Tom Chapin has been writing and singing songs professionally for some 30 years now, and his greatest success has come as a children's entertainer, where his penchant for writing songs that detail the minutiae of being a kid, with just enough extra added to make them interesting to parents as well, has earned him several awards. Some Assembly Required from Razor & Tie offers up another batch of these literate family tunes, opening with the loping "Puppy at the Pound," complete with fiddles, and moving on to cover such topics as losing a shoe ("Only One Shoe," a variant on the old it's-always-in-the-last-place-you-look joke), composting ("Brown Gold"), and individuality ("I'm the Only Me"). He also retools Hughie Cannon's "Bill Bailey Won't You Please Come Home" as the kid-centric "Bill Bailey, Get Yourself Back Home" and even manages to rock out a little on the goofy, energetic, and infectious "Don't Make Me Dance." Some Assembly Required stays positive and whimsical, and it might be more accurate to call Chapin a family songwriter, since his songs really manage to pull off the difficult feat of addressing both children and parents at the same time in the same song, and that kind of unity of purpose is a very special gift.
AllMusic Review by Steve Leggett
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