Welcome to 2019. While the year is young, no album better encapsulates this moment in time than Curious from Ants on a Log. Combining Musical and spoken word storytelling, a pair of siblings join forces to enact change. The story begins with one sibling’s curiosity at the other’s new illnesses. Once they observe the rising numbers of their friends and neighbors’ illnesses, they know something is awry.
As we follow them on their journey of exploration we discover the culprit (pollution). Unfortunately they face several road blocks along the way. Undaunted, they find solutions to each road block and ultimately discover that there is strength in numbers. In the end even the antagonists come around and seek ways to claim the good ideas as their own.
Dealing with issues of pollution, activism, fact vs fiction, even feminist concerns, Curious gives listeners solutions instead of itemized complaints. My only quibble is that the antagonists are one-dimensional in their evilness. This album will land well with those who already agree with the causes. However, the confirmation bias of the bad guys will be offputting for anyone who sees the situations with nuance. This may shut down conversation instead of opening doors. (Although confirmation bias feels good, it is not helpful.) For the most part I think children will enjoy the story. It is infused with solid science and tight harmonies. Learning a few tricks along the way to enact change in our own communities is a further bonus. Huzzah!
Curious: Think Outside the Pipeline releases just in time for Earth Day. Look for this eco-friendly album wherever you buy music, starting April 19th. You can even have them come to your school assembly or perform the musical with your drama club. In fact that’s a great way to practice putting ideas into action!