Sunday, April 20, 2008

They Might Be Giants - Then/Now

Here it is: the ultimate collection of the most original, raw, and catchy They Might Be Giant's songs... The double disc contains both of the songwriting combo's two first albums: They Might Be Giants and Lincoln.

Lets begin with the self titled side... the length is nearly doubled, with 17 extra tracks. Originally released amidst the madness of the 80s, classic drum 80s drum machine beats are more than common. A lot of "cheesy" 80's material here! Despite the typical era stereotype, the band manages to cut through with their signature tone. John Linnell's accordion sits steady in the mix, covered by John Flansburgh's quirky guitar riffs. Of the two records, this side certainly has the more catchy lyrics! If I've listened to any portion of this album during my week, I will find one of these songs stuck in my head for hours on end.

The second side contains more eclectic recordings... they are much more experimental and artsy than the pop-driven first side. A lot more of the instrumentation is created electronically, and they dabble their feet into many different styles... "Lie Still, Little Bottle" has a jazzy groove, "The World's Address" has a latin-like groove, etc.

Between the two discs, the extra tracks contain excepts from the Miscellaneous T b-side record, and the 1985 demo tapes... a majority of these are incredibly experimental, and extremely innovative. This bonus material is really only necessary for the hardcore fans, as they don't yield very much musical substance. They dabble in a lot of synth and drum machine driven rock, and experiment in the possibility of electronic replacements for acoustic instruments. This double disc set will give you both the most accessible and entertaining They Might Be Giants, as well as the more eclectic and experimental. It will appeal to both the snobby artist and everyday, basic listener.

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