If David Tobocman's I Count to Ten and other Very Helpful Songs album included the song, "Home", and several tracks of 80's hair-band B-sides performed by the TAO (Tuscalusah Armpit Orchestra), I would still have wanted to feature it here. "Home" is an incredibly touching song that makes me want to immediately run over and kiss my wife, hug my kids, pet my cat, not yell quite so much at my fish, and otherwise be extra grateful for the home and love that I feel blessed to have in my life. A piano ballad sounding something like Fastball singing "Desperado", the song alone is so heartwarming that it's almost heartburning, and the beautiful video created for it, with pictures by Valerie Walsh (see below), just takes it over the top into heartmelting territory. When listening to this song and watching the video, you may need to wear some protective shielding to prevent irreperable heat damage to your heart.
Thankfully, the rest of David's album is really great, too. I'm not sure that any of the other tracks are quite as earth-shatteringly awesome as "Home", but then again, the Stones never had a hit quite as big as "Satisfaction" and they still had a halfway decent career for a little while after that point, eh?
The album begins with "I Count to Ten", which sounds like a cross between "Stepping Out With My Baby" and "Hit the Road, Jack" and has a nice message about taking a break when you're feeling angry before acting out. "Jammies Song" is a folky pop song a la Jimmy Buffet, with some nice chord breaks. "Brush Your Teeth" is a funky soft shoe jazz with some slithery piano. "My Rainbow" is another beautiful ballad, more upbeat than "Home". The voice on "Favorite Son (Every Day)" doesn't quite match the music as I was hearing it... something more like Barry White or Marvin Gaye might have fit better for me... but it's pretty nice, regardless, and David does an admirable job rapping for a white guy with a beard. "Buttons and Bows" is a hilarious ditty directed at nudist toddlers who don't understand the importance of wearing clothes in public. "Gigi, My Pet Giraffe" has some sweet melody and reminds me a little of the phrasing choices that Ralph of Ralph's World sometimes uses. "Dreamin' the Dream" is a finger-snappin' jazz tune (there is no actual finger-snappin' on the recording, but you'll want to do that when listening... and maybe throw in some jazz hands, as well). The album closes with an exquisite acoustic guitar ballad called "To Love You", which provides more hugs for my girls, kisses for my wife and pets for my cat...
David has a pretty extensive list of credits of contributing music for TV shows (including That 70's Show, 3rd Rock from the Sun and Family Law), performing and engineering on a number of albums by artists including Adam Sandler, Liza Minelli, LL Cool J and Cher, and doing session work for the likes of Lou Reed, Diane Warren, the Beastie Boys, k.d. Lang and Luther Vandross. I Count to Ten is his first foray into creating music for children, but I hope he produces more kids' CDs because the world can always use more great music for kids and my wife and kids can always use more hugs and kisses. Not that I'm a slouch in that regard, by any means, as I'm sure they would attest to, but more is always better. :o)
David Tobocman's Very Helpful Songs website
For samples of all of the songs on I Count to Ten, go to this page on David's website.
Monday, April 07, 2008
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