Peppa Pig, star of the kids’ show “Peppa Pig”, takes a shot at creating music in her first album titled “My First Album”. Right off the bat, I’m a huge fan of the title. It isn’t showy or flashy. It’s just Peppa saying, “Hey, here it is. It’s my first album. Take it or leave it, bud.” So let’s dive right in.
I didn’t know what to expect with Peppa Pig’s debut full-length album. I always meet actor-turned-musician albums with great skepticism. How would Peppa stack up against some of the bigger names in this area of music such as Caillou and Jared Leto? I gotta say, sis really went off on this one. At 16 songs, Peppa is not holding anything back here. This concept album is full of various characters and themes that will last a lifetime in any listener’s mind.
The album kicks off with two absolute bangers; “It’s Peppa Pig” and “Bing Bong Zoo”. “It’s Peppa Pig” is an upbeat anthem for the album’s main character, Peppa herself. This song serves as a great opener to the album as it introduces not only Peppa, but also all of her family members (Mommy Pig, Daddy Pig, and Peppa’s little brother, George) who reappear throughout the project in later tracks. The group vocals throughout are super catchy, and when performed live, are sure to get people to shout along with Peppa. The musical accompaniment contains piano, xylophone, horns, and wind chimes, all working together smoothly as we enter Peppa’s world. Mommy Pig states she’s working on her computer, Daddy Pig claims he’s a bit of an expert, and George has a stuffed dinosaur. The chorus of “Peppa Pig, It’s Peppa Pig” is an earworm that really drives home who is the true star of this show and will stay stuck in your head for days. The song ends with an epic buildup into the final chorus where all the vocalists are singing while jumping up and down in muddy puddles, which is what I’m sure the fans at the live shows will be doing in the mosh pits at those rainy outdoor shows. “Bing Bong Zoo”, has an absolute heater of a chorus, though the theme of the song is slightly problematic (the song is about going to the zoo to see animals in cages but all the characters are animals so ummm yeah). The horns take the forefront of this track while the xylophone matches the vocal melody. There is some soft drumwork serving as the percussion for this track, though in some places it is hardly noticeable. Again, the chorus is in group vocals while Peppa basically comes in on every verse section and asks you to mimic the sounds and motions that different animals perform. She’s so hype about it though that you can’t help but do all of them. I did them all while listening to this completely alone haha.
“Let’s Get Ready!” is the most abysmal track on My First Album; a song that is an exact replica of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” and doesn’t even try to hide it. I smell a lawsuit headed Peppa’s way for copyright infringement here. Not to mention she rhymes the word “clean” with “clean” in the chorus, along with rhyming the word “white” with “white”. While Peppa’s vocals really shine in this track, this is simply unforgivable. I can’t even give her a break on it as a first-time songwriter. The topic of the song also isn’t strong enough to keep me interested after the first chorus, as it is simply about George and Peppa getting ready. You expect it to build to a grand crescendo in the song’s final act but instead Peppa just shouts that they’re ready and they both oink and giggle. Next.
“Expert Daddy Pig” is where our first main feature vocalist, Daddy Pig, comes in. The group vocals throughout this song claim that Daddy Pig is great at doing simple tasks around the house, but as we hear in various examples, this is not the case. In the runtime of this track, Daddy Pig breaks a picture while trying to frame it, tosses a pizza onto his own head, and gets the family lost during a road trip. Peppa never fails in calling Daddy Pig out on his bullshit though – looks like Peppa is on his head just as much as the pizza in this one. The group vocals are catchy in this one and offer one of the better melodies in the album. Yep, it slaps.
“Rainbow, Rainbow” is the first slow-tempo track of the album. An LGBT anthem, this track highlights Peppa’s vocals with minimal instrumental accompaniment. Peppa shines on this song, hitting every note flawlessly and effortlessly as she describes objects of various colors, including indigo too, thus forming a rainbow, which Peppa exclaims that she loves. This track is very similar to Devin Townsend’s “Why?” from the incredible Empath album from earlier this year. I wonder if she was influenced by that project in some way here. “Rainbow Rainbow” is very heartwarming and is one of the cuter moments on the album, showing Peppa’s softer side and proving that she doesn’t always have to be a savage.
