Album Review: The Wiggles & various artists - 'ReWiggled'

The Wiggles have been shaking up the childrens music scene for 30 years. Most famous for their hit singles, such as 'Hot Potato', and their iconic colourful outfits, the band are instantly recognisable. Now, The Wiggles revisit their long career of joyful music with 'ReWiggled', featuring covers from an array of artists. The Mic's James Pusey shares his thoughts.


The iconic Australian children’s presenters, The Wiggles, have truly released their magnum opus. This two disc, (almost) all original, star-studded album deserves the highest of praise.


Based on their 2011 album of the same name, which saw guest artists cover some of their hits, the 2022 ReWiggled goes above and beyond The Wiggle’s previous attempt. Adding to covers by some of the biggest names in Australia at the moment, an all-star combination of the much-loved group also tackles several cover versions of some classic popular songs, including their triple J Like A Version cover of Tame Impala’s Elephant. From start to finish, ‘ReWiggled’ exceeds every expectation.


"ReWiggled starts with a powerful demonstration of how much of a staple The Wiggles are, and how beloved they are, in Aussie pop culture."

Being a two-part album, dividing any appraisal should also be in two parts. The first disc is jam-packed with some of the best cover versions imaginable, including:

- D.O.R.O.T.H.Y (My Favourite Dinosaur) by Spacey Jane. The popular indie band bring nothing but vibes to their calm, clean, creative cover of this classic kid’s song.

- The Shimmie Shake by Luca Brasi. This rocked up version gives off early rock ‘n’ roll, as the Tasmanian rock band give their loudest attempt at this cover.

- Dressing Up by Emily Wurrama. A chilled-out, brilliantly harmonised cover, demonstrating the Aboriginal singer’s talent.

- Can You (Point Your Fingers and Do the Twist?) by The Chats. The punk rock take to a simple song effectively demonstrated what this band is about, going full throttle.

- Sicily (I Want to Go) by Donny Benét. Benét gives his throwback, post-disco, 80s twist to this song about the Italian island. It works beautifully.



Taking only a few songs doesn’t do this half of the album justice. Each guest artist creatively makes each song their own, as there isn’t a track that would feel out of place on anyone’s setlist. After having another attempt at the style of their 20th Anniversary album, ReWiggled starts with a powerful demonstration of how much of a staple The Wiggles are, and how beloved they are, in Aussie pop culture.


The second disc of the album introduces the listener to something new. A whole collaborative group of different Wiggles line-ups, including the original cast of Murray, Jeff, Anthony and Greg, cover some iconic songs of the past 50 years, including:

- Elephant (triple J Like A Version), originally by Tame Impala. Recorded for the Australian alternative music radio station triple J, The Wiggles add synth, as well as mashing it up with parts of Fruit Salad, to create this distinct-sounding cover. The success of this song convinced them to cover more songs.

- Praise You, originally by Fatboy Slim. Using synth harpsichord, the entire sound of the track is different, despite similar bass, drums and guitar. Executed so well that Norman Cook would be proud.

- Get on the Good Foot, originally by James Brown. Their attempt at funk is surprisingly impressive, and well executed. This would be impossible to tell that it was The Wiggles if you didn’t already know.

- Umbrella, originally by Rhianna. This moody, scaled back version of one of Rhianna’s hits uses the vocals of the group brilliantly, from harmonies to the imitated bass scat. It also provides a unique take on the track.

- Bohemian Rhapsody, originally by Queen. Capping off the entire album, The Wiggles creatively tackle this Queen anthem. Using unique instrumentation, including synth, accordion, glockenspiel, and more. It cuts out the first verse’s lyrics in place of hums, but given the content of murder, this is probably the right decision for a kid’s group.


"Creating their own sounds from well-established songs, the addition of this concept to their 30th Anniversary project puts ReWiggled above and beyond all previous outings."

Whilst not as strong as the first half of the album, The Wiggles provide tracks that exceed expectations. Creating their own sounds from well-established songs, the addition of this concept to their 30th Anniversary project puts ReWiggled above and beyond all previous outings.


Thirty years since their creation, The Wiggles demonstrate just why they’re an adored part of Australian kid’s programming. ReWiggled oozes with creativity, and pairs the popularity of some of the nation’s hottest artists with the staple of the group. It’s a perfect blend of youth and maturity that the album’s listeners are at the right age (anywhere from 4 to 40) to enjoy. It is the first album by The Wiggles to reach #1 in the Australian Recording Industry Association’s album charts, and rightfully so.


Kid’s entertainers have no right to produce anything this good. But The Wiggles demonstrate that songs for children can be enjoyed by all.


James Pusey

 

Edited by: Elliot Fox

In article images courtesy of The Wiggles via Facebook. Video courtesy of The Wiggles via YouTube.