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music reviewmusic reviewmusic review  out of 4 Music Review: Flood

Artist: They Might be Giants
Genre: Rock/Pop
Release Date: January 1990

Review by LarryG
3½ stars out of 4

TMBG are good candidates for the most fun band of the 90's. They've consistently been able to have a good time and still use their brain. All their records have multiple moments of pop genius but Flood is the best example of what makes TMBG great. Flood starts with a mock serious overture, "Theme from Flood" then works into the pop perfection of Birdhouse in Your Soul. Birdhouse exemplifies the charms of John Linnell and John Flansburgh of TMBG. Linnell's charming nasal whine tells the story of Blue Canary the nightlight. The music, propelled by a simple, big beat, keeps gaining momentum before reaching an ecstatic conclusion. Flood maintains a balance, staying fun, not getting too stupid. Your Racist Friend is able to communicate a serious topic in a straight forward, unpretentious way. It's also a great rock song but the Johns realize that the fun, silly trappings of other songs wouldn't fit. Particle Man, Dead, the story of being reincarnated as a bag of groceries, and We Want a Rock, on the other hand, are proudly and joyfully goofy. Flood was a transition record for TMBG. It was the last time the two Johns played almost all the instruments with the help of a drum machine. They're darn good musicians. Their take on Instanbul(not Constantinople) is brilliantly inventive and gleeful. Twisting, an ebullient rocker has Linnell's charmingly cheesy keyboard and a great fast guitar line from Flansburgh. It makes sense that TMBG would want to use professional musicians as their ambitions grew but Flood has a great DIY feel of guys who were getting better, having a great time and realizing that people were actually interested in what they did.



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