Rabbit!: Connect the Dots

RIYL: The Bird and the Bee, She & Him, Mates of State

510iijhhKWL._SCLZZZZZZZ_[1] Connect the Dots is a fine title for an album, but Rabbit! could just as easily have chosen Too Adorable for Words for this breezy 17-track collection. Song titles like “Ladybug,” “Jellybean,” and “1-4-3” don’t necessarily tell the whole Rabbit! story, but you get the idea – these are cute, catchy pop songs about things like staring at clouds, being in love, and feeling great. Cynics need not apply.

Even if you aren’t particularly cynical, Connect the Dots might test your twee endurance; the vocals conjure visions of girls in vintage clothes, strumming pawn shop guitars and smiling shyly next to dudes with rumpled button-down shirts and Abercrombie hair, while the music is chock full of Casios set to “xylophone” and “harpsichord.” It’s all so very Zooey Deschanel.

But here’s the thing: Close as it might come to sending you into a diabetic coma, Connect the Dots is brimming with clever, catchy songs. It sounds like a series of mash notes passed between people so wrapped up in their fuzzy love cocoon that they don’t even know anyone else is in the room – but where that kind of thing can be unnerving and annoying in person, these songs just kinda make you smile. Case in point: “Pea,” which opens with the following call-and-response lines:

It’s time to wake up / But you don’t need no makeup / ‘Cause you look stinkin’ foxy / With nothin’ but my old Led Zeppelin t-shirt on
I’ll be / Ready in a hurry / So we can hit the snooze bar / And spoon together in five nine-minute increments

And you just know the song closes out with a round of la la las, right?

You’ve got to walk a fine line with this kind of Hello Kitty pop, and it isn’t as easy as it looks – but damn if Rabbit! doesn’t pull it off. Part of Connect the Dots‘ appeal is its brevity – even at 17 tracks, the whole thing tops out at just under 48 minutes, and one of the songs isn’t even two minutes long, which makes it hard for anything to outstay its welcome. If you’ve ever been head over heels in love, woken up on the right side of the bed, or smiled on a sunny day, Connect the Dots might be the album for you. In fact, you may have a hard time prying it from your CD player. (Rock Salt Songwriters 2010)

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