Last December (2015) we had the opportunity to interview Grammy-winning Danny Weinkauf as part of the release of They Might Be Giant’s new kids album, Why? This month, Danny released a new self-titled album from his own “Red Pants Band”. The whole family LOVED Danny’s previous album, “No School Today”, so we were anxious to give this one a listen. If you like Danny Weinkauf, They Might Be Giants, or perfectly melodic infectiously peppy rock with an occasional clever educational twist, “Red Pants Band” is the album for you!
So how does a Full Van Fun review work? Each member of the family listens to each song and scores it as AWESOME, average, or not awesome. We total up the scores for each song as well as the whole album (e.g. if everyone in the family scores every song as AWESOME, then the album would be 100% AWESOME, if everyone scores every song as average, it would be 50% AWESOME, etc.).
The Songs We Liked
- Only One You (100% AWESOME) – Featuring Tina Kelly’s smooth voice and the bright melody, this first single from the album was a hit with the whole family.
- Botany (100% AWESOME) – Danny Weinkauf has a gift for super fun and clever “scientific” songs (e.g. Archaeology, I am a Paleontologist) and this song is no different. Plus any song that has the word “photosynthesis” defies analysis and must be 100% AWESOME.
- Picky Eaters (100% AWESOME) – Sung by Danny’s son Kai, this might be our favorite song on the album. The lyrics are universally clever and the melody will get stuck in your head for a long, long, long, long time.
- Rubber Ball (100% AWESOME) – If Simon & Garfunkel wrote a sweet “Kindie” love song with an allegorical rubber ball, this would be that song, and it would be AWESOME.
- One Big Happy Family (100% AWESOME) – This is the last song on the album and it’s not even really much of a song just a bunch of “ba pa pa pa” and “Mom”. So why is it AWESOME? If you are a parent, you will understand.
- My Magic Helicopter (94% AWESOME) – Is it possible to have a song that is too perfect? If so, this is it. The only dissenting review that kept it from 100% AWESOME was our 14 year old argued it was “too perfect”. Give it a listen and judge for yourself.
- Look at Those Clouds (94% AWESOME) – Imagine lying on the perfect hillside on a sunny, but not too hot, day staring up at all of the different clouds – this is the Beatles-inspired soundtrack to this day. Add in Danny’s “scientific” twists for a little extra educational content and even a John C. Reilly reference!
The Songs We Didn’t
- Three Little Words (44% AWESOME) – Sometimes songs try too hard, and this is one of those songs.
- Antithesis (50% AWESOME) – If someone wrote a commercial jingle for grammar, this would be that song. Clever, but not one of our favorites.
Overall, we give Danny Weinkauf’s new album “Red Pants Band” an outstanding 84% AWESOME (in other words, better than 4 out of 5 stars). With seven songs at 94% or 100% AWESOME, almost half of the album scored essentially 100% AWESOME! If you haven’t picked up “Red Pants Band” yet, you should! You will not be disappointed.
Do you enjoy artists like Danny Weinkauf? If so, you might be interested in some of our other album reviews and #8isEnoughQuestions interviews with artists like LARD Dog, Renee Stahl, Gustafer Yellowgold, Frances England, Sugar Free Allstars, Mista Cookie Jar, The Not Its, Mike Phirman, Danny Weinkauf of They Might Be Giants, Turkey Andersen, Lucky Diaz and Alisha Gaddis, Bryan Vander Ark of The Verve Pipe, Josh and the Jamtones, Play Date, Recess Monkey, Andrew and Polly, Greg Page (Original Yellow Wiggle), Rissi Palmer, Jim Cosgrove, and Tim Kubart. And don’t forget to sign up for our mailing list and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest for even more!
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Disclosure: Full Van Fun was provided a copy of the album for possible review.