Barenaked Ladies Snack Time Review

Okay, so every now and then, my brother and I get together and review something together over IMs.  We have decided to make this a more regular thing and this is our first official review together!  Just so you know, I'm "Docta" and he's "Gypsy". 

The jist of it?  Snack Time by the Barenaked Ladies is fantastic! We give it 4 elbows up out of 4 (it's a family thing)! The review is actually a pretty fun and informative read so check it out!  And definitely get the album! Even if you don't have kids! Oh, and be sure to check out the website here!

 

Docta: Alrighty! Hello there Gypsy!

Gypsy: Hello Docta.

Docta: So we were offered the chance to review the new Barenaked Ladies children's album called Snack Time. Before you got it, what did you think?

Gypsy: Honestly, I was not expecting great things going into this.

Docta: Wow, that surprises me! I was actually pretty excited about it. You know me, I'm kind of a dork for silly songs and I felt the Ladies were a great group for something like this.

Gypsy: Well, you know me, I naturally lean towards more, um, edgy music and this is pretty much the opposite of edgy. But, I was more than pleasantly surprised. I downright enjoyed it every time I listened. In fact its stayed in solid rotation on my shuffle.

Docta: Yeah, you're definitely the edgy type, but I also know you happen to get your kicks off some silly songs.

Gypsy: Yea I just forget sometimes, y'know? I get wrapped up in other things and think, oh god this is going to be unbearably sweet or whatever

Docta: Well, you and I are pretty picky when it comes to our children's songs. I mean, we only pretty much played that one Rosenshontz album over and over again as kids. Sorry mom and dad!

Gypsy: Well, I was gonna say, when I listen to Rosenshotz again, I can see why mom may have found it pretty annoying... but listening to this...it's not like that.

Docta: I agree, this album is by far the smartest and actually technically speaking, extremely well done, children's album I've ever heard. One thing that really nailed me was the use of MULTIPLE genres in this album. They touch on reggae, bluegrass, rock, gospel, etc. So not only are there lessons in the songs, but also lessons in music! There are a few songs where I can hear distinct shout outs to distinct bands.

Gypsy: Absolutely and good point. On “Eraser”, they seem to nod to Pink Floyd, then the beach boys, and/or Queen, all in the space of about 8 measures or so. I was impressed. They seem to be throwing in little references to make things amusing for the adults as well. It works.

Docta: That just floored me, I thought the same exact thing about the Pink Floyd reference! Humongous Tree couldn't get much more Allman Brothers/Grateful Dead in the opening. Oh, and the 80s synth, devo like sound in "Drawing"(which btw, is one of my favorites).

Gypsy: Ha! Yes exactly. I think they put a lot of thought into those things, to make sure its not so cloying as your average kids album. Also they seem to make a point of, this is not all "educational" or anything like that. It seems they were trying to balance things for any listener.

Docta: You said cloying. Ha! Seriously though, I totally agree! It's just as much about being fun as it is about being smartly educational. Truly, everything is there! So what's your favorite of the 24 songs?

Gypsy: I lean towards the ones that are sorta outright absurd, like "The Ninjas" and "Raisins" that seem to exist for the sole purpose of a catchy melody and a funny rhyme or three.

Docta: I have to agree. “Raisins” is hands down my favorite song. But it really is one of those albums where I say "Raisins is my favorite" and then another song plays and I think "No wait, that's my favorite!" For instance, I have to give a shout out to “Pollywog in a Bog”! It's absolutely brilliant! And the “Crazy ABCs” has to be the best ABC song out there.

Gypsy: Naturally with any long set of short songs its easy to get lost the first few times through. But after a few listens they all have clear identity's of their own, and only a few I've found don't really hold up to repeats. Mostly the more novelty-ish tunes, like "Food Party" which is hilarious but ultimately skippable as a "song".

