Join Us


Brooklyn indie-rock originators They Might Be Giants claim to once again be making music for adults, but when it comes to the “the two Johns”—founding frontmen and songwriters Flansburgh and Linnell—“grown-up” has always been a relative term. Were it not for a handful of PG-13 words and concepts, Join Us might appeal to young fans of Here Come the ABCs and Here Comes Science, two of four children’s albums the band has released in the last decade. The Johns describe a cop-punching troublemaker on “Old Pine Box” and await the demise of a certain world leader—a recent U.S. president, perhaps—on “When Will You Die.” Mostly, though, they keep it sweet, goofy and tuneful, reviving the wordy, nerdy pop sound they created in the mid-’80s. For every silly march-time number or funk-rock toss-off, the band offers a “Celebration” or “Can’t Keep Johnny Down”—cerebral power-pop affirmations for aging hipsters. —Kenneth Partridge

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