The Uncle Brothers,
Monkey's Uncle
(Dan Jenks, 2005)

Monkey's Uncle is the third album by the Uncle Brothers. All songs but one (a "bonus track optimist slant cover," as they call it, of the Frank Sinatra ditty "High Hopes") on this album are original songs. Each song has an inherent message or lesson, or "character education traits" (as the Uncle Brothers put it).

This is not only an album that entertains, it also educates. There's a message of touching sentiment of "Precious Cargo," a lesson about social responsibility and consideration in "Power of Words." "I'm Not Good Yet" offers advice to children about patience and persistence to achieve their goals. There's an appreciative nature for the unsung (and underpaid) heroes of every child's life in "Hurray for the Teachers!" And a bonus track displays respect and love in "Mother's Day Song."

There are also some just-for-fun songs on the album. "PBJ" has a limbo jive while listing all kinds of peanut butter concoctions (some delicious, some not so much). The long list of characters/costumes and candy descriptions of "Halloween Parade" are sure to jumpstart a child's imagination and everyone's appetite. And "Pool Party" will have parent and child alike wanting to fire up the grill, inflate the pool toys and grab a bathing suit and towel.

Monkey's Uncle is a great album for children. It generates a positive and educational mood while avoiding being trite and cliched like so many other children's albums. In other words, this is a very tolerable album for parents -- they even have "Parent Friendly" cleverly printed on the album jacket. Short of having the "PBJ" song stuck in your head, feel safe and encouraged to get this album for your kids.

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review by
C. Nathan Coyle

11 August 2007

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