KidTunes: Mo Phillips Wants a Monster Suit
“If I had a monster suit, I tell you just what I’d do. I’d find all the bad guys and I’d yell ‘boo!’ And if I had a monster suit, I tell you just what I’d do. I’d run down the hills of this town yellin’ whoooo. In my monster suit.” –Mo Phillips
“Monster Suit” is the last—and shortest—song on Mo Phillips’ latest kidtunes collection, also titled Monster Suit. It is a fitting ending to an album that starts the smiles right from the start (in fact, I burst out laughing at the “singing time” of the opening song, “Toes”). If imagination is a good thing (and it is), then Phillips is the ambassador of creativity.
Monster Suit has a distinctly American sound with rhythms reminiscent of some of the best free-wheeling groups of the late 1960s. Instead of protesting the war and the system or extolling acid trips, Phillips tackles such engaging topics as “Drooling,” “Rollerskate Banana Peels” (a party-rock anthem), and “Bed Head.” “Hot Lava” warns us to stay on the couch “because the carpet is lava,” an even better pretend than the couch is a boat and the carpet is a river. “To the Zoo” is an urgent plea to go visit the animals, “Ducks Don’t Get Wet” is self-explanatory, and “All Okay” examines the vagaries of emotions and the joy of comfort.
We’ve all been to some pretty bad social gatherings, but how do we know if we’ve been to the “Worst Party Ever Thrown”? Phillips has been there and lays it out in graphic terms. Once we learn that “the hamsters were in the bathroom working on a voodoo curse,” we know nothing we’ve experienced has been quite so awful. The song also features hot dogs out on a stroll, an inept juggling snake, and a “blue jay who couldn’t sing a lick.” The party may have been a complete failure but we get the benefit of Phillips’ imagination. In fact, listeners might think he couldn’t be more creative until they get to “Suction Cup,” a song featuring “a dragon with a mullet wig that went down to the tip of his tail,” “coconut kneecaps,” and a plunger.Continued on the next page