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Grant Smithies reviews fleaBITE's 'The Jungle is Jumping' album




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The third album from acclaimed nipper-centric songwriter Robin Nathan, and it's a testament to her wry lyrics and wide-ranging arrangements that I still listen to this stuff, voluntarily and alone, years after my daughter exchanged such fare for Beyonce and Taylor Swift. 

Assisted by The Phoenix Foundation's Conrad Wedde and Chris O'Connor,and jazz saxophonist Jeff Henderson, it's another prime batch of sharp, funny, adult-friendly kids' songs with a rich seam of surrealism.


Get Out is bargain-basement techno garnished with racing car noises. Peel Me wraps sinuous hi-life guitars around a paean to the potato.

With growling lions and tribal tom-toms, the title track channels the steamy exoticism of a Les Baxter album from the 1950s.

Don't Believe What I Say rightly advises against putting faith in the pronouncements of crusty old adults, while Pom Pom Song rhymes 'pom pom' with "Hamilton" over a slinky slab of cruise ship salsa.

As sinister as it is brilliant, Little Miss Mosquito concerns that perennial summer annoyance: the nocturnal flying bloodsucker. "Little Miss Mosquito wants to spend the night with me,' sings Nathan over buzzing guitar strings and a bass drum that thuds like an anxious heartbeat. "Little Miss Mosquito wants to stick her knife in me."

But my favourite song, In Your Pyjamas invites the diminutive listener to venture outside in their PJs then look up into the twinkling night sky - a tribe of miniature Carl Sagans, overwhelmed by the cosmic wonderland that surrounds us.