For almost 4 years I have successfully claimed that the CD with "Wheels on the bus" won't play in my car. But they are on to me, so I am switching to Plan B: diversion. The Beatles, R.E.M and the entire Star Trek Universe soundtrack are so far holding their ground, and are now getting reinforcements from "Hank Green and The Perfect Strangers", in what might be a secret Geek Anthem - "I love Science" from their new album "Incongruent".
The album comes in two versions - clean to sing with the kids on the way to school, and uncensored for the way back. It fills a gaping hole of geeky content on our playlist that is becoming more and more apparent now that my oldest (7) has outgrown the toddler hits. There is no shortage of science songs for small children. Through song and rhymes they learn about the colors of the rainbow, the cycle of seasons and changing weather patterns, the letters of the alphabet, which way the wheels on a bus go (just not in my car), and practice counting with the ants. And then all of a sudden when they turn 8 or 9 they are listening to One Direction and Justin Bieber who sings about ... well, I am not certain. All electronic devices in our house are allergic to his music, so unfortunately (hopefully) we'll never find out what exactly he enriches the universe with. But it is a safe bet that he is not singing about photosynthesis or tectonic plate movements. The children who were excited to have music helping them understand and explore the world around them are suddenly limited to lyrics that (self-)center on human relationships of various sort. The last song I remember that was actually teaching something was "We didn't start the Fire", and that song is 25 years old now.
With that in mind you can hopefully understand my excitement about "Strange Charm: A song about Quarks", or a song explaining Fermi's Paradox, some of the earlier work of Hank Green:
Think about it, the 5 year old who remembers all 47 verses about the Fire Truck can easily turn into an 8 year old who sings along to "I love Science", and later into a full-grown geek memorizing the lyrics to "The Universe is weird" (also on the new CD). Because in days when it is becoming fashionable for everyone and their dog to proclaim geek status, the true geek needs to do one better, and an album named "Incongruent" sounds like just the right thing for that. I am no music expert, but the beats surely can compete with other rock music, they are a good company to the rest of my playlist.
And just imagine about how impressed your roommate/date/spouse will be when you help him/her cleaning up the breakfast table singing "This is how you load a Dishwasher" (also double functions as passive-aggressive reminder).
PS: Don't forget to check out the VlogBrother's YouTube channel for more songs by Hank Green.
Geek Factor: 5 out of 5
Fun Factor: 4 out of 5