They Might Be Giants
Fresh, hot nerd rock! Get it while it's hot! Album number 15 from the icons of geeky music is out on CD (and for all I know, 180 gram vinyl if you dig around). While it's not a departure from the previous work of John Flansburgh and John Linnell, it sounds fresh and clever and you won't be disappointed.
Opener "Can't Keep Johnny Down" reeks of a potential hit -- it's upbeat, offers a solid hook and bridge, and tells about a man with a loose gas cap. That's They Might Be Giants -- polite and worried about the minutia of life. Echoes of Sparks rumble under "Cloisonné," "Celebration" is upbeat if a bit underwhelming, and "In Fact" succeeds in mixing old school cowboy music with film noir and mariachi trumpet. A mid-disc favorite "When Will You Die?" introduces the band and wishes the worst to an unnamed adversary. Hip hop creeps in with "Lady and the Tiger" and if you're looking for sci-fi, "2082" moves us forward in time beyond any of our expected life spans.
TMBG specializes in short songs, and most of these 18 cuts are under three minutes and feel correct -- no drum solos here, just humor and insight. After 25 years, John and John are still popping out clever hook-laden pop tunes, and while there are a few songs that you might not want your first grader to hear, this is a solid, adult-friendly collection executed with flair and fun.