Product Reviews

Product Review: ‘Alphabutt’ by Kimya Dawson

Ever since our kids first developed the ability to hear (by around 28 weeks after conception), the Doctor and the Dad have loved sharing music with them. There are lots of great scientific reasons to do it – music promotes kids’ language development, creativity and concentration, for example. But mostly we do it because it’s totally fun!

Amber’s favorite songs to lull the kiddos off to sleep with include a cheery jingle from an old M&Ms commercial, as well as a bleak, hopeless war protest anthem about Vietnam. Andy’s go-tos tend to include a lot of bizarre nerdiness from bands like They Might Be Giants and “Weird Al” Yankovic.

But our three-year-old daughter, Sammy, recently discovered her own new favorite artist while click-wheeling her way around Andy’s old iPod:

Kimya Dawson.

I'll be with you in a minute, Mom and Dad. This song is totally my jams.
This song is totally my jams.

If you think you don’t know who Kimya Dawson is, but you have seen the movie Juno, then you probably actually do know her work, as it’s all over that film. That adorable little duet the two teenage babymakers sing together at the very end? That’s originally hers, which she recorded with former Moldy Peaches band-mate Adam Green way back in 2001.

We’re pretty sure what attracted Sammy to Kimya Dawson’s music was its sound – a warm, sweet, feminine voice, happy acoustic guitars, and simple, catchy tunes. The lyrics, on the other hand, tend to contain lots of F bombs, plus references to substance abuse, terminal illnesses and suicide. One example:

So if you wanna’ burn yourself, remember that I love you
And if you wanna’ cut yourself, remember that I love you
And if you wanna’ kill yourself, remember that I love you

All in all, not the most kid-friendly option available, right?

So this got the Doctor looking at the Dad disapprovingly, which led to the Dad looking up “does Kimya Dawson have any songs that are appropriate for children?” on the internet, which led to us discovering an entire album full of Kimya Dawson kids’ songs we never knew existed.

It’s called Alphabutt, and if your kid is half as entranced by Dawson’s voice as our daughter is, we highly recommend it.

With fifteen tracks lasting just under a half hour, Alphabutt is an easy listen for the little ones. Lyrics range from silly (“There are seven hungry tigers in my underwear drawer”) to super duper sweet (“I love you sweet baby, I love you sweet baby, I love you more than anything” always makes Amber mushy). While Dawson sometimes likes to give the government the business on her adult albums, the most political statement she makes here is that she doesn’t like to shave her legs “because I’m an animal.”

But even though she’s singing to a different age range now, she can’t change who she is at the core. Which could explain why Dawson still drops a whole bunch of F bombs on this album. (It’s just that now the F stands for “fart.”)

Seriously, she says “fart” six times in the title track alone. Plus three “butt”s, two “doo doo”s, and one each of “peeing,” “pooping,” “potty,” “turd” and “wee wee.”

So if potty talk isn’t your thing, this album might not be for you. But for us, our kids and the childish childlike brains we all share, it’s a real wiener.

Hee hee hee. We said “wiener.”

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