekend years before. Also, the song “Robot Parade” was written earlier in the band’s career as well, only it had more adult lyrics:

Also, No! features the song “Where Do They Make Balloons?” which is sung by Danny Weinkauf. It is simply amazing. I love the fun lyrics and the song is the best example of fine music that adults can enjoy with lyrics that play with a child’s imagination:

Unlike later children’s albums that the band would create, this album truly can be enjoyed by the whole family. You can get No! on for $2! Do it!