Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Ants in My Pants

Ants in My Pants

Spring 2002 Music
Ages: 3 - 10 yrs.
Music By: Gunnar Madsen
CD Price: $15.00
Gunnar Madsen's a cappella roots-- he's one of the founding members of The Bobs-- are in evidence in this irresistible follow-up to his first family album, 1999's "Old Mr. Mackle Hackle." So are his off-beat sense of humor, his unexpectedly beautiful melodies, and instrumentals that are as adult as they get, without losing sight of young listeners. Some highlights: The Elvis-style title song, dedicated to "all of you out there who have trouble sittin' still"; a soulful lament sung by a kid named "Tuna Fish," an irresistibly lugubrious, 1940s-cowboy-style "Ballad of the Lonesome Rider" ("I am a cowboy born to weep/See how my tears water the desert"), and "Are We There Yet?," a backseat query familiar to any parental driver, that serves here as the springboard to a breathtakingly lovely journey of the imagination.

And then there is the oddest of this deliciously odd bunch: "And the Children Rolled," a wildly visual story song about the marriage of a crooked man and "a lady as straight as a pin," whose "round like a ball" children roll out the door one day and fall in love with an ice cream truck. Madsen is a one-of-a-kind delight.

Lynne Heffley   ©2002 Parents' Choice
A freelance writer and editor for the arts and non-profit organizations, Lynne is a former staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, where she established the paper's first weekly children's arts and entertainment beat.

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