Oh, good grief. On getting this CD, in the post I was scared to even play it thinking I had just been sent a CD full of Mills Brothers and Ink Spots cover versions that annoyed the hell out of me as a kid. Now as an adult who chose not to have any pesky kids, it scared me as I have no desire to hear kids music so it was with considerable trepidation that I pressed play.
However, the songs contained within are tunes Tom Dyer and his wife Susan made up and played for their own son and daughter who are pictured on the cover - to their eternal chagrin no doubt. The CD is in three part: the first is 'Songs to annoy small children' which opens with a short intro and then we have sparse songs about the Bathtub Plug that's followed by a Sesame Street-style educational song about A Great Glowing Gasbag In the Sky otherwise known as the sun. It might well work if I was six.
More frightening is She's Pulling The Head off The Dog: a folk strummed tale of childhood despair. Old Tom McGurk is like a drinking song re-purposed for young kids as he's spilling his pop...NOOOO!! I really need to kidnap my neighbour's kids to find out if these songs really do annoy small children.
The Dyer Family Song will undoubtedly make the Dyer kids shrink in embarrassment at Dad's falsetto telling of the family tree and history. This is far worse than being sat down to watch the family slide show. It also sounds like it's ripping off the song at the start of Dirty Dancing which welcomes the guests back to another summer in the Catskills.
This first part ends with They're Old, which sounds more like a cool indie tune mocking the kids' embarrassment at having to hear these songs again.
The second part is a three song interlude titled 'Cap'n Kat And The SS Mediocrity': sort of Pirate songs sung by Susan who sounds like Gretchen Phillips back when she was in Meatjoy, but obviously with more kid-friendly lyrics about having Scurvy over an nicely strummed acoustic guitar. Rum and Grog is a cool pirate drinking song about what you'll need to be a good pirate.
The third section is 'Susan Dyer's Songs From Aladdin'. It's just that a recording of a live performance of Aladdin and his Magic Lamp with a full band and a cast singing the songs to help the play along. This is just the songs without the dialogue. The band sound like a small jazz ensemble hamming it up on It's Coming Too Slow (Opening). The song that works the least effectively without being part of a play is Dragona that might work in a theatre setting but not as a song on a stand-alone album.
Horns Of A Dilemma works as another sort of Sesame Street educational song about what a dilemma is. Abanazzar has a bit of a Looney Tunes feel to it which would work well with kids no doubt. The second half of It's Coming Too Slow (Closing) has a really good sing-along musical feel to it and a nice way to end before we get to A Final Word which features a typical radio style ident for Green Monkey Records.
If you have any small children who need annoying you can find out more at Green Monkey Records online
Now to find some small children to give the CD to...