Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Audio Review

Lithgow's 'Singin' in the Bathtub' Is Awash in Engaging Songs

April 02, 1999|LYNNE HEFFLEY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

There are more musical voices than John Lithgow's but few as irresistibly engaging, as evidenced by the "3rd Rock From the Sun" star's first children's album, "Singin' in the Bathtub," a superbly produced big-band and English music hall-style mix of classic children's songs, adaptations of Broadway tunes and novelty songs from the past.

Lithgow is clearly having a terrific time and so will listeners of all ages. The fare includes "At the Codfish Ball," "Everybody Eats When They Come to My House," "The Inchworm" and, sung to the tune of "You Gotta Have Heart," the comic "You Gotta Have Skin" ("Nothing can match it . . . when you scratch it").

Lithgow's '30s-style delivery is a kick and so is the arch flair he brings to "The Hippopotamus Song," in which an amorous hippo invites his lady love to wallow in "glorious mud," and to "From the Indies to the Andes in His Undies," about a certain traveler's daring trek.

Top-quality studio musicians and the sleek, gorgeous, brassy sound of Bill Elliott's Swing Orchestra provide the instrumentals.

The album doesn't need Lithgow's celebrity to give it credibility, by the way. Children's music is something he does. He's been singing for kids--his own and others--on a small scale since the '70s; the precursor to this captivating recording was the unpretentious, 30-minute video he made in 1990 with his guitar and a gaggle of tykes, "John Lithgow's Kid-Size Concert."

* "Singin' in the Bathtub," Sony Wonder, Family Artist Series. CD: $14; cassette: $10.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|