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Thing a Week Two

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Album Review

Continuing his song-a-week creations, Jonathan Coulton moves forward with his songs of heartache and loneliness, but indeed moves into geekier territory in this second installment. The album opens with a randomized stream-of-consciousness description of pictures displayed on Flickr, and other songs touch on such hot topics as extraplanetary prison colonies, competitive curling, and aging ravers. With that said, however, each song again encapsulates some element of the human experience, a single emotion. "You Could Be Here" uses a mall vendor as protagonist in a clear array of longing and anguish. Companionate love gets a run in "I Will," as does a mix of unadulterated joy, energy, and pity in a tribute to a rave dancer. A song theoretically about curling unveils a thread of longing for recognition. The bluesy "Don't Talk to Strangers" pleads for a lover not to leave. As with all of Coulton's work, there's a subtext underneath most of the songs, using highly crafted arrangements to lighten an otherwise heavy pill of pathos. There is, of course, lighter fare as well, some of it even more enjoyable. "Stroller Town" lets Coulton explore surf rock à la the Beach Boys in the context of baby strollers, and the cult favorite "Re: Your Brains" presents a rock anthem give and take between an office worker and his zombie coworkers, all in office doublespeak (should-be-classic line: "We're not unreasonable, I mean no one's gonna eat your eyes"). The stylings and music can be classified as geek rock (or perhaps geek pop) due to the general quirkiness, but the content is less shallow than the stereotypical geek rock, with emotional depth cleverly added to the fun of the genre. As with the rest of the Thing a Week series, this one is definitely worth a listen.


Born: 01 December 1970 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s, '10s

When They Might Be Giants were first starting out they experimented with an answering machine service named Dial-a-Song, by means of which listeners could call them in Brooklyn and listen to a random taped song. The service was popular enough that it broke down frequently, but not before it helped them get signed to an indie label, Bar/None. Jonathan Coulton, standing on the shoulders of the Giants both musically and spiritually, found fame by the 21st century equivalent of Dial-a-Song through "Thing...
Full bio
Thing a Week Two, Jonathan Coulton
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  • 8,99 €
  • Genres: Pop, Music
  • Released: 29 September 2006

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