Bringing their usual whimsical energy
They Might be Giants returns to the musical world with their latest studio album, DELIVERED. This is the band’s 23rd full album, including their children’s albums. Filled with all kinds of driving sounds and tones, DELIVERED just never has a dull moment. The group brings their usual fun and carefree attitude, taking listeners with them for the ride.
John Linnell and John Flansburgh met and began playing and writing music together as a teenager in Lincoln, Massachusetts. Even after parting ways to venture out to different colleges, in 1981 the duo reunited. They released their first record in 1986, now fast forwarding, DELIVERED is their 23rd album after their release in 2018, My murdered remains. Their musical creations also extend to children’s music and podcasts as well as other independent releases.
The opening track, “Synopsis for Latecomers” invites listeners to join them in trying to make everyone understand the madness that is They Might be Giants. The song plays like a march, or rather a sailors’ working song, which answers curious questions about the weird sounds and bustle emitted by the songs that are about to play. It’s simple with a catchy snare percussion and a gritty, hard-cut guitar.
Resembling a modern-day Beach Boys track, “Moonbeam Rays” opens with an over-exaggerated nasal voice that is joined by sunny surfer rock instrumental. As the song progresses, it quickly takes on a mellow punk element, combined with an indie rock mix from the early 2000s. The drums begin to crash and roll, and the guitar whispers in the background. . Certainly, by the time the song ends, the nasal quality of the voice makes it impossible to want to replay it.
“Lord Snowdon” greets the listener with a delicious’ 60s style organ that plays throughout the song. Among the organ playing, the song gives the impression of an incoming army march as the fighters “show up for work.” “If Day for Winnipeg” hits ears with a clash of several sounds culminating in a deep, whining bass buzz. With all the different elements, this song feels like a fanciful fever dream.
The oddly playful but terribly dark track “Drown the Clown” sounds like a colorful children’s party song, but it portrays quite the topic of adults. The hoppy twangy of the organ in the background brings the track to the major key, making the dark lines sing along with a smile to the listener.
“Part of You Wants to Believe Me” is an unrecorded single that showcases major tone and energy throughout the album. This happy, happy track sings about the high caused by taking a drug and the confusion that comes with going down the ride. No matter what the subject is between the lines, the song is a total snapper that comes alive and rising with every listen.
The closing track, “Less Than One”, is a song full of energy from start to finish, ending the record on a powerful note. Vocally, this gives the effect of the song continuing to rise and rise as the voice rises higher and higher in the hook.
Globally, DELIVERED is a fun, eccentric record full of excitement and upbeat musical talent. They could be giants once again bringing their personal tone, leading to a never dull moment.