My Murdered Remains

They Might Be Giants

Idlewild Recordings, 2019

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


I used to be a huge They Might Be Giants fan. Flood was one of the many important records of my adolescence. But I tuned out after 2004 and haven’t really noticed much of what they’ve done since then. Most of their recent records have been comprised of songs done for their long running Dial-A-Song phone line. These tracks present here seem to be in the same line and asides from their always impressive instrumentation and musicianship, there isn’t a whole lot here.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“I’ve Been Seeing Things” is a furious little rave up with lots of guitar, which is a plus if you haven’t been a fan of their keyboard-driven pop. Nice to see they can still rock like they used to. Unfortunately there’s not a lot that’s very distinct and memorable. Most of these tracks like “Dog” come off bland and unappealing, which is disappointing for any TMBG fan. “Ampersand” and “Tick Tick Tick” are good enough tracks and stick out but TMBG records used to be chocked full of memorable songs, not just one or two.

Several tracks just feel unfinished and unnecessary, like the strange “The Neck Rolls Aren’t Working,” “Rowboat Mayor” and “Applause Applause Applause.” Tracks like these didn’t need to be here and really drag the overall feel of the record down.

The version of the record I received comes with a bonus disc of extra tracks. Most of these are well under three minutes and feel like a continuation of their kids records or songs done for Dial-A-Song. Most of these tracks are completely inconsequential and are only notable if you’re a diehard TMBG fan and own every record they’ve ever done. There’s even a cover of The Records’ classic “Starry Eyes” but I’ve already heard this before; Too Much Joy did a better version way back in 1992. If you happen to come across a copy of this two-disc set, just ignore the second disc, you’ll be fine.

What we have here is a record that feels rushed and indifferent, several good tracks plus a ton of either mediocre or crap that was thrown together in order to have enough stuff for a full-length. Now I know why I tuned out on TMBG all those years ago.

Rating: C

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


© 2019 Pete Crigler and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Idlewild Recordings, and is used for informational purposes only.