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Artificial Heart

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Album Review

On his first album after returning from his self-imposed hiatus on recording new material, singer/songwriter Jonathan Coulton draws upon the lessons of the Johns and Jonathans who have come before him on Artificial Heart. The first John is They Might Be Giants’ John Flansburgh, who has the distinction of being the first person, other than Coulton himself, to handle the production on one of his albums. Right out of the blocks, the album opener, “Sticking It to Myself,” makes the hand of Flansburgh immediately apparent with a song that has that perfect mix of eclecticism and solid pop songcraft upon which the TMBG man has made his name. Despite this, the album doesn’t come off like Coulton’s audition reel for a spot in They Might Be Giants, as the songwriter deftly injects a lot of his own personality into the songs through his lyrics. This brings us to the influential Jonathan, Jonathan Richman, who Coulton — with his ability to see the wonder, humor, and sadness in the mundane world — feels like a spiritual successor to. This quality allows Coulton to create songs that are more like little poignant slices of life than pop constructions, breathing that spark of life into songs like “Glasses.” As an album, Artificial Heart is like a panopticon that gives the listener the opportunity to observe an array of different lives, and offers them the chance to feel a little something different while peering into each window. And even though it’s a more emotionally heavy album than a lot of his previous work, Coulton still knows how to leave people with a smile, ending the album with two new versions of his famous Portal and Portal 2 theme songs “Still Alive” (featuring a guest spot from Tegan and Sara’s Sara Quin) and “Want You Gone” (which features JoCo himself on vocals) as well as “The Stache,” a touching tribute to mustaches and the men who proudly wear them. With this kind of effortless versatility and easy charm, it’s no wonder Jonathan Coulton has managed to find a special place in people's hearts, artificial or otherwise.

Customer Reviews

Artificial Heart

Jonathan's style is unique to him, and I personally love it! With songs like "Want you gone" and "Good morning Tucson", it's hard to go wrong.

Makes you wanna get a electric guitar and sing all of these songs. Don't forge that ukulele.

A little mellow, a little boom, a little electric, a little zoom.
What could be better? Joco has created a masterpiece of sound, vocals, and thought in this Album.
What's more? It doesn't even cost that much. Better yet, if you share it with your friends, they will buy it and send it to you and you can rock out in your high school forever!!!
The danger in this album? It makes you feel like "I won't come down today."
But awesome!
P.S. the sequel to Still Alive is in here!
Also reccommened: Adam Lambert & Skrillex. (Adam Lambert for the sexuality, Skrillex for heat pounding music.)

So worth it.

Every song in this album can set pretty much any mood you'd like. Some are really chill, some rather exciting. I'm going to go listen to all these in loop.


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
Artificial Heart, Jonathan Coulton
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Customer Ratings