Docta: I think you just nailed a major point right there. Each song is so individual, has its own vibe. This is so rare these days never mind in an album with 24 songs on it! I think “Snack Time” is the skippable tune after a listen or two. However, that doesn't mean it's no good. It is really hilarious to hear all those famous stars (like Lyle Lovett, Weird Al, Harlond Williams, Jason Priestly, etc.) call in their fave snacks!

Gypsy: Yes. in the end I'll admit I found myself thinking I ought to give a "real" BL album a shot, being so impressed with their ability to effortlessly switch genres and nail each one. In the past I've sorta written them off as a novelty act without even listening really

Docta: Now thats a compliment! Especially from you!

Gypsy: Well i found myself thinking, “Hey.. this is kinda ween-ish.. and I LOVE ween!”

Docta: Me, I've always dug them but never been a super mega fan. But you'll never catch me switching the radio if I hear "If I had a Million Dollars", one of their older hits. I think the bottom line is there is so much to be heard on this album that it's impossible to cover it all.  It's not only a fantastic children's album, but one that I, as an "adult" have and will listen to for my own pleasure.

Gypsy: That's what it comes down to. For a kids album it is truly enjoyable even to someone like me.

Docta: In the Pepper family tradition, I'd give this album 2 elbows up!

Gypsy: Elbows?

Docta: Mom's gonna kill you.

Gypsy: 2 elbows up in the pepper tradition!

Docta: Okay, before we finish! Best kids song on the album? I'd go with “789” (which has a great video too).

Gypsy: I think kids will lean towards the central "Snack Time" trilogy

Docta: Okay, best song to sing along too!

Gypsy: That's tough! Personally? “Raisins”. For some reason, that's my jam. I love all the silly puns.

Docta: “Raisins” and “Popcorn” for me. Okay, best arrangement?

Gypsy: “Eraser”. That one seems the most complex.

Docta: Thats definitely more of a question for you. And listening to it again, I'll have to agree.  Best song to dance to with your kids? I'd say “Wishing”. Good little tune to boogy around the house to.

Gypsy: Hmm... dancing eh? Yea “Wishing” is good. “Pollywog in a Bog” too. Good head nodder with the reggae back beat thing.

Docta: Yeah, definitely! Okay, and finally, the hardest of all, which one of all these clever songs..is the most clever?

Gypsy: I dunno.. I know I keep saying “Raisins”, but...all those puns kill me.

Docta: I'll go with “Allergies” on that one. I love it! I think it's really clever how they turn something like allergies into something you want to sing about.

Gypsy: That's a good point. I hadn't considered that really. Which just goes to show how clever it is!

Docta: D'oh! One more! Silliest! It has to be “Drawing” for me. I think it is both silly and absolutely GENIUS. The first line "There's a blueberry pancake flying in the sky, I can see it" gets me every time.

Gypsy: Hahaha I love that one... its good to be reminded that I have an imagination...Makes me think, yea, maybe I should draw something. I can just think it up, and then its there!  Goes to show, old people can learn from this stuff too.

Docta: Exactly!

Gypsy: I'm old people

Docta: You're so old people.

Gypsy: Apparently

Docta: You're like, the oldest people...besides me. So anyway, we agree, fantastic album, great for kids and definitely geared towards your more music, creative conscious parents.

Gypsy: Ah, yes in conclusion, for a kids album this thing is extremely well balanced. There's very few moments where I find myself (as an old person) feeling talked down to, or like theres nothing I can take from it despite the lack of "edge" in the lyrics and music, so to speak.

Docta: I have to agree completely. It is a well rounded, educational, musically beautiful and all around solid album.

Gypsy: So.. 4 elbows up?

Docta: 4 elbows up!

Gypsy: Excellent

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Arts & Dafts aims to inspire, share and create with other artists and art lovers. I'm Ry Pepper, a Jane of All Trades with a concentration in photography, writing, theater, capers, hijinks and other tomfoolery. I'm the daft. -More About

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