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Editors’ Notes

It's pretty funny that two paeans to sloth are buried on this hard-working 19-song album, but that's hardly the only good joke on Flood, trickster duo They Might Be Giants' third album. (Try the title of "We Want a Rock.") Their first for Elektra, it finds the indie wunderkinds taking their omnivorous, only-half-kidding pop above ground. Four tracks produced by English hitmakers Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley (Elvis Costello, Madness) include a wry, genuinely touching missive from a nightlight ("Birdhouse in Your Soul") and an obscure '50s geopolitical lesson ("Istanbul (Not Constantinople)"). Concept-sealing musical detail abounds, from the noisy party at which "Your Racist Friend" holds forth to the elegant statement from noise guitarist Arto Lindsay that ends "Hearing Aid." Proof that TMBG's concepts traveled well even when separated from college-radio environs: Flood eventually went gold.

Biography

Formed: 1983 in Boston, MA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Combining a knack for infectious melodies with a quirky sense of humor and a vaguely avant-garde aesthetic borrowed from the New York post-punk underground, They Might Be Giants became an unlikely alternative rock success story as they reinvented themselves throughout their career. Musically, John Flansburgh and John Linnell borrowed from everywhere, but this eclecticism was enhanced by their arcane sensibilities. The duo referenced everything from British Invasion to Tin Pan Alley, while making...
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