Some Assembly Required

 
(i)

 

Friendly and fun, but not the best Chapin.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Good messages about environmental issues.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

Not yet rated
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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Chapin's environmental message.

Music details

Artist:Tom Chapin
Release date:September 27, 2005
Label:Razor & Tie
Genre:Children's Music
Parental advisory:No
Edited version available:No

This review of Some Assembly Required was written by

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

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • Kids will have a wonderful time singing along.
  • Charming live performer whose charisma shines.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Write a user reviewThere aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass