The Music of "Hey You Kids!"
On "Hey You Kids!", you’re going to hear songs about the important minutia of childhood memories: a square of sunlight on the bedroom wall, the blue-green eyes of a new kitten, using both hands to eat a cookie, the longing plea for one more glass of water in order to stave off sleep. But hidden within these deceptively simple superpop kids' songs are messages of self-importance, of the assurance of being comforted, of retribution and its consequences, of the humanizing effect of connecting with others on a personal level, and all of this in a voice not heard since the Schoolhouse Rock series. Those writers, as well as Doug, have the innate ability to speak the thoughts of children in a child's own articulate voice, free-flowing and imaginative, full of wonder and with an eye for detail, details that are especially meaningful to children.
So, try to find a better pop song than "Bicycle", c'mon, I dare you; then discover the consequences of washing a cookie in the sink in "Mr. Cookie". Dig the instrumental bridge near the end of the title tune and try not to dance with glee; then groove to the Tuff Gong vibe of "Lake Rules", and relive the unabashed joy of a day on the water (with a wink at The Bee Gees).
More Music from "Hey You Kids!"
Oh, the lyrical and musical brilliance of "I'm Not Ugly (You're Not Either)", a tune that verbally wraps around itself, and is most like a Schoolhouse Rock song than any other on the album. And I can totally see a crowd of Second-Graders going absolutely bonkers when they hear "Race Cars Go" rev up! The partying continues with "Three is a Magic Number" and its eyeball-blistering guitar solo.
The last four songs on the CD will soothe your little one into blissful slumber, including the impossibly beautiful "Captain Sleep", and the achingly sweet album-closer "My Blanket", whose lyrics include the lines: "Stellar bits and particles that make up you and me / We could float around and settle down inside a symphony / Some day, and that's where we would stay / You'll be E and I'll be A". Yes.
All in all, "Hey You Kids!" is the best kids' music of 2006. If you're anywhere near Austin, Texas, check out the Jellydots, it may be one of the few chances you have to see kindie rock brilliance on stage. They could equally rock the crowd at both the SXSW Music Festival and the World Cafe Kids' Stage. And while you're at it, buy five copies of "Hey You Kids!", give one to your local library, give three to your closest friends, and keep one for yourself and/or your little ones and play repeatedly. It'll make the world a more beautiful place.
Released September 18, 2006; Drowsysword Music
- "Mr. Cookie"
- "Hey You Kids!"
- "Lake Rules"
- "Mister Gloom"
- "I'm Not Ugly (You're Not Either"
- "Quite Naturally"
- "Race Cars Go"
- "Three is a Magic Number"
- "All of the People"
- "Ralph the Cat"
- "Captain Sleep"
- "My Blanket"