"Norman Lindsay was partial to a bit of pudding. Just take a peek at the thighs and buttocks of the not-so-svelte sirens he painted.
A less salacious outlet for this pudding predilection was the enduring children's fable starring Albert, the infinitely edible buffet in a bowl. It's a veritable banquet of inspiration for musical creativity, and here an impressive collection of talent cooks up a storm from Lindsay's magical ingredients.
For entree, there's some choice theatrics from Geoffrey Rush, Hugo Weaving and Co., who transcend their musical limitations with delicious phrasing and characterisation.
Not all the thespian contributors are a compromise in the singing stakes, however. Anyone who's seen Cosi won't be surprised that Toni Collette adds an equally flavoursome offering to sizzling songs by local superstars Kate Ceberano, Human Nature and Tina Arena.
Another local success story, Merril Bainbridge, provides a subtler side-serving with her irresistibly sweet paean to friendship. While the piece-de-resistance of the dramatic fare would have to a tie between spicy servings from Rolf Harris and a Weaving, Rush, Neil ensemble.
The venerable old virtuoso of the wabble board has never been in better form than with his delightful rendition of the protagonist pudding's song. And the thespian fellows are pure magic on the cleverly cute The Puddin' Owner's Song; a slightly warped history lesson that reminds me of the keen observations exchanged by Andrew L. Urban and a reader over the value of not being condescending to children (Letters to the Ed June 2000). This delightful ditty will probably teach kids more in under three minutes than a year of formal education. And it's an instant tutorial in irreverence to boot.
Finally, The Magic Pudding Orchestra puts the icing on a fabulous CD with a scrumptious sonic dessert rich in whimsical melodic figures, colourful arrangements and delicious dynamic diversity. It's the perfect finish to an infinitely tasty soundtrack that is guaranteed to satisfy all ages and musical palates."