Review in Brief: You Can't Rock Sittin' Down - The Mighty Weaklings

With several albums for adults under their belts, you would be forgiven for thinking the New York band The Mighty Weaklings was just cashing in on the kids music trend with the recent release of their first kids album You Can't Rock Sittin' Down. That wouldn't be entirely fair, seeing as singer/bassplayer Matt Vogel's been a Sesame Street puppeteer for a dozen years and they've already had a video on Jack's Big Music Show.

This album will seriously appeal to families with a powerpop weakness. "The Monster Under My Bed" tells about a kid who's best friend is a monster, and rocks in doing so. The album's best song, "The Grumpy Song," features a banjo-inflected bluegrass tune, vocals Sesame Street/Muppet Show/Fraggle Rock puppeteer Jerry Nelson, and a chorus of kids (and adults) shouting "I'm Grumpy" in such a way that is guaranteed to put a dorky grin on the listener's face.

The album as whole has a very strong Muppet Show vibe -- interspersed among the 9 songs are 5 skits. At times I thought the skits were pitched squarely at me the thirty-something parent and wouldn't entertain the younger listeners at all. The knowing humor didn't really match the earnestness of the rest of the songs like "It's Sunny When You Share" (get it?), the imaginzative "Rocket Ship" (from Jack's, and the try-try-again theme of "Fallin' Down." You could easily find the materials for an episode or three of The Mighty Weaklings Show inside the album -- it's not hard to picture a TV show, even without puppets.

The 33-minute album's pitched mostly at kids ages 4 through 8. You can hear samples here or listen via the player embedded past the jump. Despite some awkwardness from the skits themselves, the songs here are solid kid-friendly power-pop. Your kids will find that You Can't Rock Sittin' Down ranks high on the "rock" scale and low on the "sittin' down" scale. Recommended.