If Willy Wonka and the Wizard of Oz started a rock band with Paul McCartney and Pee Wee Herman, it might come close to what McHatton has achieved here…
Following up on his 2011 hit I Think I’m a Bunny, which soared to #1 on the kid’s music charts, McHatton, along with his furry purple friend, Marvy, and adorable seven-year-old daughter, Hazel, bring another helping of sweet, pure, honest, musical interaction. The result is deep, magical fun indeed, and a worthy successor to McHatton’s critically-acclaimed Galactic Champions of Joy (2011) and Sundays at the Rocket Park (2010).
The Sgt. Pepper-esque The Man in the Hat kicks off the show, alerting listeners from the start that they’re in for something wonderful. Old school, classic radio/TV playfulness mashes up beautifully with Todd’s trademark indie-rock, modern sound.
That sense of wonder, beauty, and silliness reaches new heights on this gorgeous, rocking, and often moving album. Fun Time Dream Band overflows with the dense, quirky, sunshine, Nilsson-inspired pop that McHatton excels at, while introducing a new element of innocent simplicity brought to glowing life in the voices of Marvy and his little orange friend, Finch. Wacky absurdity and unexpected, intangible, moments of glory pervade this lush, beautiful collection.
Immediately following the introduction to Marvy’s Dream Band, we’re brought into the infectious, silly, call and response of Here’s the Thing, reaffirming how Marvy and his joyful personality can wriggle their way into our ears and hearts. Next up is Ooh Shiny, one of the standout pop songs of McHatton’s career thus far. Marvy and friends are nowhere to be found on this power pop gem, and yet somehow it maintains its splendid cohesion with the rest of the album.
The new shining star in McHatton’s never-ending arsenal of charming characters is the little fuzzy and orange monster, Finch, who takes the lead on the exceptional synth-pop dance extravaganza Fuzzy & Orange, another of the album’s standout tracks. Alright Already is a party power-pop, fist pumper with Marvy and Hazel joining in on the chorus.
A spectacular scheme slowly unfolds between Marvy and Hazel on the sweetly hilarious The Plan with the Crystal and the Bear.
Big Smiley Face and Warm & Sunny feature Marvy in all his splendid, psychedelic glory. While the term ‘psychedelic’ has been applied to much of McHatton’s music, few tracks have been as over the top as some of the gems on Fun Time. The expansive, whimsical genius of Warm & Sunny will open up new dimensions for freak-out fans, while simultaneously delighting aficionados of simple, joyful pop. Close your eyes and you’ll swear your speakers are spraying the room with Day-Glo colors.
Fun wordplay and storytelling seamlessly intertwine with the luscious, sweet, earthy pop that McHatton excels at on Ee Oh and Hill Larry Us.
Hazel and Marvy take the lead again on Making Cookies and Hey There Neighbor. Their warm, genuine interactions are captured in all their miraculous glory.
McHatton returns to lead with Rainbows Surround You, revealing his obvious deep adoration and admiration for his daughter.
So Nice To Meet Ya is a shout-out for some creative playtime with Marvy and the gang.
Todd McHatton Presents Marvy Monstone’s Mysterious Fun Time Dream Band is the universe’s most magical candy shop; a place where everything is somewhat familiar but altogether strange and beautiful, overflowing with tasty, psychedelic, magical, monster jams. It's a unique, lovely, and altogether exceptional pop album for families, with all the hidden complexities that McHatton is known for. Conceptually rich, McHatton has managed a deep dive into the hearts and minds of his strange and wonderful characters, and the result is a pop masterpiece, with a gooey, celebratory oddity that will appeal to Zappa, Beatles, and modern indie pop fans alike.