Kid Culture | Music
They Might Be Giants is worthy of name
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
No question about it, they aregiants. "Here Comes Sience," the newest children's music release from Brooklyn's international rock legends, They Might Be Giants, is gigantic by all scientific measurements.
As it is with most music from TMBG, their signature melodies and highly energized arrangements stand front and center. As I listened to song after song, it became apparent that "Here Comes Science" proves it is possible to create engaging and educational songs around the theme of science. I have heard dozens of CDs in this children's music sub-genre, and a couple are fabulous (search for Lucas Miller's I Am A Supa-Dupa-Pupa), but I have yet to find one as exciting as this project.
What a fabulous way not only to introduce kids to science but also to help them begin to understand the importance of science in everyday life, in everything we are and in everything there is.
A couple of days later I watched the DVD. Wow! Every song is brought to animated life and the end result is a vivid, extremely creative and wonderfully educational video. The best part? It is fun and at the same time, our kids are being fed a musical diet with substance and style.
Many songs stand out on "Here Comes Science." Because they are well-constructed songs (memorable, melodic and full of interesting musical twists) they really stand on their own as songs. But these songs take on a whole new life when they are rendered in video on the DVD. It was immediately apparent that when these songs go visual, a much deeper understanding of the song's content comes into focus. It is like a scientific happening right before our eyes-what was somewhat abstract (the songs on the CD left to our own imagination) becomes concrete (visual realizations that support the context of the lyrics but also lead the viewer into deeper meaning).
One more important aspect of these songs that almost goes unnoticed is that all the songs are relatively short. Too many artists and producers just go on and on for way too long. These guys know how important it is to get in, say what you are going to say and get out.
"Here Comes Science" was obviously designed to help kids get excited about science. So here is what you should do: Go out right now and buy two copies-one for your child and another copy for one of your child's teachers. "Here Comes Science" can be a wonderful shot in the arm for any classroom struggling to find ways to engage students in meaningful science concepts.
Here are only a few of the highlights:
- "Science is Real"-a great theme song/introduction to the whole project.
- "Meet The Elements"-a wonderful metaphor about how the Periodic Table is "like a box of paints that are mixed up" to make everything.
- "I Am a Paleontologist"-every kid will not only dig this song but have some clearer understanding.
- "Electric Car"-has one of my favorite lines on the whole project, "To change the end, rewrite the start."
- "The Ballad of Davy Crockett (in Outer Space)"-not only can these guys write their own great songs, they can rewrite classic songs for our 21st century kids.
- In a children's music market saturated with product aimed at our kids, it is refreshing and invigorating to find a project that is so good in so many ways.