They Might Be Giants I Like Fun first impressions
by Curt Sandvig
First let me just tell you that They Might Be Giants has been my favorite band since the 80s so obviously this review will be skewed. I love them, they could release a full album of Kriss Kross covers and I bet money I would love it. They are incredible musicians and song-writers that album after album outdo themselves SO with that said here is my first impression of listening to their new album, I Like Fun, which comes out January 19th.
My first impression is how different this is from previous albums, and what I mean by that is this one is fresher,with harder guitar riffs but the same brilliant lyrics that make you wonder for a long time “is this a happy song or a sad song brilliantly done in a happy tempo”. Definitely pop focused but what also jumps out is the vast amount of bona fide hit singles that are on this album! I know a lot of websites like to compare tunes to other bands but that’s one of my pet peeves so the only band I will compare these songs to are classic TMBG done in a 2018 experience has proved that these guys know how to write incredibly catchy tunes kind of way and the entire band came out swinging with this one!!! Danny, Dan and Marty do an incredible job making these fresh, rocking tunes come to a rich full life and Curt Ramm on horns always makes a TMBG fan happy. Remember this was my first impressions on hearing these songs for the first time so don’t expect some brilliant in depth on what each song means, I don’t even know if I could do that after the 100th listen.
OK lets get to the good stuff! I will mention who’s the lead singer on each track with “Linnell Tune” or “Flans tune” Just in case that is important to anyone.
- Lets Get This Over With -Linnell tune – try not to tap your foot or clap along to this wonderfully Linnell tune.
- I Left My Body- Linnell tune – A catchy tune about dying and life after death…
- All Time What – flans being amazing Flans the line my buttercup up and gone and left me is what flans does best, intelligent and witty wordplay… a great guitar driven pop tune…
- By the Time You Get This- Linnell tune – if this isn’t a telling tune of today politics with a chilling comparison of today and 1937… did TMBG get political or am I just connecting dots? Who knows. All I know is that it fits perfectly if you silence CNN and play this track, trust me it will work.
- An Insult to the Fact Checkers – Flans tune – instantly a Flans classic tune! Damn he is crushing it with the killer guitar tunes on this album, the heaviest rock TMBG tune to date. I NEED to see this one live!
- Mrs Bluebeard-Linnell tune – a great Linnell piano tune a more stripped down clean piano tune again with a great bass line and guitar riff. I need to listen to this one a few more times to have a better idea of what its dealing with lyrically speaking.
- I Like Fun – the title tune… Linnell’s bass sax is in full effect..I wouldn’t have been surprised if this was a leftover track from TMBG’s early days.(I realize its not especially with Flans talking about being 58 but it reminds me so much of “classic” TMBG that it was all I could think of while listening to it though)
- Push Back the Hands- Linnell tune with a definitive Flans “shadow government” type guitar lick behind it, again I don’t know if I’m projecting but there are a few tracks about death or at the very least about just getting older in general. I realize that this album was going to be called “My Murdered Remains” so death is a theme here in all its TMBG subterfuge.
- This Microphone-flans tune – this is another that I need to hear a few more times to let it sink in, I know I like it but I don’t know what it’s all about. I like that its bringing up the 12 fatal flaws but who’s? Flansburghs? The listeners? I need someone smarter than myself to get deeper into the weeds of the lyrics on this one.
- The Bright Side – Flans tune: I always wondered what it was like on the bright side of things, I am living the darkest timeline so its nice to know that the bright side is just a white lie.
- When the Lights Come On – Linnell tune – a song that as best I can tell is what to do in an emergency( my hope is that this is about our current administration and what we will do when we come out of this dark political time)
- Lake Monsters – flans tune about lake monsters coming together to vote but the main takeaway here is damn how awesome is the ending to this tune. IT ENDS WITH A FUNKY LATE 60’S PSYCHEDELIC SWING
- McCafferty’s Bib- Linnell tune MARTY IS CRUSHING IT ON THIS TUNE
- The Greatest – Flans tune that at first listening is about GOAG- God Of All Gods. Someone who is extremely attractive and god-like. Is a super awesome person, in general and how someone who thinks they are even though everyone saying it about them is being sarcastic.
- The Last Wave – Linnell and Flans tune – DAMN I LOVE THIS TUNE!!!! its always great to have the horns back on TMBG tunes, I’m really looking forward to hearing this one live!
They Might Be Giants are on tour starting January 17th go tohttps://www.theymightbegiants.com/shows/ to find a show near you and GO SEE THEM! They put on the best shows, I’ve seen them over 100 times for a reason and if you are going to any of the California shows please find me and say hi!
Also TMBG if you are reading this I would love to interview you! Curt@hollywookiee.com
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