They Might Be Giants have been around since 1985, and they are still going strong as of today. I am a hardcore TMBG fan, and they are possibly one of my favorite bands. I don't remember how I got into this band. I know that my grandpa always loved the popular radio hit Birdhouse In Your Soul. I think he let me have TMBG's third album Flood. I was very young at the time, maybe seven or eight but what I remember is the catchiness and wackiness of the album. I still listen to Flood today and They Might Be Giants is one of my favorite bands.
Years later I purchased Lincoln, the bands sophomore album. I would have to say that this is by far the bands strongest album. Catchy hooks, strange but interesting lyrics, a boat load of instruments and a lot of nerdy wackiness. I am a nerd, but I don't really listen to "nerd-rock." Lincoln is one of those albums that you can listen to anytime and anywhere. They Might Be Giants mix together pop, rock, nerd-rock, and slight influences of jazz, r&b, post-punk, and alt/rock. Lincoln is an extremely quirky and playful album, all of these songs are upbeat and fun. The sound of this album is strange yet accessible. The pop hooks are extremely catchy and fun, but there are so many different instruments that this is not a normal rock album. Everything is cheerful and upbeat, these songs are quirky and never loose their edge. The instruments make create a rockish sort of child like atmosphere. If you give this to children they will absolutely love this. More than anything Lincoln is a pop album, a very upbeat pop album at that. While this album is poppy, it is also free-spirited, exciting, quirky, and most importantly fun.
The vocals are what brings this music together. John has a very unique voice and his voice is what makes They Might be Giants such a recognizeable band. He has an extremely nerdy and stale voice, he sounds like some 8th grade band geek on crack. I must say, I have fallen in love with his voice, it is very nerdy and I guess you could say whiney. John knows he is a nerd, and he is proud of it. Singing away with his carefree voice, he sounds energetic and somewhat paranoid. Some people will absolutely hate Johns voice, I will tell you right now that it is hit or miss. When I say he sounds like an 8th grade band geek I am not joking. The vocals mix great with the loveable nature of the album, but some people just can't get into it.
They Might Be Giants use an incredible amount of instruments. Violins, chimes, trumpets, xylophones, and keyboards. Being that this is a rock album the guitar is present, but it doesn't do as much as some other instruments. While the guitar plays catchy hooks and riffs the music is held up by the 15 other instruments that TMBG use. Zany violin arrangements, xylophones chimes, accordian scales, and banjo licks are all used here. Using all of these instruments the music has a childish, and quirky feel. Lincoln is possibly the most quirky album that I have ever listened too. John, and John are obviously very talented musicians, being able to play all of these instruments well. Mixing in all the different sounds they do, TMBG's create a quirky, fun, energetic, gem.
Overall I beleive that Lincoln is a brilliant pop gem. They Might Be Giants were an extremely popular alt/rock during the early 90's, but none of their major hits appear on this album. If you do not like unconvential or experimental music than don't go near this, because Lincoln is a strange piece of art. With odd instrumental arrangement and a nerdy vocal delivery, They Might Be Giants create a truly unique pop album. Out of all the quirky, pop albums I own Lincoln is the most fun and unique listen. No two songs sound the same and everything featured here is quirky and fresh with every listen. Throughout all of the odd instrument arrangements, nerdy vocals, and quirky hooks Lincoln is an alt/rock pop masterpiece.
Overall Rating : 4.5/5
Pros: Quirky & Fun - All of the different instruments used - Catchy - Nerd-rock influences
Cons: Vocals are hit or miss
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