» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
They Might Be Giants
The Else

Rating: 8.3/10 ?

July 16, 2007
The first track of The Else, the twelfth release of They Might Be Giants (TMBG), sums up the record: it is impressing. TMBG's sound, while not easily categorized, can always be called fresh and that is exactly what is here.

Overall, this record has a darker tone than the music most would usually associate with TMBG. On "Climbing the Walls," John Linnell sings "Got a new job/ Climbing the walls/ The deep end/ The deep end/ People talk a lot but they don't know." The song ends with the lyrics "Thought the wall was just good/ For staring blankly at." The music also picks up on this; the beginning of "Careful What You Pack" has some eerie keyboard sounds. There is definitely a sense of disillusionment and sadness throughout the album.

Of course, not all of the album is dark. The last track, "The Mesopotamians," sees "Sargon, Hammurabi, Ashurbanipal and Gilgamesh" in a rock band. Like with a lot of bands, there is tension within the group: "This is my last stick of gum/ I'm going to cut it up so everybody else gets some/ Except for Ashurbanipal, who says my haircut/ makes me look like a Mohenjo-Daren."

A well-rounded and passable product, both old fans and newcomers to They Might Be Giants will like this release. There are still lots of crazy keyboard sounds provided by Linnell, the requisite horn sections, and weird lyrics ("'Cause it's just a hummingbird moth who's acting like a bird that thinks it's a bee.") As seems to be a common thing these days, some copies of The Else also include a bonus disc with some twenty songs, mostly culled from the band's popular podcast. Each one of the tracks is good enough to be good, but not necessarily great. Having been making music for years with a method of economy, They Might Be Giants know when to get out what they've got in them, table a jammed-out jingle and jump on it without overdue process. With The Else, the band have made a wonderful record here, ready to be jumped on. What are you waiting for?

Reviewed by Nate Logan
Hailing from Indianapolis, Indiana, Nate Logan is a contributing writer to LAS who will be going to Minnesota in the fall to pursue a MFA in poetry. He hopes to develop some weird accent as a result of his time in the North.

See other reviews by Nate Logan



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