They-Might-Be-Giants-M-Review-No27THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS



On Nanobots—their 12th studio album, not counting the four they’ve made for children—They Might Be Giants continue to be very serious about the business of being silly. This time out, the indie mainstays rhyme about combustible heads, the misguided commitments of karate, and occasionally even educational topics, as on their homage to Nikola Tesla and his works. With 25 tracks clocking in at just over 45 minutes, the pace isn’t as frantic as was likely intended. Some of the nine tracks that are less than a minute long sound like forced plot bridges in Broadway musicals, and these could have been excised without the audience missing them. TMBG do manage a few savvy musical tricks, however, such as balancing a rhyming couplet off of synthesized string arrangements on the chorus of “Black Ops” and working in sax solos that stay on the right side of kitschy. After more than 30 years, it’s impressive that TMBG continue to be stewards of the ridiculous while keeping their dignity intact. –Amanda Farah


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