The Terrible Twos - If You Ever See an Owl... (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Terrible Twos

If You Ever See an Owl... (2007)

Vagrant / Paquito

I hope I can be half as cool of a dad as Matt Pryor appears to be. I mean, obviously I'll never be able to tell stories about touring the world with a band, nor will I ever really be able to sing my kids to sleep, given the fact that my voice terrifies small animals and children alike. But man, it'd be nice.

With Pryor's newest outing, he's cemented his place in the realm of "awesome dads," as he shifts his attention towards the newest addition to his family. If You Ever See an Owl... focuses on kid-friendly verses and choruses set to a backdrop of fairly simply tunes, á la the first couple of New Amsterdams releases. In fact, for those of you lamenting the Ams' recent forays into pseudo-classic rock, this may be the album you've been looking for. Just don't expect to hear songs about alcohol consumption, depression or anything of the like.

Instead you get songs like the title track, a cute number that exists essentially to help teach a child the sound an owl makes. You get songs about rakes and counting and multiplying and lullabies. The best thing about the whole album is, quite frankly, how damned cute it is. It's not just a novelty album, it's a heartfelt collection of songs for someone. We just aren't used to hearing songs that, rather than being generally sexual in nature, are more about caring and nuturing.

All this to be said, if you don't have a soft spot and a sweet tooth for acoustic guitars, upbeat songs and cute lyrics, this isn't the release for you. It's definitely jarring compared to some material out there but in many ways is a healthy, much needed departure. It fits right in a playlist with the earlier New Ams material but adds a slightly cheerier, less serious aspect to it.