Here are the top ten reasons why Rhys Muldoon’s I’m Not Singing is my favourite kids album ever. (Buy the album here)
1. I have four boys under 8. Most of the tracks are high energy. Amd there are two highly entertaining songs that have been touched by the poo joke fairy. Enough said.
2. This album is not just for kids. It’s also for parents and even unparents (unparents are parents who have attained temporary zombie-like qualities due to a chronic lack of sleep). Why? Because Rhys Muldoon teamed up with Kram from Spiderbait for this album so – in a musical sense – many of the songs head into the realm of the adult while still engaging children with crazy-fun lyrics.
3. Further to point 2 - I competed in a Powerlifting Meet on the weekend and requested ‘Doin Stuff’ (track 9) as my psyche-up song before a lift. This song, combined with some smelling salts and three Red Bulls, roused me to my best lift for the meet.
4. I also like the album ‘I Like To Sing’ by Justine Clark but she was able to hook me in initially by using a modern mind-control trick that involves dancing around in semi-tight blue jeans and being feminine. Rhys Muldoon isn’t very good at that, as far as I can tell, and so I have to give him extra credit for being able to win my awe without taking advantage of my sexuality.
5. I’m Not Singing made me lose my bank card. I went to Northland specifically to buy the album and when I got home I couldn’t find my bank card anywhere. So, for a while I blamed Rhys Muldoon for fucking up my life. When I finally got back to Northland to report the card lost, I was watching the bank teller tap-tap-tapping on her keyboard and realised I was singing the chorus to track 4: I am a little crab and I live under a rock. The teller looked completely uncomfortable and freaked out and the power I felt at being able to affect her in that way has changed me. If I had to lose my bank card to get that album to feel that power, then so be it.
6. There is a great diversity of music and songs that you don’t often find in kids’ albums. I’ve been listening to each track and experimenting and I suggest putting these songs on repeat while performing particular activities –
- 'On the hunt' (track 8) is great to listen to when you’ve lost your keys and really want to find them
- ‘Racing A Banjo’ (track 6) is an energising eclectic mix of musical genres that makes for a fun afternoon of housework and whisky drinking.
- ‘Apples And Bananas’ (track 11). Head into the back streets of Melbourne and warm your hands over a bin-fire with ‘the other brothers’ while you listen to this bluesy-soul tune.
- ‘I’m Not Sleepy’ (track 12) is a great song to sing to yourself while tending to nappies, or sick kids, or nightmares in the wee morning hours. Just don’t get to the end of the song until your work is done.
- ‘A Little Crab’ (track 4). I’m going to ask Dr Snip if I can listen to this while I’m getting my vasectomy. Will have to get back to you on that one.
7. When I listen to some of these lyrics I ‘sense’ an underground river of mischievousness running through the soul of Rhys Muldoon (and I should know – I opened my base chakra using a crystal once and have realised a state of oneness by licking an entire stick of sandalwood incense down to a tiny wet nub). I really like the ever-youthful crazies of the world – and Rhys is definitely one of them. They find a way to live their passion while taking the piss. They can roll over from the blood, sweat and tears of their art, have a laugh, and then roll right back into it again.
8. While singing ‘Doing Stuff’ (track 9) in the Tarago with my boys, Archie (7) made me turn the music down and – while Tyson (3) screamed hysterically for me to turn it back up –asked me a question that led to a very rewarding exchange on the limiting nature of gender role stereotypes. This kind of deliberation can not come at too young an age. Respect!
9. These songs speak to me on many levels, and in many different dialects, and often in code. It gets very complicated but basically the album tells me this - Life is as serious as it is senseless and is totally reliant on a perishable planet that will one day break open and fall apart, erasing every human effort, achievement and chuckle. The black airless hum of space awaits us all. So let’s go write some stories, or create great pottery with a kiln, or make an original kids’ album.
10. My kids – Archie, Lewis, Tyson and Maki – love this album. And I love them.