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They Might Be Giants — I Like Fun (February 9, 2018)

They Might Be Giants — I Like Fun (February 9, 2018)

   They Might Be Giants — I Like Fun (February 9, 2018)They Might Be Giants — I Like Fun (February 9, 2018)Editorial Reviews
√→••       They Might Be Giants is back! The Brooklyn originals can’t stop and won’t stop, with 2018 already destined to be one of their most magnificent and productive years to date. Thirty~five years deep into their epic career, this January will see the release of their brand~new studio album I Like Fun. The fifteen~track album was produced with and mixed by Patrick Dillett (St. Vincent, David Byrne, Mary J. Blige, The National, Donald Fagen) and recorded at Reservoir Studios (the former Skyline Studios where TMBG recorded their platinum album Flood). The lead track; I Left My Body; is a prime slice of the power They Might Be Giants commands. Hyper~melodic, fresh, and ever rocking, They Might Be Giants formidable live lineup enjoys a reputation for delivering one of the best shows around, and this album is a real showcase for that musical energy. I Like Fun jumps with surprises, vitality, and the startling, singular point of view TMBG always delivers.
√→••       Coinciding with the album’s release is the first leg of the band’s extensive world tour that kicks off with a fifty~city run across the US. And 2018 will also see the resurrection of TMBG’s legendary Dial~A~Song service on streaming sites everywhere, featuring new music all year long!
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Genre: Indie Pop, Indie Rock
Album release: February 9, 2018
Record Label: IDLEWILD RECORDINGS / Lojinx
Duration:     40:59
Tracks:
01. Lets Get This Over With     3:08
02. I Left My Body     2:36
03. All Time What     2:29
04. By The Time You Get This     2:18
05. An Insult to the Fact Checkers     2:34
06. Mrs. Bluebeard     2:44
07. I Like Fun     3:01
08. Push Back the Hands     3:01
09. This Microphone     2:37
10. The Bright Side     2:29
11. When the Light Comes On     3:17
12. Lake Monsters     2:57
13. McCafferty’s Bib     2:35
14. The Greatest     1:48
15. Last Wave     3:25
Copyright ©2017 They Might Be Giants
Notes:
→¶→¶     Why is the world in love again? They Might Be Giants has announced the release of I Like Fun, a remarkable 15~track album to be available physically and digitally on January 19, 2018.
→¶→¶     I Like Fun jumps with surprises, vitality, and the startling point of view of these Brooklyn originals. Over a year in the making, songwriters and band founders John Linnell and John Flansburgh draw on themes of dread, death, and disappointment and set them to their driving, hyper~melodic music. The results will leave even the most heavy~hearted among us with a renewed sense of wonder. Fresh and sonically adventurous, the band’s command of the studio and the song is in rare form from beginning to end. Find out more and preview the record here.
→¶→¶     On I Like Fun, the spotlight is also on the band’s formidable long~standing live lineup; drummer Marty Beller, bassist Danny Weinkauf and lead guitarist Dan Miller. →¶→¶     While the group enjoys a reputation for delivering one of the liveliest shows around, the album accomplishes the rare feat of capturing that ecstatic intensity on disc. Co~produced with and mixed by Patrick Dillett (St. Vincent, Donald Fagen, The National, Mary J. Blige), the album was tracked and mixed at the brand~new Reservoir Studios — site of the legendary Skyline Studios where TMBG recorded their platinum~selling album Flood.
Description 2:
→¶→¶     I Like Fun is the 20th studio album by They Might Be Giants. The band began recording on April 3, 2017, using the same studio space that they did for Flood. In September, the Instant Fan Club website confirmed the album is scheduled to be released in January 2018.
→¶→¶     The album’s track listing was revealed on October 23, alongside an early download of the track “I Left My Body”. An early press release briefly visible on Amazon in November 2017 referred to the album by an earlier title, “My Murdered Remains”, a reference to a line in “Mrs. Bluebeard”. Track 11 appears on many online track listings as well as the album packaging as “When The Light Comes On”, which the band acknowledged was an error.
Review
TOM MOON. January 11, 20185:01 AM ET
→¶→¶     John Flansburgh and John Linnell, the braintrust of They Might Be Giants, have been writing songs at a seemingly furious pace for somewhere around 30 years. Lots of songs. Twenty albums’ worth, plus those daily Dial~A~Song ditties of the pre~Internet era, plus movie soundtrack one~offs and TV themes (“Boss of Me,” the Malcolm in the Middle theme, won a Grammy), plus ad campaigns (a memorable one included 14 songs for Dunkin’ Donuts).
→¶→¶     What usually happens with this much output: Over time, the songs can seem templated, cut from familiar molds. Indeed, TMBG has developed a large toolkit of such devices; just about every record (even the ones for kids) offers a balance of delirious inspiration and steady~handed professional songwriting boilerplate. These guys know how to craft an addictive refrain, and precisely when to deploy it, and how many times it should repeat.
→¶→¶     The sparkly I Like Fun suggests that Flansburgh and Linnell are working hard, really hard, to reduce their dependence on those boilerplate elements, in hopes of breaking through to genuinely new ideas. Several of the tunes are built on clipped, almost coded verses that don’t last the typical eight measures, a single structural change that makes them jarring. Other compositions are scored for strange combinations of horns and kazoo~style fake~horn vocalizing. Some pieces are short little etudes, others are more like suites: “Lake Monsters,” which imagines a world where lake creatures emerge to vote on election day, pivots from a sticky midtempo R&B groove to a fully revved double~time shout for the finale. This sets up the closing deep thought: “No hypnosis like a mass hypnosis ‘cause a mass hypnosis isn’t happening.”     
→¶→¶     It’s possible to miss some of that dark stuff — and it’s high~octane Black Mirror~ish stuff, not run~of~the~mill existential gloom — because Flansburgh and Linnell wrap everything in radiantly bubbly power pop, and fuzz~guitar punk, and Beach Boys vocal~harmony flourishes. I Like Fun is a series of lugubrious songs about death, dismemberment and other unfortunate events dressed up for a Friday night joy ride. Of the several missing limbs discussed in these songs, the most disorienting comes just after the joyous Jackson 5~style guitar introduction to “Push Back The Hands:” “You would give your right arm to go back to when you had a right arm.”
→¶→¶     Likewise, TMBG look at death from all sides. “I Left My Body” employs a sanguine, Kinks~ish tone to tell of a departure, and it all seems fairly conventional until the line about how “they’re gonna tow you if they think you’re abandoned.” It’s the parking authority as the essence of fear, even in death’s aftermath.
→¶→¶     It’s the same vaguely absurd idea~juxtaposition that They Might Be Giants have always dished, just lifted into a loftier place — song~nerdism taken to rococo extremes. When you consider all the songs that these two people have written, it’s downright inspiring to hear them still out there trawling for those divine (and increasingly elusive) moments of pop bliss. →¶→¶     https://www.npr.org/
Albums: http://tmbw.net/wiki/Category:TMBG_Albums
Website: https://www.theymightbegiants.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tmbg
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theymightbegiants/
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They Might Be Giants — I Like Fun (February 9, 2018)

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