Some Assembly Required

Music review by
Kathi Kamen Goldmark, Common Sense Media
Some Assembly Required Music Poster Image
Friendly and fun, but not the best Chapin.

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

Good messages about environmental issues.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that many of these songs are sentimental and cloying and might start driving you crazy after a while.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

Arrangements range from classic bluegrass-style ("Puppy at the Pound," "I Like My Nose") to show-tune-production number ("Bill Bailey, Get Yourself Back Home," "How I Became A Clown") to full-tilt cornball ("I'm the Only Me," "The Happiest Song I Know," and "Only One Shoe," which is sung as a duet with Vanessa Williams) on SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED, Tom Chapin's newest children's album.

Is it any good?

The 15 songs are well-performed as always, but Mr. Chapin's voice sounds strained and weary, and many of the arrangements are either syrupy-corny or complex and hard to follow. Lyrics are clever but not brilliant. The CD sounds friendly and is sometimes funny, but doesn't break any new ground.

Gently affirming, Tom Chapin isn't afraid of "message" songs, and the messages are darn good ones...but even the funny tunes will tweak parental sincero-meters, and the serious ones are intense and heavy-handed. The musicianship is excellent, the production lush and loving. But the whole project comes off as a self-serious stylistic mish-mosh, and it's hard to imagine most of the kids we know falling in love with these songs. A little more subtlety and playfulness would go a long, long way.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Chapin's environmental message.

Music details

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate