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Here Come the 123s (Deluxe Edition)

They Might Be Giants

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Album Review

Here Come the 123's, the numerically inclined sequel to They Might Be Giants' winning CD/DVD set Here Come the ABC's, presents more fun and unexpected ways to learn from John Flansburgh and John Linnell. The album begins in mathematically precise fashion, starting with the bouncy bossa nova of "Zeroes" before hitting one through ten and then onto fancier numbers like 12 and infinity. "One Everything"'s funky rock is one of TMBG's typical brain-twisters, a little bit zen ("there's only one everything") and a little bit urgent ("please clean your room/we share the same omniverse"). Many of the other songs are just as fun, but feel more like standard kid's fare than Here Come the ABC's did, and need to be experienced on the DVD for their full, quirky impact. That said, story songs like "Triops Has Three Eyes" and "One Dozen Monkeys," and movement songs such as "Ooh La! Ooh La!" are never less than adorable. However, as Here Come the 123's' numbers get higher, the album builds momentum. After getting basics like "Ten Mississippi" out of the way, on songs like "Nonagon," the Johns get down to the kind of smart kookiness and purposeful silliness that fans of all ages have come to expect. Seven gets two songs: "Seven Days a Week" is an anti-reveille full of laziness and trumpets, and is a singalong favorite in the making. "Seven," meanwhile, imagines a world where number sevens can ring the doorbell and hang out for awhile eating cake. "Nine Bowls of Soup"'s bowl-balancing ichthyosaur makes that song a standout too, and things get literally loopy on "Figure Eight"'s action-packed, figure-skating rock, and on "Infinity," a tribute to eight's sideways sibling. Even if it's not quite as brilliantly clever as Here Come the ABC's, Here Come the 123's never talks, or sings, down to its audience. [A CD/DVD version was also released.]

Customer Reviews

John and John are great

Nothing brings me greater joy than watching my three year old rocking out to TMBG, the band I've loved for 20 years. Something about 'Seven' really gets him going! But before you buy this 'deluxe' version, know that you can get the videos for free in the TMBG Friday Night Family podcast. Don't know if they're all available, but I'd give that a try first.

"I hope you guys like soup."

Well, I'm not a father to any youngins (I'm 15), but this is by far one of the best albums the band has put out in the new milennium. Some of the songs are so good, it's hard to believe that they are intended for small children. "Infinity" is a fine addition from a non-John, and "Triops Has Three Eyes" is so clever, I still chuckle at the washing machine line. A vast improvement on ABCs. Let's hope this record gets a Grammy, guys!

They Might Be Giants is awsome!

After I played the podcasts for my very yung girls, I had to buy this. These vidios are very creative, educational, and they love them.


Formed: 1983 in Boston, MA

Genre: Alternative

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

Combining a knack for infectious melodies with a quirky, bizarre sense of humor and a vaguely avant-garde aesthetic borrowed from the New York post-punk underground, They Might Be Giants became one of the most unlikely alternative success stories of the late '80s and early '90s. Musically, John Flansburgh and John Linnell borrowed from everywhere, but their freewheeling eclecticism was enhanced by their arcane, geeky sense of humor. The duo would reference everything from British Invasion to Tin...
Full Bio

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