I Am Your Food
Food poisoning may not be the first thing you think of when it comes to subjects for children’s songs, but you’ll find it on this inventive new album of gastronomic adventures from Gunnar Madsen (“Old Mr. Mackle Hackle,” “Ants in My Pants,” “I’m Growing”). On his first children’s album in a decade, Madsen’s delightfully lugubrious track, “Egg Salad in the Sun,” is just one of many quirky pleasures to be found. Madsen, whose gift for mixing thoughtfulness and wild helpings of humor is on full display, suits his versatile vocals to each song, part singer, part storyteller, part stand-up comedian who knows how to deliver a punch line. (An example of Madsen’s comic timing at the ending of “Egg Salad” is the sly suggestion of picnic-goer Brian’s unhappy fate.) “City of Sardines,” on the other hand, is breathtaking in its delicate musicality (Madsen is a multi-instrumentalist, too) and with its theme of a time of plenty returning to a hungry village: “With lanterns and nets/The people gather/The children laugh, the trumpets ring ?” Frances England, one of three guest artists on the album, is featured on the track. Madsen pulls in other talent as well: Bill Harley guests on the seriocomic “Liver” (My brother loves his liver, but me, it makes me shiver”); and Justin Roberts joins Madsen on “The Longest Night of the Year,” a song that tugs heartstrings with its descriptions of a holiday dinner with extended family.
Lynne Heffley ©2018 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.