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Thing a Week Four

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Album Review

Finishing off his string of song-per-week albums, Jonathan Coulton takes a little piece of everything he's touched upon in previous albums and puts the influences together. There's some pathos and some power pop; there are love songs, singer/songwriter ballads, and heavily overhauled cover songs. The album opens with a power pop bit devoted to the joys of SkyMall shopping, followed by a slightly heart-wrenching ballad to the male seahorse as he's abandoned by the female. After a creepy turn courtesy of some excellent use of minor chords in "Creepy Doll," one of the best compositions of the albums is presented, a singer/songwriter ballad to a Sasquatch that invokes a bit of a backing band and a small, light crew of backup singers in "Under the Pines." Just after the fairly quirky Bigfoot love song, self-defeatism gets a round of power pop par excellence in "Big Bad World One." It's this constant mix of silliness in lyrical content and deeper, heartfelt emotions and allegories to the follies of human experience that really encapsulates Coulton's work. Always wrapped up in an arrangement worthy of more mainstream success ("Pull the String" could very well have been a Foo Fighters hit), the songs flow along their various courses, some paying tribute to classic artists or their general aesthetics, some entirely original in form, some outright corny with a wink to the audience. Power pop constantly mixes with nonstandard content (catalog shopping in "SkyMall," dystopian chaos in "The Big Boom"); gorgeous sensitive ballads mix with calculated hatred in "Make You Cry." Each installation in the Thing a Week, Rovi

Customer Reviews

What Kind of Sad World Is It . . .

When the latest lame single from Avril Lavigne (a fine person, I'm sure, not saying anything bad about her, but still . . .) gets 3400 (that's three-thousand, four-hundred) reviews on iTunes in, what, a week? And Thing a Week Four from Jonathan Coulter, who is not only more talented but also taller than Avril Lavigne by several inches, only has two? Now possibly three? What in the world is wrong with humanity? All I know is, tracks like "Mr. Fancy Pants" and "Creepy Doll" and "You Ruined Everything" are a lot more compelling and real-life than "SK8ER BOY" (really, I'm not picking on Avril, I'm just trying to make a point). If you live an actual life and/or have an actual job, I guarantee you will find more to identify with in the works of Jonathan Coulton than in, say, the works of Fergie or Natalie Furtado or The Red Hot Chili Peppers (who are all fine folks, by the way, I'm sure of it). The point being: buy everything Jonathan has ever done! That is all.

Coulton's work is to be savored like fine wine.

As the last set of songs from Coultons stunningly successful podcast series "Thing A Week," 'Thing A Week Four' contains some of the best songs of all: "Under the Pines", which posits that during the filming of 'In Search Of' Leonard Nimoy and Sasquatch had a tawdry love affair, under the aformentioned pines. It also contains one of the shortest songs, "Mr. Fancy Pants", and stirring renditions of two Queen songs to close out the set. Coulton is to be lauded for such an effort, and congratulated on it's success. Please enjoy these works.


Jonathan Coulton is very funny *and* very listenable. It's hard to find clever music that's this good musically. His covers, like We Are the Champions, are creative and melodic, but the wry, funny stuff like Creepy Doll is really wonderful. Then there are the sweet tunes like Seahorse. Anyway, love him. Buy everything.


Born: December 1, 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 Four, Jonathan Coulton
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genres: Pop, Music
  • Released: Dec 15, 2006

Customer Ratings