Music Montag: The Benja Men

by James Glazebrook


(c) Mirko Goletz

We’ve just got back from visiting my brand new niece in England, and while I’m not exactly broody, seeing the little cherub melted my cold black heart a little. So it’s only fitting that this week’s MM features The Benja Men, who’ve produced an indie-pop rock opera for children called Goodbye Smile Mile. We love a good concept album, and reckon that even grown-up expats will identify with the story that runs through this pretty awesome double album:

When fanatical singer Jolly Joe and his family leave idyllic Smile Mile, he faces the greatest challenge of his life so far: making new friends. Join him for a musical adventure about the heartache of moving, the joy of doing what you love, and the danger of infamous kid-eating bears! This double album for kids includes English and German versions of the exciting story in 12 songs to sing along.

Produced in Berlin by a talented bunch of American, English and German musicians led by Ben Arntz (who used to teach English and music to kindergarten kids), Goodbye Smile Mile is a lively collection of catchy, clever songs that manage to delight children while not actually annoying adults! We have a handful of copies to give away, so if you want to start your little one on the path of appreciating progressive concept albums – but think they aren’t quite ready for The Dark Side of the Moon – just leave us a comment along with an email address we can contact you on below.


(Photo credit: Mirko Goletz.)