Unfortunately for New York band The Quiet Ones, their 2005 debut Make Some Noise didn't, er, make some noise, or at least not as much as it should have. And while I can't answer the question of how in the name of They Might Be Giants did this album fly under the radar, I can do my best to explain why it shouldn't have.
The Quiet Ones are Chrstopher Anderson and Andrew Ure, 2/3rds of the band Muckafurgason, which toured with They Might Be Giants and whose final album was produced by John Flansburgh of the band. The They Might Be Giants reference is appropriate here, because the album is filled with lyrical flights of fancy that would not sound out of place on a TMBG album. Take, for example, "Polar Bear," a country-ish tune which starts out with the line "Straight to the point / I wanna be a polar bear," then comes back to the concept later on in the tune with the line "Back to the point of being a polar bear," a meta reference that is likely to amuse the parents within a very kid-friendly song about, well, being a polar bear. Or "Invisible Trousers," in which the narrator talks about how he "Wore them to the dentist & to the pet store / And everyone was pointing / Because they’d never seen invisible trousers before," which is a punchline that will reward the older kids and parents listening. For adults tired of listening to kids' albums with too many lessons, the lessons here are few and far between, with the band typically content to tell stories with subjects of interest to kids, like running ("How Fast Can You Run") and superheroes ("Ultrafoot").
Sonically, the album has a very British vibe, with some songs sound more like British Invasion bands ("Make Some Noise"), some like XTC outtakes (the amusing "My Keyboard"), and some like the Beatles (the lovely "I Remember Purple"). And, gosh, I've somehow managed to not mention my two favorite songs, the power-poppy "You Can't Hide Your Bike" (which is about exactly what the title implies), and the narratively exuberant album closer "Fizzy Milk."
Well, kids ages 4 through 9 -- especially slightly silly ones -- will enjoy this album the most. You can hear samples of some songs here or all songs at the album's page at Amazon. You can also see the lyrics and hear karaoke versions of most songs here.
Can you tell I liked the album? There are no bad songs here, just songs you'll like more or less than others. At just over the 30-minute mark, the album is short but very sweet. Fans of power pop or XTC or They Might Be Giants should check out the album post haste. Like, yesterday. As for the rest of you, the appealing goofiness and catchy melodies make Make Some Noise also worth your time. Definitely recommended.