Pack your bags, open up your ears and get ready for a musical journey to faraway lands and exotic cultures! Tom Chapin is taking kids and their parents on a trip “ATWABA”. What is “ATWABA”? It stands for Around The World And Back Again and it happens to be the title of Chapin’s new album of family music.
Around The World And Back Again includes 16 original songs and features diverse musical styles from around the world. In classic Tom Chapin style, the album is filled with fun, humor and memorable melodies while also touching on important issues that concern us all. Around The World And Back Again celebrates what makes the world’s people unique and special by exploring such differences as food, language, dance and, of course, music. At the same time, the songs underscore the many ways in which we are so alike.
“Kids hear so much about the bad things going on in different parts of the world,” comments Chapin. “My job is to spread some good news, especially since so many of the world’s cultures have come together to enrich our own here in America.”
The album is Chapin’s sixth family recording. It was a Grammy Nominee for Best Musical Album For Children; won the Parents' Choice Award and was named a Notable Children's Recording by the American Library Association. It was given the Gold Medal Award by the National Parenting Publications (NAPPA) and was named Best of ‘96 by Parents Magazine.
As on his other releases, Chapin is joined by his long time collaborators, John Forster, Michael Mark and Jon Cobert. And, in what has become a Tom Chapin tradition, the album is once again a family affair, as 14-year-old Lily Chapin, 10-year-old Emily Mark and 8-year-old Dana Cobert all provide supporting vocals.
Around The World And Back Again also benefits from the experiences of another Chapin family member. As Tom explains, “My older daughter Abigail is studying and traveling in Europe. It’s been invaluable for her because she has learned so much about different cultures and how to appreciate them. Reliving that experience through her eyes has reminded me of what a magical feeling of discovery it is. I’ve tried to convey that feeling in the new album.”
Around The World And Back Again opens with the title track which, with its upbeat rhythms, innovative percussion and spirited children’s chorus, sets the tone for the rest of the album as it zips from place to place... and back again.
Other songs include What Is A Didjeridoo?, a hilarious look at some extremely colorful musical instruments, including the balalaika from Russia, the ukulele from Hawaii and, naturally, the didjeridoo from the Australian Aborigines. In An Elephant World is both an homage to one of Chapin’s favorite animals and a gentle warning that the noble elephant is endangered as his habitat is threatened by man.
Tropical rhythms dominate A Forest In The Rain, a rollicking glimpse into the exotic world of the rain forest -- the most fertile and diverse place on Earth. It’s Gonna Be Dinner Soon, a New Orleans two-step Dixieland flavored tour of the world’s many wonderful foods, captures that feeling of anticipation that builds as the day wears on... until dinnertime finally arrives. Our restless urge to wander is celebrated in Gonna Go To Borneo, which reminds us that the pleasure is as much in the journey as in the arrival.
Rounding out the album are Heartache To Happy, I Papaveri (The Poppy Song), Song Of The Earth, By-ush Ki By-u, The Troubadour, The Wonderful World Of Yes, Another Busy Day, Dance, Dance, Dance, How’d You Like To Do That? and Wheels.
“Tom Chapin’s new album Around The World And Back Again is an exhilarating musical ride on the multi-cultural carousel of life. Chapin’s love of life permeates the words and music of sixteen original fun-filled songs that celebrate the languages and cultures of the world. They will make you glad to be a part of the diverse human race.” Chicago Tribune
“A spicy, exuberant new album whose theme of global goodwill is especially welcome in these increasingly xenophobic times. As do Chapin’s previous family releases, Around The World And Back Again brims with memorable melodies, zestful arrangements, and diamond-bright wordplay. A joyous profusion of exotic musical styles, with smart, witty, and highly humorous lyrics.”
“Award-winning singer/songwriter Tom Chapin reaffirms his place as a leading family artist with this album. Sixteen original songs represent a range of musical styles and sentiments broad enough to speak to children and their parents. Using music to explore different cultures, Chapin highlights the multi-cultural aspects of American life that bind us to the world around us.”
“Tom Chapin is one of the best children’s musicians out there... Clever rhymes, arrangements with variety, and a good selection of material make this an album a wide range of ages can enjoy.” Pulse!
“Chapin’s album - like the best of the genre - points out what is refreshingly different among different people and, more importantly, what is refreshingly the same.”
The Washington Post
“Chapin keeps kids wrapped around the speakers - but not swinging on the chandeliers - with this collection that ranges from the invigorating rhythms of the rollicking title song to more gentle interludes, including A Forest in the Rain.” Parenting
“The songs on this top-notch recording illustrate the many cultural similarities in a world that is too often marked by cultural division.” Sesame Street Parents
“Not only is this fun, but yes, it’s educational also!” Children
“The music is varied and excellent.” Westchester Family
“A musical world tour with sixteen original tunes to make you smile, and maybe even tap your toes and sing along. Vintage Chapin for the whole family.” Minnesota Parent