Jump in the Jumpy House
CD Baby Music Editor, Brand Bush "If Jonathan Richman were to make an album for kids, I imagine it would sound something like this. With a lyrical approach that is sharply stream-of-consciousness and keeps tongue planted firmly in cheek, these songs are bizarrely appealing, unassumingly witty, and never dull. With a loose and jangly (in the best way) approach to songwriting, these tracks are rooted in both new wave pop and the uncompromising ethos of punk. The melodies are sly and catchy, feigning non-existence until they creep into your subconscious and become buried in your head. On the surface, this could be perceived as a fun-time train of non sequiturs, but upon closer inspection, you'll see these songs are as calculated as they are nutty, only straying off track when it makes perfect sense. With a voice that is able to righteously pull off high pitched squeals (the title track) and a passable version of Johnny Cash ("Them Devils"), there's ample variations of wackiness on this one for the kids, and plenty of hummable tunes to keep the grown ups locked in and listening."
Bryan Townsend, The Pokey Pup “From the first cool guitar strums and drumbeats of "Crocodiles Are Hungry" all the way through the fun jamming of "Exit Zoo," Mr. David does not disappoint with his latest release Jump In The Jumpy House. It has the excellent production and musicianship that the parents will dig, right along with the fun and quirky tunes that the kids will love. And yes, it's been said before, but this album totally does make me think that this is what a Jonathan Richman/Modern Lovers kids record would sound like. Highly Recommended.”
Warren Truitt, Children's Music that Rocks. Aaaah, I see, so this is how it's gonna work: Musicians from beloved bands of our pasts will slowly take over the kindierock world, until children's music becomes the only current genre that anyone actually listens to or pays for... Ya see, Chris Molla, former member of Camper Van Beethoven, has already released a couple of CDs for kids (Roll Along: Fingerpaint, 1999; Jump Up: Fingerpaint, 2004), and now his CVB bandmate Greg Lisher is a contributing guitarist on Mr. David's latest masterpiece, Jump In the Jumpy House.
On this eagerly awaited follow up to 2006's The Great Adventures of Mr. David, David Alexandrou channels the Velvet Underground for the roaring title tune, appropriates the sound of Desire-era Dylan on "The Stars are Grains of Sugar", takes us back to the Kinks' late-60s pastoral rock with "She's a Good Dog", and turns in a pretty damn good tribute to Johnny Cash with "Them Devils". And when the first song on the album fades out with "John Paul George and Ringo" being chanted over and over again, you know you're in for a funky, funny, far out musical trip.
If you're going to pull a song off this album as a single, "Hey! It's Lunchtime!" would be it. Bubbly, infectious, and silly, it'll make a great live tune, as will "The Stars are Grains of Sugar", its speed up/shakin' ... slow down/floating sections guaranteeing audience participation. And "Miss Pila" may sound at first to be a simple, Ranchero-influenced ditty about food, but listen more closely; dig the chord changes and countermelody!
Jump in the Jumpy House was produced and mixed incredibly well (just check out the bass guitar throughout the CD!) by contributing multi-instrumentalist Rich Ajlouny, giving the songs a very rich, deep, analog sound. And if you wanted to get old school, you could divide the album into sides: Loud & Silly ("Crocodiles are Hungry" through "She's a Good Dog", and Quiet & Introspective ("Ragtime Honey" through "Cabin Blues"), with "Exit Zoo" acting as a "Crocodiles" reprise. Plus, Tawnya Lancaster and Alexandrou designed and illustrated a wonderful CD package, full of playful drawings and song lyrics.
Another awesome CD from a kids' performer who's not afraid to stretch out in the words and music departments, and one can only imagine what's in the future for this guy if his albums keep getting this much better every time out. John, Paul, George, and Ringo would be proud.
Stefan Shepard, Zooglobble. How to describe Jump in the Jumpy House, the recently-released third CD for kids from San Jose, California-based artist Mr. David?....
How about... "this album sounds like nothing else you've heard all year."
Well, yes, but that's what I said about his last album, The Great Adventures of Mr. David, so perhaps I need to find different words, because it doesn't sound like that CD, either.
Whereas the previous album had a strong folk and folk-rock influence, the new album has more diversity of sound -- the garage rock of the title track, aided by the propulsive guitar work of Greg Lisher from Camper Van Beethoven; the gentle Spanish guitar on "Miss Pila"; the early New Wave sounds of "Hey! It's Lunchtime!" Mr. David (real name: David Alexandrou) does a passable Johnny Cash impression on "Them Devils," or at least is obviously inspired by him there. I also love the brief "Ragtime Honey," a sweet little ragtime instrumental that's a nice palate-cleansing (or aural-cleansing) at the center of this 31-minute album before plunging into the second side.
