The Else by They Might Be Giants

They Might Be Giants have a lot in common with "Weird Al" Yankovic: They have a quirky, unique sound; they have been making music for over two decades; and after all that time, they manage to release strong albums. With The Else, the two Johns (Flansburgh and Linnell) of They Might Be Giants have combined their cleverness with strong music.

Fans of They Might Be Giants will get a familiar feeling at the almost-excessively cleverly song titles ("The Cap'm" , "Bee of the Bird of the Moth") on The Else. Their cleverness is supported by some very strong music, undoubtedly helped by the producers the Dust Brothers. The synthesizer-strong tunes get funky, sentimental, exciting, raw, and even sparse. The result is a pretty strong album with plenty of songs that'll stay in your head. And there's a bonus CD of music that doesn't quite fit in with the main album but provides some light entertainment.

The final song on the album, "The Mesopotamians," is about a band made up of members of this ancient group of people ("Sargon, Hammurabi, Ashrubanipal and Gilgamesh") who everyone else thinks no longer exist, but they've been driving around playing music the whole time. This may be a reflection of how They Might Be Giants sometimes feel, making album after album thay fly under the radar. Let's hope The Else gets noticed: It's certainly worth it.

Overall Grade: B+

Reviewed by James Lynch

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