ARTIST: They Might Be Giants
YEAR RELEASED: 1990
CHART ACTION: #75 US, #14 UK
SINGLES: Birdhouse in Your Soul (#3 Alternative, #6 UK), Twisting (#22 Alternative), Istanbul (Not Constantinople) (#61 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Particle Man, They Might Be Giants
LINEUP: John Flansburgh, John Linnell, and a lot of people helping here and there with vocals and other instruments.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The major label debut by TMBG may be their peak in their original style and sound.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Songs? Arrangements? Clever and insightful lyrics? All here!
Fun? Satire? Tributes? Reinventions of classic songs? Oh, yes.
Any album that goes from the eclectic new wavish pop of “Birdhouse in Your Soul”, to the social commentary (serious) of “Your Racist Friend”, to the all-time mid-temp polka (I guess) “Particle Man”, and then later to the perfect western of “Minimum Wage”, is well worth the listen. Then all of the other tracks will open themselves up to you. Even with the oom-pahs, and boings, and other sounds. They’re all brilliantly arranged and inserted.
They probably peaked here. That’s OK. This is a definitive statement of…They Might Be Giants.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: UK producers Winstanley and Langer helped produce. 2/3 of the albums budget was used on four tracks.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: A live bonus disc,
GRADE A+: “Hang on, hang on tightly…”