Very few bands make it to 18 albums in their career, and very few release 2 LPs in a year anymore, yet here we are with the ever prolific They Might Be Giants. Long behind them are the days of Birdhouse in Your Soul and Boss of Me and despite a few great moments on 2013s Nanobots, the band haven't really written a single to capture the imagination like those aforementioned tunes did. Why? Is a compilation of songs released through the band's weekly Dial-A-Song service and is probably aimed more at their fan's kids than their fans.
The first thing to mention about Why? Is that it features 18 songs and clocks in at about 38 minutes. The longest track on here is Elephants, which goes on for 2 minutes and 38 seconds. This brevity leaves some of the songs feeling woefully underdeveloped, such as the throwaway I Just Want to Dance or I Haven't Seen You In Forever. Neither of these songs really go anywhere.
This isn't to say there aren't a couple of gems hidden away in the fluff on Why? For example, there is the excellent indie pop of Omnicorn and the brilliant I Am Invisible, which on the musical spectrum sits somewhere between Sparks and Pavement. Elsewhere you get Long White Beard which is a fantastic piece of music dragged down by daft lyrics and I Made a Mess, which has some great choral backing vocal arrangements and again recalls the sounds of Sparks.
Continue reading: They Might Be Giants - Why? Album Review
With 21 studio albums listed in their discography, it's fair to say They Might Be Giants have had a remarkable career since their self-titled debut arrived 19 years ago and having originally been named El Grupo De Rock And Roll. The outfit are currently on a run of shows entitled 'An Evening With.', forgoing support acts for the promise of longer performances.
The 15 tracks that comprise 'Glean' are full of bouncy rhythms and infectious guitar hooks that are great in their simplicity. 'Erase' is a case in point and TMBG are all the better for having a zany approach with little mainstream ambition. 'Good To Be Alive' is an ode to the brilliance of the human anatomy, while the touch of big band on 'Answer' is easily appreciated. They further expand the pallet with the piano led 'Madam, I Challenge You To A Duel' and they inject a degree of overblown tragedy on 'End Of The Rope'. For fans of synthesised pop, 'All The Lazy Boyfriends' is a kitsch number, but they make sure to return to their strength of easy-going rock with 'Unpronounceable'. For the uninitiated this record can take a few listens to get into, simply because the leftfield approach to their craft makes TMBG an unusual prospect. Given a chance though, there is plenty on here to be enjoyed, and even if there are pieces that might not be to your liking, that most songs fall under the three minute mark means it isn't long until you'll be back into the swing.
Continue reading: They Might Be Giants - Glean Album Review
Dial-A-Song makes a comeback - and fans are loving it.
They Might Be Giants are continuing their legacy of innovation and originality by re-launching the Dial-A-Song streaming service. To celebrate, they unveil a new album entitled 'Glean' featuring songs recently featured on the music website.
They Might Be Giants to release 'Glean' this Spring
The Grammy winning rock band, responsible for one of the catchiest songs in history ('Birdhouse in Your Soul'), are making a comeback with what they became famous with in 1983; the Dial-A-Song service. Originally an answering machine that allowed listeners to hear their material, the service has been reconfigured to the internet, proving that these guys are pioneers in the world of free listening.
To cut an incredibly long story short, They Might Be Giants have been around, plugging their own brand of quirky power pop for around thirty years now, finding success in the early nineties with the insanely catchy Birdhouse In Your Soul and Istanbul (Not Constantinople) singles and once more in the early 2000s with Boss of Me, the theme tune to the zany American sitcom Malcolm In the Middle. Since then, They Might Be Giants have continued making music, including a number of semi-educational albums commissioned by Disney. Nanobots is their first album since 2011's join us, and their 16th overall.
The album begins strongly with the catchy boogie of You're On Fire and the album's title track Nanobots. These songs display TMBG at their power pop best, with hooks the size of buses and a great deal of wit. The music is cleanly and well produced and mixed, and it sounds surprisingly energetic, fresh and modern for a band who are sixteen albums into their career.
The album then goes positively futuristic with the synth heavy Black Ops. It is clear that this is a band willing to experiment and change with the times, rather than sticking to the same style for years. This is obviously why they have managed to last so long.
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Was Diane Sawyer drunk during ABC News’ election coverage last night (November 6, 2012)?
A whole bunch of Twitter users seemed to think so and one smart Alec even set up a fictional ‘Drunk Diane Sawyer’ Twitter account, to post a series of fictional messages supposedly from the newsreader.
During last night’s election coverage, Sawyer could be heard slurring her words and rambled through her sentences, often making mistakes and stumbling over words, whilst her intonation was a little on the wild side. Many people commenting on Twitter assumed that Sawyer was drunk. @AlbieManzo posted a message that read “Diane Sawyer is waaaaaaassted right now!!!” whilst the official Twitter page for the band They Might Be Giants posted a message that said “And Diane Sawyer declares tonight's winner is... chardonnay!” And meanwhile, John Gruber said “Everyone, let's switch to ABC. I think Diane Sawyer is drunk.” A pal of Diane Sawyer’s however, refuted the claims and put her behavior down to exhaustion, telling the New York Daily News “She spent a number of sleepless nights preparing and rehearsing… It just caught up to her.” ABC’s officials have declined to comment.
At this point, you probably know how you feel about They Might Be Giants. Some of you love their quirky, clever lyrics, their bright melodies, and their sense of fun; they remind you of an indie-pop Sparks, and what could be better than that? Listening to their new album, Join Us, you're reminded of that time when you fell in love with 'Birdhouse In Your Soul' back in the early 1990s, and you're pleased that the band don't seem to have changed much in the meantime. On the other hand, some of you hate their quirky, try-hard lyrics, their predictable melodies, and their one-dimensionality; they remind you of an indie-pop Sparks, and what could be worse than that? Listening to their new album, Join Us, you're reminded of that time when that smug kid at school fell in love with 'Birdhouse In Your Soul' back in the early 1990s, and you're disappointed but unsurprised that the band don't seem to have changed much in the meantime.
Continue reading: They Might Be Giants, Join Us Album Review