In an interview here last year, Mr. David said he was proud of "putting out a kind of children’s music that really is different." There's no doubt he's doing that. There are times on this CD when I wonder if it really isn't a little too different. "Cabin Blues" is pretty abstract for a kids' song, about passing the days in a (vacation) cabin. The leadoff "Crocodiles Are Hungry" is almost stream-of-consciousness, barely touching on crocodiles and ending with a tribute to "John, Paul, George, and Ringo." (Favorite line: "People always ask me, 'How can you spend so much time up in your hammock?' / I say, 'Because man, I got pink lemonade!'") I think this is one of those albums that will probably divide listeners. Some families will absolutely adore this album for its adventurousness while others might think that "Jump in the Jumpy House" rocks and "Little Girl" is a sweet little song and the rest is just a little too weird.
The album is probably most appropriate for kids ages 4 through 8. You can hear (and download) "Hey! It's Lunchtime" and "Jump in the Jumpy House" at Mr. David's Myspace page or hear samples of all the tracks here.
Jump in the Jumpy House is another wildly imaginative album from Mr. David. It's got some fun beats and lyrical pictures. Even if the album isn't quite your family's cup of lemonade, though, you have to hand it to Mr. David for indeed stretching the boundaries of what kids music can be. Recommended.
Jeremiah McNichols, Z Recommends 5x7 Music Marathon. If Jonathan Richman, Roger Daltrey, and the Velvet Underground sat around in their basement and tried to imitate what the Monkees might have sounded like if they were stranded in the Ozarks subsisting on psychedelic mushrooms, there are probably people out there who would not want to hear the music that came out of that room. But if your elementary-schooler has a sense of humor that worries teachers and leaves peers scratching their heads, Mr. David (David Alexandrou) will likely be a personal hero. Unlike many sharp-tongued kids' music antiheroes, Mr. David doesn't wear his sardonic humor on his sleeve, but sneaks up on you repeatedly in happy, jangly songs with lines sure to shock most and delight the few who remain. "Crocodiles Are Hungry," which conspiratorially invites kids to let animals out of their cages at the zoo, could be a "naughty" song in the spirit of Barry Louis Polisar, until he quickly twists out from his audience's grasp with lines like "Crocodiles eat little boys... just kidding," and he even plays the truly unreliable narrator sometimes, a trope almost unheard of in children's music (In "She's A Good Dog" he explains "She never hurt no one / She only draws blood when she's havin' fun"). If your kid would dig this, you're in safe hands.
Alexandrou keeps adult listeners on their toes, too, with an only half-suppressed penchant for sending up icons of past generations in imitations that will fly right over kids' heads but have adults snickering. The most literal audio sketch is "Them Devils," a very funny riff on Johnny Cash (""I keep my Bible on the passenger seat / Just in case he was thinking of burning my feet"). Jump In the Jumpy House may have you puzzling over whether Mr. David is writing highly sophisticated music for kids or very silly music for adults. We think he's doing both.
Sari N. Kent, Celebrity Cafe. Mr. David’s “Jump in the Jumpy House” is the follow-up album to his award-winning 2006 album, “The Great Adventures of Mr. David,” which was named one of country’s Top 10 albums for kids and families. “Jump in the Jumpy House” has tracks that are just plain fun and will educate both children and grown-ups about life and having a joyous time while you are still young.
“Hey! It’s Lunchtime!” celebrates a time of the day when amusement is on the menu. Mr. David sings about how much he enjoys having lunch and the things one can do. “Lunchtime, is my favorite time. Hey, it’s lunchtime…It’s time. Lunchtime is a good time for pizza…Lunchtime is a time to climb up my favorite tree.” There is sprightly drum work and clapping as Mr. David expounds about the joys associated with his preferred period of the day.
The title track has drum and guitar play that have a rock feel, as Mr. David goes on about having a jolly old time even if it is an ordinary day. “Jump in the jumpy house. Jump in the jumpy house. Jump in the house. It’s not my birthday…Jump in the jumpy house.”
On “Cabin Blues” the intro has outdoor sounds such as crickets and wind. Mr. David sings about relaxing and having an internal powwow about the wonderments of life, but also how it can get boring. “Down by the river just to breathe some morning air. See the mountains in the distance. It’s amazing I’m still in existence. I’m here. In a cabin in the middle of nowhere…Daydreamin.’” Mr. David’s voice is sedate and the tempo of the song is labored, as he goes on about kicking back but feeling a bit of the doldrums at the lack of anything exciting happening.