Speaking of savages, we gotta talk about the next feature vocalist Peppa brought into the studio; Super Potato. Out of all the guest vocalists on this project, Super Potato steals the show, bringing the fire on this track. My dude is an unhinged maniac, and his solo song “Super Potato’s Theme” absolutely 100% rips. The song is about eating healthy and you can feel the passion coming from his voice on this topic in the chorus. The group vocals take over on the verses and they knock so hard, creating an irresistible head-bobbing melody. The instrumental for this piece is also one of the more masterfully complex ones on My First Album. The drummer really gets his moment here and makes the most of it, while the horn sections and the dude on xylophone match his intensity. You can just envision the drummer’s dreads swinging around as he hits those fills and marching snare beats. I immediately went out and bought a salad after listening to this. Thank you, Super Potato. You’re a hero.
“Peppa and Friends” puts Peppa’s vocals at center stage again in another moving track that you will feel on a deep level. Here, our icon introduces her friends and announces how much she likes them. The main vocal melody is simple yet catchy again. The lyrics, while simple, convey a wealth of emotion. The piano and xylophone create a sweeping backing instrumental that is thoroughly enjoyable. Banger.
“The Class of Madame Gazelle” is a weak point on My First Album. While Peppa tries her best to honor her teacher with this song, it just doesn’t reach the same level as some of the earlier tracks. The same goes for “Festival Fun!” While Peppa and her band attempt to create something akin to any track from Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, it falls short. The main vocal melody and the instrumental just seem flat here. Oh also, for like the third or fourth time in 9 tracks, Peppa mentions how much she loves jumping up and down in muddy puddles haha ok we get it, queen.
Oh wait, the next track is another bop about just that; “Jumping in Muddy Puddles”. Peppa goes absolutely off on this one, and it’s sure to get the crowd jumping at any house party. The production on this track is really well done as we can clearly hear the sounds of Peppa splashing around in the puddles while she absolutely nails the vocal performance. The middle section of this song gets a little weird as Daddy Pig and Mommy Pig argue about how much mud there actually is outside but whatever. Get over it and put your galoshes on because it’s time to jump in these jawns.
“Holidays!” and “Traffic” are also on the weak side of My First Album. There’s not much to say about these tracks. While neither are bad songs, they just don’t convey the same vibes from the rest of the album. I do put “Traffic” higher up in quality than “Holidays!” because it is highly relatable in its lyrical content: “Driving here, driving there / broom-broom, beep-beep everywhere”. I feel that.
“Balloon Ride” is a stoner’s utopia in song form. The lyrics paint the perfect picture of floating really high in the sky while the vocals are soft and comforting. The minimal instrumental matching the vocal melody perfectly adds to placing the listener in this headspace. This is in my personal top 5 songs for this album. I’m applying an ice pack to my face after listening to this one because it slaps really hard lol.
“Busy Miss Rabbit” is one of the highest-tempo songs in the album, but also one of the weakest. Miss Rabbit is super weak on this one vocally, basically just rambling on instead of singing. Also, I’m sorry, but where is Peppa on this one? I guess she didn’t want to HOG all of the songs on this album to herself lmao. The group vocals sometimes seem weak on this one, especially in the faster parts. While this track is weak vocally, the instrumental is a lot of fun. The xylophone player has a field day on this one, showing no mercy on his instrument while the drummer drives the band forward with his high-velocity beat.
“Peppa Party Time” is a party anthem for the ages. If you really wanna move the crowd this summer, blast this at the family barbeque. The chorus is the most simple but probably the most memorable on My First Album. The verses are pretty plain but always build up before going into the chorus each time which is fun. The whole band sounds great instrumentally on this one, providing the simple party beat but with high energy that you can just feel through the music. You could say they go HAM with this one.
The album closes with “Peppa’s Lullaby” which is a nice, soft song to fall asleep to as you might expect from the title. This is the simplest track in terms of its components, with minimal vocal and instrumental work. For an album that, for the most part, was upbeat to the max, this is a nice way to settle back down from all those heaters and bangers.
All in all, Peppa Pig is an absolute force to be reckoned with on her first album. This is going to be one of the best pop albums of 2019, even if it doesn’t make it to mainstream radio. For Peppa’s first musical project, it is a definite success and a sign of great things to come should she continue with her musical career. Let’s hope she does.
Best Tracks: It’s Peppa Pig, Bing Bong Zoo, Rainbow Rainbow, Super Potato’s Theme, Balloon Ride, Jumping in Muddy Puddles, Peppa Party Time
Weakest Tracks: Let’s Get Ready!, Holidays!, The Class of Madame Gazelle, Traffic
Overall Score: B (for bacon)