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Jerzy The Giant

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Album Review

The Terrible Twos' first album was a refreshing entry in the world of kids' music. Under the leadership of ex-Get Up Kids and current New Amsterdams leader Matthew Pryor, If You Ever See an Owl... was a wonderfully lighthearted, instantly memorable record that easily reached its goal of making kids' music that parents could like too. The follow-up album, Jerzy the Giant, also fulfills this aim and, despite a few bumps along the way, further establishes the group at the forefront of making music for both the short set and their keepers. Pryor and the group don't change much, formula-wise. There's a nice mix of gentle rockers, bouncy pop songs, and quiet ballads, all based around acoustic guitar and all direct and simple. There are learning songs ("Consonants"), playful songs ("Big Baby J," "Olly Olly Oxen Free"), and tender tunes ("Say Say Anything," "Amelia Minor" [the latter a sweet, folky ballad of letters and girl names that Pryor could have saved for his concurrently released solo album]) that show plenty of range and will keep listeners tuned in. Occasionally, the record goes below the cute and shiny surface and digs into some heavy stuff, especially on the William Belzer-written and sung "Playground," which tackles the subject of schoolyard bullies very poignantly. On the other end of the spectrum are the three songs Pryorco-wrote with his young daughter Lily — the silly "Great Big Poop," which should probably have been saved for Pryor family singalongs, but also the quite cute "Watch Out for Lions" and "Elliott Oooh." The Terrible Twos aren't the only band making a bid for credible kid rock — they are one of the best, though, and Jerzy the Giant will make an excellent addition to road trip rotations, playgroup soundtracks, or anytime parents (and kids) need to escape the alternately fluffy and stuffy sounds of most children's music.

Biography

Formed: 2005 in Lawrence, KS

Genre: Children's Music

Years Active: '00s

One of the more underreported sociological trends of the new millennium -- thanks on one hand to the baby-boomer generation continuing to insist that the cultural zeitgeist is All About Them and on the other to the mainstream media's obsession with all things young 'n' kicky even when that only means coverage of whomever Paris Hilton is dating this week -- is that Generation X has started shifting quietly into middle age. Along with the increasing use of former signature slacker-era tunes in TV ads...
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Jerzy The Giant, The Terrible Twos
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