Barenaked Ladies: pro kids, ninjas

The band released a children's album on Tuesday.

The thing about the Barenaked Ladies' new children's album "Snacktime!" that is both most and least surprising upon first listen is how much it sounds just like every other Barenaked Ladies album. In fact, upon reviewing their catalogue, I found myself surprised that "If I Had $1,000,000" wasn't a children's song. This is an even more logical transition than Kid Rock into country - or Blue October into obscurity.

The songs were actually a lot of fun, and the guys have an almost Pixaresque ability to leave some lines in for the adults who are undoubtedly going to have to suffer the wrath of these songs on loop in their hybrids. I felt a bit hesitant about reviewing this album, as I am in fact about 15 years over their ideal demographic. For this reason, I chose to interview Zooey, my six-year old alter-ego.

Me: So what'd you think of the album, Zooey?

Zooey: It was pretty fun. They're no Jonas Brothers.

Me: You know the Jonas Brothers?

Zooey: Of course. They're like The Beatles, dude.

Me: You know The Beatles?

Zooey: Yeah.

Me: Fair enough. What was your favorite song?

Zooey: "789" was cool. Did you get that one?

Me: Get what?

Zooey: Well, at first I thought it was just the numbers, like 7, 8 and 9 - a counting song. But then you listen to it and it tells the story of how seven ate nine. That's some funny stuff right there.

Me: Oh, wordplay.

Zooey: I liked "Crazy ABC's" a lot, too. It taught me what a Ouija board was and then I used one to try and do black magic on my sister's cat Cheese-Whiz.

Me: Cool. What happened to Cheese-Whiz?

Zooey: She got burned just a little bit, but that may have just been from the fireplace.

Me: Yikes.

Zooey: What song do you like most?

Me: I think I might like "Rasins" the best. I also wear orange pants when I dance. It's kind of my thing.

Zooey: Yucky.

Me: I also like "Drawing" a lot. It sounds like "Suspicious Minds" era Elvis singing over an LCD Soundsystem B-side or something.

Zooey: Elvis got fat.

Me: Big boned, Zooey. Elvis got big boned.

Zooey: My dad said Elvis died while he was pooping.

Me: Your dad was right.

Zooey: My dad also said Elvis stole songs from soul singers and didn't give them any money.

Me: Your dad says a lot.

Zooey: Sometimes he lets me stay up late and we watch baseball games.

Me: Cool.

Zooey: The other night he told Uncle Mike that Roger Clemens was a prick who was getting what he deserved. Dino's older brother at school said that was another word for pee-pee.

Me: I really liked the song "The Ninjas." It was just a good old-fashioned fun song. But I agree with you, "789" is definitely the standout track. It almost has the feel of a medieval folk epic. The voice that they do mixed with the old-fashioned storytelling feels sort of like a Gogol Bordello-meets-The Raconteurs sort of thing. And the story is legitimately clever.

Zooey: Yeah, ninjas are cool.

Me: That they are, Zooey. That they are.

Zooey: My mom told me I should play the song "Things" for my girlfriend. I told her I don't have one because they smell like baby powder, but that one time Tasha kissed me when I laid down for naptime and it tasted like peanut butter.

Me: That is a cute song.

Zooey: "Bad Day" makes me sad. I put in on in CJ's car and he told me I was emo.

Me: How did that make you feel?

Zooey: I don't know. It wasn't in the big dictionary. I looked it up on Google and the first picture that came up looked like the kids with the piercings that hang out by dad's store. He said they're all wastelands.

Me: Did everything on the CD make sense to you?

Zooey: I didn't know all the words. But the music was fun and they told silly stories. And they talked about a lot of things I like: ninjas and frogs and snacktime. It was funny when the kid on "Snacktime" said his favorite snack is a three-pound lobster.

Me: Yeah, ninjas are cool.

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