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.
This song, more than any other of the Dial-A-Song songs that have come out this year, really sounds to me like a They Might Be Giants song. It reminds me of "I Should Be Allowed To Think" and "Everything Right is Wrong Again" and "She Thinks She's Edith Head."[1. By the way -- "She Thinks She's Edith Head" exists in two different versions on two different albums, "Mink Car" and "Long Tall Weekend," and I'm pretty sure they only recorded it once, and they accidentally split up some of the tracks and decided to release it twice. It's a lot of fun to listen to with both tracks playing at once. There's no mysterious reveal or anything, it's just a nicer, more complete sound.] I know that's kind of a ridiculous thing to say, because so many of the other songs fit perfectly in the tradition of TMBG work, and because so much of what TMBG does is all about trying to do new, interesting things, and not sound the way they sounded in the 80's. And maybe it's just the cold war cultural references, but I feel like the structure and the instrumentation evoke that feel, too: so much of what TMBG does sounds like a build on, or parody of, other genres or traditions or narratives. This one just sounds like them.