The phenomenon that is The Naked Brothers Band is continuing to grow. In addition to the continued popularity of their tween-aimed show on Nickelodeon, brothers Nat and Alex Wolff have just released a music CD.
If you’ve ever watched the show (and I’ll go on record right here as confessing that I adore this show, in all its campy glory—I think creator Polly Draper is a genius), you know that the Wolff brothers actually write and perform their own music. And it’s not half bad.
The Wolff boys’ CD offers poppy two- and three-minute ditties about puppy love, aliens, cars and banana smoothies, perfectly suited for kids their age.
In fact, Nat’s knack for hooks and harmonies is impressive for fans of any age. Clearly inspired by their heroes, the Beatles and Bob Marley, the boys paint a vast musical landscape, ranging from the introspective, Nat-penned ballad “I Indeed Can See” to the whimsical electronic comic relief of “Alien Clones,” courtesy of Alex.
My daughter hummed “Crazy Car” for about a month after we watched the debut Naked Brothers Band episode earlier this year. Trust me, this stuff is catchy.
So anyway, this is all well and good, but why is it significant? Take note:
The Naked Brothers Band CD release marked the boys’ first step toward Hannah Montana-like multi-platform stardom, but Wolff would quickly point out that that’s where the similarities end: “The boys have always been natural musicians who just happen to be on TV.”
Although also weary of comparisons, Nat is encouraged by the recent achievements of his Disney channel competitors because, as he sees it, “now kids can actually make their mark.”
Geoff Mayfield, director of charts and senior analyst at Billboard magazine, agrees.
“They could really do well,” he reasons. “In the past, Nickelodeon properties had done OK, but they have not really had huge successes like Disney’s ‘Hannah Montana’ or ‘High School Musical,’” he says, “but the viewership numbers for the Naked Brothers are promising and they could be the ones to break through.”
The rise of kids’ television series with attached music—in an age where kids are buying their own music at younger ages than ever before—is a big deal. The article characterizes the CD’s debut as “respectable but not blockbuster,” coming in at the 23 spot on Billboard’s top album charts and 34,000 copies sold.
I’m no industry expert, but I think that’s pretty good. And I think the Wolff brothers will be ones to watch over the next few years; if this is what they can do at 9 and 12, who knows what the future holds for them. Rock on, boys.