Veteran family music entertainment act Rabbit! will release its latest record Friday in the form of its EP, Happiness is Simple. The eight-song record is the band’s eighth studio recording, following the release of three albums and four other EPs. Whether listeners are familiar with the band’s body of work – which according to information on the band’s official website includes ad work with companies, such as Frito-Lay, Honda, and Crayola — or they are less familiar with that work, the fact of the matter is that the new record is an appealing work for listeners of all ages. That is due in large part to the record’s musical arrangements. They will be discussed shortly. The lyrical themes that accompany the record’s musical arrangements add their own appeal to the whole. They will be discussed a little later. The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements. It will be discussed later, too. When it is considered along with the record’s overall content, the whole makes the EP a successful new offering from Rabbit! that will give happiness to every listener.
Rabbit!’s new forthcoming EP Happiness is Simple is an aptly titled presentation from the veteran family music entertainment act. It is aptly titled because it is such a simple way to bring audiences happiness. That is proven in part through its musical arrangements. The arrangements in question exhibit a mix of modern indie-pop and vintage Beatles influence for the most part. Even with that one connecting thread there, the arrangements vary from one to the next. This plays into the record’s sequencing, which will be discussed later. The EP’s title track for instance, which closes out the record, uses its infectious choruses and simple melody and rhythm to make a whole that is unique in its own right. The choruses, as big and bombastic as they are, conjure thoughts of Mumford & Sons while the verses are much simpler. That contrast, that juxtaposition creates a wonderful overall impact that is certain to resonate with listeners.
On another note, a song, such as ‘Let’s Get Started’ bears an arrangement that lends itself to comparison to Electric Light Orchestra’s famous song, ‘Mr. Blue Sky.’ At the same time, it also bears some similarity to works from The Beatles, too. That mix of vintage pop music from two completely different eras that are still so similar makes for another work that is unique in its own right, too. The call and response in the vocals against the keyboards, guitar and drums plays so well into that impact. The whole is a work that stands well against the rest of the EP’s arrangements and shows in its own way, what makes the record’s musical content so enjoyable.
‘Dogs Like These,’ on yet another hand, changes things up even more, with something of a hybrid indie/ska-punk sensibility. That is evidenced through the presentation of the guitar line and vocals. The light, bouncy feel immediately lends itself to comparison to works from the likes of Reel Big Fish and Mighty Mighty Bosstones, just without all the horns. It makes for yet another unique musical addition to the EP. Together with the other arrangements noted here and the rest of the record’s compositions, the musical content in whole here makes the EP’s overall musical arrangements unquestionably important to the record’s presentation.
While the musical arrangements featured in Happiness is Simple are clearly key in their own way to the whole of the record’s presentation, they are just a part of what makes the record so appealing. The EP’s lyrical content is important in its own way to the EP’s presentation, too. The lyrical themes featured here are just as diverse as the record’s musical content. Right from the EP’s outset, listeners are presented with a song in ‘Tough Enough’ that is a simple reminder to listeners that they are…well…tough enough to get through life’s more difficult situations. The song even notes early on, “If you fall down/Then get up again/You’re tough as nails/Brick and stone.” It even tells listeners that those who even do something as simple as sleep with the night light off are “the boss.” That is a big statement in itself. The song even makes not of people “rolling with the punches like a heavyweight/And dishing out as much as we can take/The Creature from the Black Lagoon might hesitate/To get in the way of a hurricane/Tough enough/We never give up/When the going gets rough/It’s when the tough keep going/There’s no time for slowing/’Cause we are on the move.” That mention of the Creature from the Black Lagoon is a great reference that older listeners will appreciate. The overall message that encourages young people to live their lives and just do their best; to be strong physically, mentally, and emotionally, is a wonderful theme for not just children, but grown-ups, too. It is just one example of the importance of the EP’s lyrical themes. ‘(I Let The) Wheels of the Bus’ is another great example of the importance of the EP’s lyrical themes.
The lyrical theme featured in ‘(I Let The) Wheels of the Bus is so important to cite because of its own message of encouragement. The song’s lyrical theme is one of simply living life as it comes, not stressing out about what comes. That the band would deliver that powerful message by making reference to a simple children’s song in the title is brilliant in itself. The delivery of that message makes for even more appeal. It delivered most strongly in the song’s chorus, which finds the song’s subject singing, “I let the wheels of the bus/Take me wherever the wind blows.” The note in the song’s lead verse that the bus’ “destination was not discussed” adds even more to that noted theme. The whole of that and the rest of the song’s lyrical content makes for a message that every parent will welcome just as much as any child.
The album doesn’t reserve its lyrical content just for serious messages. ‘Dogs Like These’ is a fun, light work that is simply about someone dealing with a dog that apparently needs some obedience training. From the mention of the dog chewing the couch, to not sitting and staying, to more, the subject asks time and again, “What am I gonna do/With a dog like you?” The energetic questioning is something to which plenty of new owners will relate. It’s yet another way in which the record’s lyrical diversity shows itself and at the same time shows its accessibility and entertainment as a result. When it and the other lyrical themes are considered together with the record’s musical content, the whole makes this record’s content overall, a solid foundation for its presentation. That foundation is cemented through the sequencing of said content.
The sequencing of Happiness is Simple is important to note because on the surface, it ensures the stylistic approaches to the arrangements varies throughout the EP’s half-hour run time. On another level, it ensures the songs’ energies change just enough and in turn keep the record’s pacing stable. Listeners will note that the record starts on a mid-tempo note in ‘Tough Enough’ but then picks up in ‘Submarine’ with its upbeat club style arrangement. From there, the record’s energy gradually eases off more up until it reaches ‘Dogs Like These.’ That song’s musical arrangement dramatically picks things back up before giving way to the much more relaxed arrangement featured in the record’s closer/title track. Simply put, the album’s sequencing ensures that it does not become redundant at any point, but rather keeps things changing from start to end. This ensures once more, the record’s engagement and entertainment. When this is considered along with the impact brought on by the record’s overall content, that whole makes Happiness is Simple a simple success for Rabbit!
Rabbit!’s new EP Happiness is Simple is a positive new offering from the veteran family music entertainment act. That is due in part to its musical arrangements. The arrangements in question all exhibit a similar stylistic approach, but still present their own unique sounds. That in itself makes for its own interest. The lyrical themes that accompany the musical content range from the serious to the silly, making for even more interest. The EP’s sequencing brings everything together, ensuring the variations in the musical and lyrical content keeps things interesting for listeners. Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the EP. All things considered, they make the EP certain to generate its own simple happiness for audiences. Happiness is Simple is scheduled for release Friday.
More information on Rabbit!’s new EP is available along with all of Rabbit!’s latest news at:
To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.