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They Might Be Giants - Here Comes Science

They Might Be Giants Head Back to the Classroom with 'Here Comes Science'

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Kids Music
Courtesy Idlewild/Disney
Here comes Here Comes Science, one of the best kids' music albums of 2009, the follow-up to They Might Be Giants' GRAMMY-winning Here Come the 123s. Like Here Come the ABCs and Here Come the 123s, Here Comes Science is issued as a CD/DVD package, with all 19 songs accompanied by a short animated video.

Science is Real

Lines from the album’s first song say it all: “The facts are with science, The truth is with science, Science is real.” They Might Be Giants’ previous two albums for kids were fun romps through the concepts of letters and numbers, but few hard facts were presented. Not so on Here Comes Science.

The band set out to get the facts right while providing typical TMBG musical and lyrical fun. In fact, they employed Eric Siegel, Director of The New York Hall of Science, to fact-check the lyrics of Here Comes Science, and one of the first edits was on their cover of the classic “Why Does the Sun Shine?”

This is a remake of the song by Hy Zaret And Lou Singer, performed by folk singer Tom Glazer on the album Space Songs (Motivation Records, 1959). They Might Be Giants have been performing this song in concert for many years, and it was made popular again by its inclusion on their 1998 live album Severe Tire Damage.

The song that follows on Here Comes Science, the Steely Dan-like smooth jazz of “Why Does the Sun Really Shine?” is TMBG’s retraction and revision, stating, “The sun is a miasma of incandescent plasma,” among other corrections.

More Music from 'Here Comes Science'

They Might Be Giants have been at it for over 20 years now, so they have their pop chops down. Songs like “Electric Car,” “I Am a Paleontologist,” “Cells,” “Speed and Velocity,” “Roy G. Biv,” and “Put It to the Test” are first-rate, radio-ready songs, worthy of inclusion on any of their grownup albums.

Other highlights include the DEVO-like “Computer Assisted Design,” the renaissance-sounding round “What is a Shooting Star?” and the parody “The Ballad of Davy Crockett (In Outer Space),” which was also released on the compilation CD Disney Music Block Party in 2008.

Of course, the songs on Here Comes Science aren’t meant to teach, but they can certainly be used as fun supplemental materials. The tempos in “Solid Liquid Gas” mirror the respective molecules’ speeds, making it easier for, say, a third grader to remember the differences in the states of matter. The lyrics of “How Many Planets?” are simply the names of the planets sung in slightly different styles, somewhat similar to the awesome music collage “Fingertips,” a tune found on They Might Be Giants’ 1992 album Apollo 18. And you can pair “My Brother the Ape” with Martin Jenkins’ 2007 award-winning, non-fiction picture book Ape, illustrated by Vicky White.

The Verdict

They Might Be Giants continue to forge a niche for themselves in the kids' music field with Here Comes Science, another great album in a growing collection of humorous, catchy CDs for children. And kudos to the band for making a CD for older kids and for not shying away from scientific fact. Definitely one of the best kids' music albums of 2009.

Released September 22, 2009; Walt Disney Records

Track Listing for 'Here Comes Science'

  1. "Science Is Real"
  2. "Meet the Elements"
  3. "I Am a Paleontologist" w/Danny Weinkauf
  4. "The Bloodmobile"
  5. "Electric Car" w/Robin Goldwasser
  6. "My Brother the Ape"
  7. "What Is a Shooting Star?"
  8. "How Many Planets?"
  9. "Why Does the Sun Shine?"
  10. "Why Does the Sun Really Shine?"
  11. "Roy G. Biv"
  12. "Put It to the Test"
  13. "Photosynthesis"
  14. "Cells"
  15. "Speed and Velocity" w/Marty Beller
  16. "Computer Assisted Design"
  17. "Solid Liquid Gas"
  18. "Here Comes Science"
  19. "The Ballad of Davy Crockett (in Outer Space)"
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