Release Date: Oct 10, 2006
Record label: Nonesuch
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
Children's music that adults can listen to without being overwhelmed by the desire to strangle someone is clearly a growth area. In recent years, there have been kid-friendly daytime concerts by chill-out duo Lemon Jelly, CDs entitled Punk Rock Baby and Reggae for Kids, an abortive attempt at a children's album by Saint Etienne and plans for something similar from Erasure. And yet, sympathise as you might with the parent driven to the brink of sanity by repeated exposure to the Tweenies' Music Is Pop-A-Rooney, it's hard to know what to make of the desire to interest children in music that adults like.
After the huge success of A Series of Unfortunate Events, accordionist/screenwriter/author Daniel Handler, better known as nefarious children's writer Lemony Snicket, asked longtime friend and musical collaborator Stephin Merritt (Handler has done time with the Magnetic Fields and the 6ths), to contribute some songs to the widely popular series' audio books. Tragic Treasury: Songs from a Series of Unfortunate Events is the first full-length recording from Merritt's Gothic Archies, a novelty project that began in 1997 with the New Despair EP, and its' not-so-subtle blend of Dr. Seuss imagery and carnival ride dynamics, bolstered by Merritt's impeccable faux-goth delivery (he sounds eerily like the Sister of Mercy Andrew Eldritch) serves the story well.