They Might Be Giants Dial-A-Song week 19: ECNALUBMA

Yesterday, I wrote a handful of short reviews of recent They Might Be Giants songs. Then, when I hit publish, I got an error message and they were all gone. So today, I'm going to try and write them again, as four separate posts, and save regularly. As in, like, every couple of sentences.


Some They Might Be Giants songs sound incomprehensibly coded. Like "Stuff Is Way" from Nanobots -- it sounds like there's a narrative that should be comprehensible, and like there's probably a good reason it's veiled, but there's no way to reach into the song and pull out meaning.

ECNALUBMA isn't really like that. The concealed narrative is really transparent. The concealment doesn't serve to hide the message, just to render it strange. It's nauseating, in such a good way -- like a horror movie, like a twisted version of dramatic irony where the narrator knows something that the audience doesn't, but we're invited to stand in the narrator's place, where we know the thing we're not supposed to know and still don't know it. Why did he know it was coming? Why does he talk about it in that worshipful way?

This song is engrossingly twisted and I love it.