They Might Be Giants: “The Else”, And Why It Is Rad

My Review: 8

They Might Be Giants.

The two Johns.

TMBG.

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This rock band has written, produced, recorded and (mostly) released a new album, and I like it very much. The hoped-for suite of fun melodies, silly, well-informed lyrics and fun composition is very much present on this album. “The Else,” is set for release on Idlewild Recordings in stores on June 10th. However it was made available on iTunes May 15th and Sol snatched it up.

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“The Else” Album Cover

I have now listened to it 7 times in a row. I’m not bored. Not at all. This album is as mch fun to listen to as “Apollo 18” or “Flood,” though it is a little shorter than I’d like. The primary 13 song CD clocks in at 41 and a half minutes, and I could go for another 15 minutes of fun song writing. Wikipedia says a bonus CD will be included with the in-stores release; I guess I’ll have to get that too.

Some of the tunes are unusually mellow and even pop-ish for TMBG – notably track 5, “Careful What You Pack.” Which is not to say that I don’t dig it – it’s just a bit of a departure.

When he gave it to me Sol made me listen to track number 13 (the final track) first. This might account for why I now like the album so much: it put me in a good mood. Track 13, “The Mesopotamians,” is right there with Ana Ng, Istanbul, Mammals, The Sun, and so many other greats. But lots of tracks rocked here. A couple others include: “The Shadow Government” and “Contrecoup” (it’s awesome.)

I have been a comitted TMBG fan for many years, but they do not get an automatic good grade. I am maybe even more critical of a band that I care about, because my expectations are high. I’m relieved to report that “The Else,” the newest release from They Might Be Giants is a solid, strong, fun album. You should listen to it now.

“The Else” Track List:

  1. “I’m Impressed” – 2:39
  2. “Take Out the Trash” – 3:14
  3. “Upside Down Frown” – 2:17
  4. “Climbing the Walls” – 3:15
  5. “Careful What You Pack” – 2:40
  6. “The Cap’m” – 3:11
  7. “With The Dark” – 3:17
  8. “The Shadow Government” – 2:37
  9. “Bee of the Bird of the Moth” – 3:31
  10. “Withered Hope” – 2:54
  11. “Contrecoup” – 3:11
  12. “Feign Amnesia” – 2:29
  13. “The Mesopotamians” – 2:57

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