Title - 'Join Us' ( Rounder)
Artist - They Might Be Giants
They Might Be Giants have just-released their new album, the fun-lovin' Join Us through Idlewild/Rounder Records and, as expected, it doesn't stray from anything they've ever done before ... thankfully!
From the opening gentle bounce/flow of 'Can't Keep Johnny Down,' Join Us welcomes you into a world you know very well. One that you feel comfortable residing in for 40 minutes. One that will keep you safe and musically warm.
The next of the 18 tracks is 'You Probably Get That A Lot,' which pounds (in its way) the spoken message home, before the clippity-clop of 'Old Pine Box' (complete with vocoder) and the guitar-heavy 'Canajoharie' come forth.
Actually recorded over nine months in New York City with producer Patrick Dillett, Join Us is a great album; I can't state this fact enough. Inclusive of their usual bouts of electronic burps on through to blazing lyrical tales, sure none of the tracks are long, but then again they don't have to be to get the message across.
'Cloisonné' is a lovely little love song, with 'Let Your Hair Hang Down' a traditional return to TMBG musical territory, before the electro beats of 'Celebration' come forth. The trumpet blast-opening to 'In Fact' leads us into a great song, one of the fullest on the album. The fast-paced 'When Will You Die' is next, with 'Protagonist' and the short, sweet and powerful 'Judy Is Your Viet Nam' backing it up.
FYI - Having released (an amazing) 15 studio albums prior to this new one, TMBG are also won two Grammy Awards, one in 2002 for their song 'Boss of Me', which served as the theme to Malcolm in the Middle! Just thought you'd like to know.
The infectious melodies with a quirky left-of-center sense of standing keep coming in the form of the Pet Shop Boys-ish 'Never Knew Love' and 'The Lady And The Tiger,' before (if there has to be, this is the one) the filler track, 'Spoiler Alert.'
The drum-fused 'Dog Walker' is definitely a weird one to behold. With electronically-twisted vocals, the song might not go anywhere too fast but is interesting, nonetheless! The introspective '2082' is next, then 'Three Might Be Duende,' before the album closer 'You Don’t Like Me' - complete with enough lyrical gems to stun a bull at ten paces - is finally brought forth.