Posted by: pop-break | March 5, 2013

Album Review: They Might Be Giants, ‘Nanobots’

jason kundrath doesn’t let stop…


If you haven’t heard of They Might Be Giants by now, allow me to share a few impressive facts:

The band chiefly consists of two creative geniuses from Brooklyn, NY: John Flansburgh and Jon Linnell.

Their first album dropped a few years back – in 1986.

Since then, they have consistently created their own brand of super-quirky, hyper-smart, semi-absurdist power pop.

They are a singular, beloved, prolific musical force.


In recent years, they teamed up with a small company (Disney) and released a series of educational albums and DVDs for children, making kids smarter and parents happier. But now they’re back to making music for adults.

Their latest release – Nanobots – is their 16th album, and it finds the band in supreme form. If you’ve ever loved TMBG, you will love them again. Across the album’s no less than 25 tracks, every fantastic element of the band explodes over and over again in technicolor. The melodies are sticky. The hooks are reckless. The lyrics are alternately absurd, educational, and hysterical.

While the majority of pop music forever treads well-worn ground, TMBG realized early on that the canvas is hopelessly underused. Why be so stodgy about it? So once again, Linnell and Flansburgh use their mastery of the art form to write songs about whatever the hell they want. Combustible heads on “You’re on Fire.” Scientific tributes on “Tesla.” Oedipal hangups on “Call You Mom.” Nouns on … er … “Nouns.”

The common thread is simply a contagious sense of creativity, joy, and fun. Nanobots is overflowing with it. Its wealth of ideas is highly digestible and designed for modern, shorter attention spans. Every track clocks in well under 3:30 and some aren’t any longer than 9 seconds. But make no mistake, every track is excellent and essential. This is TMBG’s world, and it is well worth an extended visit.


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