Limited two disc (CD/DVD) edition of the duo's 2008 children's album, the follow-up to their Here Come The ABCs kids release from 2005. Combining a knack for infectious melodies with a quirky, bizarre sense of humor and a vaguely avant-garde aesthetic borrowed from the New York post-punk underground, They Might Be Giants became one of the most unlikely alternative success stories of the late '80s and early '90s. Musically, the duo of John Flansburgh and John Linnell borrowed from everywhere, but their freewheeling eclecticism was enhanced by their arcane, geeky sense of humor. UMGD/Disney. 2008.
They Might Be Giants are like the handful of best-selling authors who also happen to be doctors or astrophysicists: They do two things so well--in their case kids' music and grown-up music--that it seems a little unfair, like the talent scale has been tipped too hard in their favor. Like Here Come the 123s, the follow-up to 2005's Here Come the ABCs, and TMBG's third kids' record. Here the Johns--Linnell and Flansburgh--are up to their usual smart shenanigans: In "Seven," a bunch of skinny numerals crash a stranger’s living room before settling in for some cake, and in "Nine Bowls of Soup" an ichthyosaur is so enamored of soup he works out a way to balance a multitude of bowls on his scaly body. The brilliance isn’t limited to the lyrics. The Johns know a thing or 1-2-3 about crafting seriously jammable music. Highights include “High Five,” a flippy, freewheeling dab of disco, and “One Everything,” a juiced-up, jangly rocker with a message for listeners ages 3 to 93: an untidy room actually is an insult to the omniverse. --Tammy La Gorce