Itty-Bitty Review: I'm Not a Bully! - Josh & Gab


I am not a big fan of music about bullying.  I haven't found a lot of it interesting, believing it doesn't say much more than "think about others" and "don't bully" in the most obvious way lyrically and musically.  (Please note: it should go without saying that I think Bullying Is Bad, but since I've just stated my aversion to the bullying music subgenre, better safe than sorry.)

So when I say that I'm Not a Bully!  is an anti-bullying album I'm OK with, that's the opposite of damning with faint praise.  The Pittsburgh-based duo of Josh Verbanets and Gab Bonesso -- AKA Josh & Gab -- have a school anti-bullying assembly, so there are the songs that get the crowd pumped ("Everybody Clap Hands") and make the administrators happy ("I'm Not a Bully," "I'm a Leader").  They're catchy, but I'm far more interested in the songs that don't spell everything out -- "Hurry Up and Get Well" is a gentle song to a sick or injured friend that never addresses exactly what has waylaid him or her.  And "Nine O'Clock Behind The Jack Rabbit" is a song from the perspective of someone challenged to a fight -- although it resolves peacefully, what sticks in the mind is the nervousness felt by the protagonist.  It's an awesome song.

The songs here are going to be most interesting to kids ages 7 through 12.  You can listen to the whole album via the widget below.  Again, focused as it is on anti-bullying efforts, the whole album isn't necessarily designed for repeat listening in the car.  ("Nine O'Clock" and "Hurry Up" are exceptions.)  But you can do much, much worse in this genre, and it's definitely recommended if you're in the market for that particular purpose.

[Note:  I received a copy of the album for possible review.]