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Day 177: They Might Be Giants – Join Us

24 Aug

In Fact

They Might Be Giants have not aged well.  Join Us, the band’s latest record, is kind of depressing, actually.  What we have here is a group of guys that just doesn’t know when to call it quits.  They’ve accomplished everything that they could ever hope to with this project—it’s time for them to move on.  Something tells me that they won’t be doing that anytime soon, though.

At this point, it’s almost as if The Giants have become a parody of themselves.  Join Us is contrived.  The offbeat lyrics are forced, compared to Flood, at least. They’re trying to be kooky now, while this just happened naturally in the past.  Look no further than the cover art, and you’ll see what I mean.  You’ll also save yourself 47 minutes if that’s all that you invest in this record.

Fortunately for The Giants, in their two-plus decades of record releasing, they’ve gathered a huge fan base—a very supportive one, at that.  If they’re playing shows, there will always be fans  to buy tickets and merch.  It’s hard to justify continuous tours without continuous releases, though.

It’s time for the fans to wake up.  You’re living in a nostalgia-coated cloud if you say that this record has any redeeming qualities to it.  The lyrics are weak, the instrumentation is lacking—the strange attempt at minimalism just comes off as lazy—and it’s undeniably boring.  There isn’t one catchy or single-worthy track on here.  Sorry, with a band like They Might Be Giants, you need a few of those.  Even Weezer has If You’re Wondering…

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Day 118: They Might Be Giants – Flood

26 Jun

Birdhouse In Your Soul

Everyone knows They Might Be Giants.  I guarantee that this band has found its way into your life at some point, even if you don’t realize it.  TMBG has been around for close to thirty years now, and their music has been almost everywhere.  Before listening to Flood, I traced my Giants roots back to the glory days of the Homestar Runner website.  The group’s song, Experimental Film, got a music video made for it by those guys, and it’s pretty good.

After listening to Flood, though, I realized that They Might Be Giants’ music had made its way into my life much, much earlier.  When the band’s cover of Istanbul (Not Constantinople) started playing, I knew that I had heard that song at some point.  After a little Wikipedia-ing, I found out that it was used in a Tiny Toon Adventures music video.  For anyone who’s really out of touch, Tiny Toon Adventures was a Loony Toons spinoff featuring Bugs Bunny and company as “kids.”  Mainly, that meant that they were smaller, and I think some wore diapers.  Even as a six-year-old, I felt bad about watching that show, like it was even too dumb for me.    

Anyway, my point is, TMBG has made its way into my life so many times before I finally got around to listening to an album (thanks elcheeserpuff), I was essentially bound to love them.  Flood is quirky, and from the many Giants songs that I’ve heard over the years, pretty standard for them.  Long story short, these guys have been making great music for three decades, and I have a lot of albums of theirs to listen to if I want to catch up.