Wednesday, April 30th, 2008
Music Review: Very Helpful Songs
What do you think about when you listen to this music video?
I thought, “I’m sure going to miss when my kids outgrow children’s music.”
That’s Home, by David Tobocman. He doesn’t know it yet, but he just launched a long and prestigious career writing and performing children’s music.
Up until now it appears he’s been wasting his life composing music for films, and before that, TV shows, and before that, producing records. Having an 18-month and almost 4-year-old daughter has torqued his brain just so.
His first CD, “I Count to Ten” and Other Very Helpful Songs, is worth a serious look. Many of its songs are about functional toddler issues, from brushing your teeth to keeping your pajamas on at night.
Buttons and Bows is the most amusing. It’s a song about the importance of keeping your clothes on in public, sung straight-faced:
“It’s real important to keep your clothes on
’cause folks freak out and get all nervous.
People are weird; that’s how it goes.
Oh, those buttons and bows.”
My first impression of Tobocman is that he’s a young Randy Newman, except more uplifting. The CD’s not perfect mind you; I’d enjoy more range of emotion in his voice. He has pensive nailed. I look forward to seeing what he does next.
My wife’s take on him is a bit different, and I may have to get her in here writing music reviews. She likened a few of the songs, such as Brush your Teeth (co-written with his nearly, really almost quite there 4-year-old daughter), to Schoolhouse Rock jingles. That’s high praise in my book. I remember anxiously awaiting commercial breaks in hopes ABC would play another song. Schoolhouse Rock was so much better than the half-hour Saturday morning cartoons.
My wife perfectly described Tobocman when she asked and answered this question:
“You know who would sing these songs? Kermit the Frog.”
So, in light of this new evidence, I’ll revise my earlier statement. He’s not Randy Newman. He’s a Muppet, but with a smooth non-goofy voice. And, he brings robust lyrics and compositions to the table worthy of The Muppets. (Ever notice that? Jim Henson didn’t skimp just because he was flapping felt around on his hands.)
Really David, we mean this as a compliment.
[The CD was provided to Thingamababy for review. If you've noticed that I only write positive reviews, it's because I don't / won't / couldn't bear to share with you the pile of broken dreams sitting on my desk.]