Reyn Guyer, one of the creators of this collection of 10 original children’s songs, also created the Nerf ball and the ’60s game Twister. This tells you something about his talent for the high-concept. And in that regard this tape doesn’t disappoint. It’s full of clever ideas — maybe too full.
Take the singer, Curly Lasagna, and his sidekick, Pesto. Curly and Pesto are introduced in a high-energy opening number, but they’re not Developed — they have all the personality of wet noodles. Similarly, ”Storybook Story,” which demythologizes a fairy tale about a princess (”she became a checker/At a grocery store”), is a good idea, but so self-conscious it’s not much fun.
On the plus side is ”The Vegetable Song,” sung in male-glee-club style: ”Now Father says when I grow up/I’ll get to like the things I hate/But in the fall I sit and wonder/Just how long I’ll have to wait.” Simple, original — it works.
”Ponce de León,” a goofy tribute to the famous explorer, works, too, by not taking its subject seriously: ”With 50 sacks of old port wine/a bag of chicken gumbo/They conquered Pueuto Rico/Which was not so very dumb, oh no.” If Curly Lasagna’s Terrific Present were more dumb-oh where it tries to be oh-so-clever, it would be something even better than clever: It would be fun. B-