“Jump in the Jumpy House,” from Mr. David, is a record that everyone in the house can listen to. The songs on this album are filled with enjoyable lyrics and melodies will bring a smile to the faces of people of all ages.
Dave Loftin,Chattanooga Parent Magazine. Every once in a while, a kids’ musician comes along who is unique but still has mass appeal. Mr. David is one such artist. Mr. David (David Alexandrou) has once again delved into a style of music different from his previous two CDs. Jump in the Jumpy House explores topics like lunchtime, spending time in a cabin, and making tortillas for friends. When you read through the lyrics sheet, Mr. David’s songs seem a little simple, but he delivers these everyday topics with style and pure creativity. Probably the best way to describe Mr. David’s latest album is two parts Bob Dylan mixed with equal parts of The Shins and The Pixies. Sounds like an odd combo, but give it a chance.
The Great Adventures of Mr. David
The Great Adventures of Mr. David, 2006 Fids and Kamily Poll #9 Album for Kids and Families
The Fids and Kamily Poll, inspired by the Village Voice’s long-running “Pazz and Jop” music poll, is a consensus list of the year’s best kids and family music. The poll combines top 10 lists from critics, writers, radio programmers, and others involved in the music industry. The full results of the poll, including essays on the top 16 albums and a listing of the 50-plus nominated albums, have been posted at the Fids and Kamily web site.
Children’s Music Web Awards, Best Recording for Younger Children 5-8
The Children’s Music Web Awards (CMWAs) are the only international awards that are guided by adults and chosen by kids. Organized by The Children’s Music Web, a popular nonprofit resource for kids, families and children’s performers, the awards are decided in a multi-step judging process. First, family judges screen the candidates and make preliminary decisions. Then, classrooms and daycare centers worldwide pick their favorites. The CMWAs involve children in every step of the judging process. More information about the awards can be found online at www.childrensmusic.org.
Zooglobble "The lyrics would just make the album slightly unusual if it weren't paired with a fabulous musical approach. Instrumentally, the album employs, among other things, horns, dulcimer, washboard, and ukelele. It's very Dan Zanes-ian in that regard. . . It's got a sense of wonder and playfulness that will interest kids (and their adults) for a long time. Definitely recommended." Read the full review.
Cool Mom Picks "While I found the album stunning and artistic on my own adult level, my six-year-old loved it too and I bet your kids will feel the same." Read the full review.
The Lovely Mrs. Davis "His sound on 'Backyard' and 'In the Storm' is very reminiscent of one of the most outstanding Beatles-influenced artists of today, Rufus Wainwright. . . . Great Adventures is a stunning and artistic album." Read the full review.
Warren Truitt, Children's Music That Rocks "This is a great one to listen to on your iPod while lounging on the beach with your toes in the sand, or relaxing on the living room couch in the middle of the afternoon with your little ones. Another indie rock masterpiece that kids, grownups, college students ... that everyone will fall more in love with every time they listen to it." Read the full review.
Mr. David's First Album
CD Baby Music Editor One of the marks of a great kid's album is when you can't quite tell it's for kids until you look closer. Weaving threads of folk, rock and a carnival, cartoonish nature (without going overboard into the quicksand of kazoos and slide whistles), Mr. David's quirky little songs reach out to kids from a fun and yet sophisticated place. You'll find superb musicianship and creativity here and adult fans of quirky bands like They Might Be Giants will find it easy to identify with the perfect mix of playfulness and just solid, quality music.
Brenda Tushaus Mr. David Rocks!
Tanja My 15 month old can't stop giggling when he watches me dance around the living room to Mr. David's music! I love the "action" in his songs - they really get you moving! Great style, funky, fun - can't wait for Mr. David's second album!
Love this CD!!!!
Monica My daughter loves listening and dancing to this CD! She loves reaching for clouds and climbing trees! Thanks for creating such fun and enjoyable music!
The kids can't get enough of Mr. David's music!
J. Galvez My kids at home and in my preschool class can't get enough of this creative CD! All of the songs get my kids singing and moving to the music! A must for all families and preschools! Enjoyed the original songs so much, bought copies for my neices and nephews.
CD Baby Mr. David's First Album is playing through my house everyday! The kids just won't put it down. They're dancing to it every chance they get. What a great bunch of songs for kids, and it helps that I can listen and enjoy the music as well.
Athena & Zoe With an Ear to children and what they respond to, Mr. David has composed some of the sweetest,heartfelt music available today. Our 2yr.old nephew has already memorized most of the music and has his favorites. When can we expect more? Thanks A Must Have for Children!!