Kimya Dawson – Alphabutt

January 01, 1970



Kimya Dawson’s appeal has
always resided in the child-like vulnerability in her songs, moving from
poignant, affecting lines to non-sequitur word play and back again. So it would
seem that a kids’ record would only be natural. And at moments, Alphabutt is. But mostly, it’s
insufferably cloying.


“Pee-Pee in the Potty” annoys
instead of instructs, and the title track finds its charm wearing off after the
2nd or 3rd scatological reference – which is to say, by
the letter G. When Dawson
sheds the “kid’s music” shtick, though, the charm is back. “Happy Home (Keep on
Writing)” doesn’t pander but teaches the virtues of contentment and
individuality (“Now I know it’s better if we don’t all sound the same”) to a
gentle, reassuring tune. Similarly, “Sunbeams and Some Beans” pairs playful
lyrics and a lesson on sharing with political commentary. Then we remember why
we liked Dawson
enough to make our kids listen to her.


Standout Tracks: “Happy Home (Keep on Writing),” “Sunbeams and Some Beans” BRYAN REED


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