22 May 2008

Snack Time with the Barenaked Ladies

The name of the group is still a bit off-putting (it was years before I even gave them a listen, because of their name), even though "The Barenaked Ladies" are actually a fun-loving bunch of fully-clothed, semi-nerdy Canadian fellas. Once I did discover their music, some time ago, I found that I rather enjoyed their clever sense of humor. It was for that reason that I had to pick up their most recent recording, Snack Time, which is a collection of original children's songs. I am so glad I did, because my children and I have been loving it. It's infectious and great fun.

Those parents with young children who have a quirky sense of humor, or those adults who have a quirky sense of humor themselves, should check out Snack Time with the Barenaked Ladies. It's as clever (or moreso) than anything else they've ever done, and really just a joy to listen to. It's catchy and addictive, but not in a Barney-the-dinosaur, commericial-jingle sort of way. The lyrics are sometimes silly, sometimes quite sweet, and often incorporating puns and interesting sounds and such, which children (and adults) can find very amusing.

The best sort of comparison I could make, is to describe Snack Time as a musical equivalent to the first Shrek movie (and to some of the other better animated films in recent years). That is to say, it appeals to adults and children both, at different levels. There's humorous references to things that adults would get, cultural connections and that sort of thing, while the overall result is simply charming and delightful to little children. My boys and my girls love it equally, it seems.

What is very obvious to me is that "The Barenaked Ladies" must have children of their own, and they must know them and love them well. There's one pair of songs, in particular, "Bad Day" and "Things," which almost brings tears to my eyes because of its sweet insights and sensitivity to a little child's feelings and to the role of a father in comforting his hurting child. Good job, guys.

There are so many highlights on the record, I couldn't possibly identify all of them. But the songs that have most endeared themselves to me and my children are the aforementioned "Bad Day" and "Things," the opening track, "7 8 9," and the following: "The Ninjas," "Pollywog in a Bog," "Food Party" and "The Canadian Snacktime Trilogy," "Allergies," and "Crazy ABC's." The last of these songs is a real hoot, because it goes through the whole alphabet using words that begin with completely different sounds than their first letters normally make. My son Ariksander likes that one the best, I think. Really, though, the whole record is just delightful.

3 comments:

Dizziness said...

Thanks for the heads-up. We like Weird Al too. Oh, and the They Might Be Giants 123 and ABC albums are decent.

Problem is too much of this kid stuff is flat-out absurd. Dr. Weinrich claims that this kids music and especially cartoons are gnostic. Teletubbies comes to mind in agreement.

Rev. Rick Stuckwisch said...

Thanks for your comments, Dizziness. Weird Al makes a brief cameo on Snack Time, which is fun.

One of the things I enjoy about this Barenaked Ladies record, it that, while there is some silliness, there's not the gnostic sort of flat out absurdity that you are describing. It's more a kind of clever humor, which has fun with puns and sounds and ideas and so forth from the real world. Although there is one fleeting reference to evolution (and I can't tell whether it's tongue in cheek or in any way serious), the record really demonstrates a love for the created world and life and home and family.

Darth Nemoyer said...

Thanks for the review, Pastor! I also am a bit fan of BNL (though I'll agree to the name having been a turn-off), but I hadn't had a chance to hear any of Snack Time yet.
--Aaron