As you can tell I am a huge fan of this band. Besides my grandpa I can't think of anybody else really enjoys listening to They Might Be Giants. I don't know what it is, I guess the bands singles turned a lot of people off, I mean Particle Man is one of the most nerdy and quirky songs I have ever listened to. I don't know why but I really like this band, I don't typically listen to music with grown men singing about particles, but They Might Be Giants really make it work. This is the bands debut album, released in 1986.
This is probably the bands most experimental and groovy album to date. Borrowing influences from new-wave, pop, jazz, nerd-rock, and alt/rock, TMBG's really make something special. There are so many different ideas and experiments, this album is an interesting listen every time. This album has an upbeat feel to it, and sometimes this music can even seem eerie and funky. There are so many different moods on here, one song can be an upbeat, sugary pop tune and the next could be a straight up polka song. John Linnel basically covers everything here, most of this music is poppy and fun, but there can be some eerie, and funky tracks thrown in. There are no rules, and that is what makes this such a fun, and intruiging listen.
Almost every instrument imaginable is used on here. Violins, guitars, brass instruments, accordians, chimes, and synthesizers. The violins and the accordian have a huge impact on the music. They are used in most of these songs and they give the music a charming, quirky, pop feel. This is probably one of the most experimental and strangest pop albums that I have ever listened too. When I say this band uses a violin, I don't mean they use it like the dreadful pop band Yellowcard does, the violin plays a huge impact on this album. Backing the violions and accordian up is the guitar. Basically the guitar is used for playing catchy melodies and simple riifs to give this a jangle-pop feel. Mixing in some brass instruments, synth sounds, and bells They Might Be Giants create a unique and enjoyable journey. This album is very quirky and upbeat, no two songs sound the same and John Linnel makes a fresh and exciting sound.
The vocals are the hit or miss part to the album. John's vocal delivery is nerdy, stale, and raw. I stated this in my other review for this band, but John really does sound like an 8th grade band geek with a high pitched, nerdy voice. The music can be hit or miss at times, some of TMBG's experiments fail, but the vocals are the big thing that turn people off. John's voice mixes great with the strange orchestrations and pop ideas from the album, John's voice can be very hard to get into. Throughout the odd interchanging instruments and arrangements, John's voice makes this a truly unique and most of all strange, quirky listen.
Overall this is possibly one of the most experimental and funky pop albums I have every listened too. I will warn you right now that this music is not for everybody. They Might Be Giant's use about 15 different instruments, together they create a childish, quirky, and playful sound. This debut album sounds experimental and obviously undeveloped. I enjoy most of these songs but some of them seem like old b-sides thrown onto the album. John's strange, nerdy vocals create an upbeat, psychadelic and sometimes eerie feel. It mixes excellent with the upbeat nature of this album but sometimes he goes out of his range and it really hurts. If you enjoy pop music, alt/rock, or experimental and unconvential music than give this a shot.
Overall Rating : 3.5/5
Pros: Quirky & Upbeat - Experimental - Fun - Wide variety of Instruments
Cons: Vocals are hit or miss - Very experimental, some tracks are hit or miss
Recommended Tracks:Everything Right Is Wrong - Don't Let's Start - Boat Of Car - Chess Piece Face