2013 – Breakaway Recordings
Alternative/ Pop/ Rock
NOTE: I am reviewing the 2013 reissue of Lincoln which includes the original 1988 album, They’ll Need A Crane EP released in 1989, Purple Toupee EP released in 1991, Miscellaneous T released in 1997 and 10 additional bonus tracks.
This 2013 reissue of the classic They Might Be Giants album Lincoln really acts a sort of ‘best of’ for the group as it delivers hit after hit. It bursts open with the incredibly catchy Anna Ng and doesn’t slow down or miss a beat of melodic pop weirdness from there. The entire record is just crammed full of tracks like Cowtown, Shoehorn With Teeth, and It’s Not My Birthday which just make the listener want to dance around and sing along with the nonsense that this quirky duo are sprouting. But this is not to say that the album is altogether frivolous or one-dimensional. Quite the contrary in fact, there are some wonderful tracks like Lie Still, Little Bottle, They’ll Need A Crane, and Kiss Me, Son Of God which weave in with the band’s propensity for strangeness a certain kind of deep-seated tragedy and worldliness that makes this record really something quite special.
The music itself is also something to behold with its intricate mixture of pure pop melodies, unusual instrumentation, experimentation with musical format, and kitschy jingle-writing. I suppose that some may find this tendency towards thruway ‘tunes’ annoying, but personally I think that it is actually somewhat endearing in a world where every band feels the need to present themselves as the most tortured of artists. Really I think that with a band such as They Might Be Giants one should be content to take a break from the harsh realities of life as it is and take an hour out to enjoy the fun and silliness that is to be found in the most mundane of things (such as wordplay, accordions, and men dressed in Santa suits).
Perhaps it’s just a matter of personal taste, but I really can’t see how anyone cannot have just a little bit of fun with Lincoln unless they are totally devoid of soul. I’m not saying that it’s going to be everyone’s favourite album, but there’s just so much that’s great on here that I’m sure everyone will find at least one track to let loose to.
In conclusion, I would recommend this record incredibly highly. It really should be one of those things that one just has sitting on their shelf for those many times when it is the perfect thing to play. Is it one of the best records ever? No, but there’s just so much on here that is wonderful and the whole thing is just such an amazing amount of fun that’s it really quite hard to not love.
Here’s a video for one of the many, many brilliant tracks from They Might Be Giants’ record ‘Lincoln’
- Nanobots Live EP – They Might Be Giants (ljfacesthemusic.wordpress.com)