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22nd Jul 2019

A comprehensive review of ‘My First Album’ by Peppa Pig

Ciara Knight

Mutton dressed as lamb, dressed as a pig

Last Friday, four heavyweights of the music industry released brand new music on the same day.

Iggy Azalea, Various Artists – The Lion King edition, Sum 41 and Peppa Pig all dropped new albums and us innocent bystanders upheld our civic duty by picking them up, digitally speaking.

Peppa Pig’s vulnerably-titled ‘My First Album’ is officially here and will continue to be for quite some time, possibly forever.

How does it hold up in these increasingly trying times?

Surprisingly well.

The album bursts onto the scene with the catchy opening track ‘It’s Peppa Pig’. We’re invited to “Sing along with me”, which makes little sense given that it’s the first song on the previously unheard album, but the jaunty music is infectious, so you’ll easily forgive the blunder. Credit where it’s due, as the song title suggests, it is indeed the artist known as Peppa Pig who’s singing.

“I live in a yellow house on the hill and who could ask for more?”, she sings, with the innocence of a recording artist who’s yet to reach the dizzying heights of fame. Once the first wave of royalties hits her piggy little pocket, Peppa’s whole mindset is going to change.

As she develops as an artist, we’re going to hear lyrics about champagne, caviar and spit roasts before long, peppered with tales of waking up in an unfamiliar sty with various members of the farmyard community. But not yet. Her innocence is palpable, for now.

‘Bing Bong Zoo’ informs us that we’re going to the zoo. That’s the beauty of this album, it can transport you anywhere. Back to a simpler time where an anthropomorphic pig couldn’t release a profitable album on the same day as Sum 41. What must Peppa Pig feel when she gets to the pig section of the zoo?

In a similar sense, imagine you’re at the zoo and you see a human behind reinforced plexiglass. Not a zoo worker, just a regular man. He’s wearing normal clothes, sat at a messy desk doing some work on his laptop. In a way, maybe the real caged animals were us corporate swines all along. Look into this song deeply enough and you’re going to uncover some uncomfortable truths.

At a whopping 16 tracks long, it’s fair to expect that this album ‘gives way’ in a few places. That certainly comes close to being true during the song ‘Expert Daddy Pig’, which feels like the name of a very niche category of porn. It features vocals from Daddy Pig, betwixt verses of Peppa saying “Daddy Pig is handy, as we all can see”, doing little to stray from the insinuation that there is a seedier meaning to this song.

Listening to this track, you can actually feel the increasing threat of the effects of climate change looming. Death doesn’t seem so far away with this one. Nor does some kind of torture technique which forces you to listen to this song on a loop until you reveal the source of your intel against the OCG.

‘Super Potato’s Theme’ is a hellish but welcome descent into insanity. The borderline-rap verse of “Runner beans and broccoli and cabbages are good for me” is devastatingly catchy and delivers home truths in a way that we’ve never heard before. Name one song in the top 10 right now that reminds you to get your five a day, along with the benefits of doing so. Exactly, you can’t. Whether this ear-piercing genre of music is for everyone or not, its message is universal. We must eat gross food in order to stay healthy.

Although it might sound like a track title from the latest Arctic Monkeys album, ‘The Class of Madame Gazelle’ is an institution in its own right. The horn section demands your attention, while Peppa takes you through a typical school day. We hear the gripping tale of a day spent in an educational establishment when you are essentially livestock.

It’s reminiscent of a simpler time when your greatest worries stretched to who you’d spend lunchtime with, or how you were going to avoid the wandering eye of the local butcher as you passed his shop on the way to school, scurrying as quickly as your delicious little piggy legs could carry you, leaving behind a trail of pork dripping and the aroma of slightly cooked bacon (if it was a warm day).

If you’ve ever felt that mainstream music was missing the distinct sound of humans doing a snorting pig noise as backing vocals, have I got the remedy for you. The cutely-named ‘Festival Fun!’ will have you squealing with delight as you hear the bass line of the nursery classic ‘She’ll Be Coming Round The Mountain’, interspersed with snorting sounds for comic effect.

“Everyone’s coming out to play”, they cheer, while Daddy Pig explains what the concept of a festival actually is. I remember where I was the first time I learned what a festival was, and it was roughly twenty minutes ago when I heard this particular track for the first time. “I just hope it doesn’t rain”, Mummy Pig exclaims, both about the weather and in regards to Peppa Pig inevitably becoming our supreme ruler.

The album closes off with ‘Peppa’s Lullaby’, bringing the excitement of the past 30 minutes to a fitting conclusion. After sixteen tracks of chaotic piggery, it’s only natural that you’re going to need to lay your “sleepy head” for minutes, hours, possibly even days. Sometimes too much of a good thing is poisonous.

“Night night my little piggies, sweet dreams”, Daddy Pig says to his precious little entrées. The gentle pace of this track gives you time to reflect on what’s gone before. The charm of this album lies in its ability to make you feel alive, capable of doing anything within the realm of the Peppa Pig universe, except sing.

‘My First Album’ is the breakout record of 2019. Billie Eilish could never. Taylor Swift could never. Drake could never. Beyoncé probably could but she’s got a lot of other stuff on right now.

Peppa Pig didn’t have to go that hard. But she did that, she did that for all of us.

‘My First Album’ is a timeless masterpiece. Give the people what they want, Peppa. Announce ‘My Second Album’ today.