Album Review: They Might Be Giants- Nanobots

They Might Be Giants describes their new album, Nanobots, as “25 unreasonable songs in 45 impossible minutes”. Also known by their initials, TMBG has been producing albums since 1986. Band members John Flansburth and John Linnell began writing as teenagers in high school, and were reunited after college to continue their music project. Since their debut work, They Might Be Giants, TMBG has put out 15 albums, most recently Nanobots. Released by Idlewinds Records on March 5th, it is the first album the band has made since 2011. On the cover, an old fashion painting with a few new age alterations is perfectly symbolic of the album’s music.

For Nanobots, Flansburth and Linnell are joined by back up guitarist Dan Miller, bassist Danny Weinkauf, and drummer Marty Beller. Combining harmonious vocals and pulsing synth with a full band, the album travels through a range of emotions. Comical lyrics and goofy song topics are nestled in between heart-felt tracks in this experimental work. Listening to Nanobots for the first time, I had to chuckle. You can’t help it, its hilarious. From “Black ops, black ops, a holiday for secret cops” to “You’re so proud of your circular karate chop. Afternoons in the mirror doing pop and lock”, Flansburth and Linnell throw traditional composition out the window.

Beginning with the attention-grabbing beat of the first track, “You’re On Fire”, the catchy guitar rifts blend excellently with a driving drumbeat and a melody that you’ll be singing for the rest of the day. Shifting between the summer-esque feel of tracks like “Nanobots” and the emotional “think about your life” kind of tracks like “The Darlings of Lumberland”, TMBG measles their way into your heart. With track times range between six seconds and three minutes, Nanobots is able to break up the changes in attitude without interrupting your mood. Overall, this album is excellent. It flawlessly integrates the cliché pop that you can’t deny liking with creative lyrics and clever instruments that will leave you bobbing your head for the remainder of the day.

 

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