Review: No! - They Might Be Giants

The band They Might Be Giants are elder statesmen of what has sometimes been called "geek rock." The band has been recording albums for close to 20 years, and for most of that time they aimed their records right at your typical rock-listening audience of high schoolers and those with high school in their rear view mirror. But if you see them live, you'll find something unusual for rock concerts -- little kids on their parents' shoulders.

In 2002 the band released No!, their first album specifically for kids. Some of the songs could just as easily have been released on an album for adults (indeed, some have been concert staples of theirs for years). Some of the songs are very simple, if somewhat skewed. "I Am Not Your Broom" and "I Am a Grocery Bag" are about, well, what their titles say. Other songs, however, are significantly more complex, both in instrumentation (full band!) as well as song structure. "The House At the Top of the Tree" has a Memento-like storytelling structure. (Oddly enough, that song is one of my 3-year-old daughter's favorites, and thanks to constant repetition, she's probably better at the lyrical intricacies than I am.) "Bed Bed Bed" is a 6-year-old's version of the Beatles' "Day in the Life" off of Sgt. Pepper's, complete with the sound of a placid ping pong game buried deep in the mix at the end.

I would recommend TMBG CDs to kids of all ages (they're the one rock band I don't have any problem playing for our daughter), but this CD is probably best for kids age 3 - 8. There are a number of wonderful songs on the CD -- the first three ("Fibber Island," "Four of Two," "Robot Parade") are particularly strong. The CD is interactive, with lots of games (sort of) you can play while listening to the songs. You can also go to for more TMBG kiddie-related goodness.