Tuesday, July 3, 2012

They Might Be Giants - Flood

This is one of my wife's all-time favorite albums, and she's not wrong. Flood is fantastic. It was generally received as a joke or gimmick album by most people. A lot of people thought of songs like "Partical Man" and "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)" as short-lived jokes somewhere along the lines of Ray Stevens' "The Streak" or Bucker and Garcia's "Pac-Man Fever." The TMBG faithful know better. Flood is an album whose odd and sometimes stream of consciousness lyrics belie deeper meanings and multiple layers of understanding.

"Birdhouse in Your Soul" is a beautiful and poetic love song that doesn't just beat you over the head with overt meaning. The aforementioned "Particle Man" is laden with existential ponderings as it attempts an outsider's view of mankind. Either that or these songs are about other things entirely. In many cases TMBG have kept from stating outright that "this song means this and that song means that." There is plenty of room for interpretation and personalization. This is one of many reasons why They Might Be Giants are still going strong decades after their inception. They aren't what they seem. They're smarter than you think and the music itself is better than you remember. Flood is one of the best albums in my collection and it never stops being fun to listen to.

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