The Sippy Cups

The Time Machine

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On the surface, The Time Machine's blend of pop, folk, and G-rated wordplay is aimed at children, who will likely delight in such screwball music. Beneath the layers of parent-approved songcraft, however, lurks something that parents themselves may also enjoy: a quirky, vaguely trippy approach to songs about loose teeth and math lessons. The Sippy Cups are solid musicians -- far more competent than they need to be, given the band's target audience -- and they attack this album with the same instrumental arsenal as an indie pop outfit, utilizing everything from bubbling keyboards and co-ed harmonies to electric guitars in the process. Refrains like "Shake shake, wiggle wiggle, my loose tooth!" are kid-approved and refreshingly free of rock & roll posturing, but they also share a common thread with '50s pop. If parents don't buy into that sort of happy-go-lucky fare (and it's not for everyone, seeing as the album careens from horn-filled dance songs to sleepytime ballads with a vigor only matched by hyperactive toddlers), they'll at least be able to tolerate it. The Time Machine wields enough genuine musicality to put the album miles above other kid-targeted music, and it displays its hooks without losing its educational components.

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