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The Spine

They Might Be GiantsAudio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)

Price: $6.05 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 16 Songs, 2004 $9.49  
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Image of album by They Might Be Giants


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They Might Be Giants are an original band from Brooklyn, New York founded by John Flansburgh and John Linnell and including Dan Miller on guitar, Danny Weinkauf on bass, and Marty Beller, the king of the drums. TMBG works continuously — writing, recording, or touring. They Might Be Giants have also been involved in numerous television and film projects.

They Might Be ... Read more in Amazon's They Might Be Giants Store

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for 38 albums, 8 photos, discussions, and more.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 13, 2004)
  • Original Release Date: 2004
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Zoe Records
  • ASIN: B0002ANQTK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,611 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Experimental Film
2. Spine
3. Memo to Human Resources
4. Wearing a Raincoat
5. Prevenge
6. Thunderbird
7. Bastard Wants to Hit Me
8. The World Before Later On
9. Museum of Idiots
10. It's Kickin' In
11. Spines
12. Au Contraire
13. Damn Good Times
14. Broke in Two
15. Stalk of Wheat
16. I Can't Hide from My Mind

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A new record, their most rocking album ever! With their unique blend of catchy melodies and inscrutable lyrics, They Might Be Giants have lived a twenty-year frenzy of creative output, selling over three million albums and winning a Grammy in the process.

If ever they gave out Grammys for mule-minded consistency, then Sting would have a lot more awards in his villa. But coming in a close second would be They Might Be Giants. Keyboard player John Linnell and guitarist John Flansburgh have a sense of focus that would put even the Ramones to shame. From the Brooklyn duo's first demo tape in 1985 up to its frenzied latest, The Spine, the same ingredients remain at the fore: effortlessly catchy choruses, songs that smear the line between novelty and being novel (new ones include ""Memo to Human Resources" and "Museum of Idiots"), and musical backing that sounds like a cross between a polka party and someone throwing silverware down the stairs. It's a quirky approach that's not going to easily win over any new converts but the will certainly drive the dedicated legion of old ones to smile with familiar-yet-fresh material like "Experimental Film" and "Au Contraire." --Aidin Vaziri

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
120 of 129 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars To Infinity and Beyond August 2, 2004
Format:Audio CD
There used to be two types of reviews for a They Might Be Giants album. One would aim for newcomers, curious about the band. The other would speak to established fans who long-knew they were going to buy the album and were seeking validation, while sitting at their computers in their TMBG caps and shirts, while sipping coffee from their Tony Millionaire mugs, while either nodding or poising their cursors over the "Not Helpful" vote button. Now there's a disturbing third type, those who have lost the faith and want to know if it's worth the cash, giving the Giants a second or third chance.

THE SPINE is They Might Be Giants's tenth album. I've been with the band since a little before JOHN HENRY hit the sales racks. Gotta admit: I'm a fan-addict. With shaky hands I would unwrap each new release, drop it in the player, and start grinning even before the first track began. Halfway through the album I'd be nodding, half-smiling, and wondering what in the world was going on here. By the last track, I'd still be nodding, vaguely pleased. The CD would go back into its protective case, and I'd listen to an old favorite: Apollo 18, Flood, Lincoln. Because THOSE were the Giants I fell in love with.

They Might Be Giants is a progressive band--gods of music, in my opinion. They are always producing, always writing, always playing. They love what they do and it shows. They're always pushing the limits, trying new sounds, bending old sounds, crossing genres, and perfecting their art. Call me "fan-addict-al," but TMBG become the music for me. Of course, with such proliferation, they're bound to generate a different sound than the last album. Every album is a hearty step up for these guys.

THE SPINE is no different.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fun but especially mature pop-rock gem from John & John September 9, 2004
Format:Audio CD
They Might Be Giants' last rock album, 2001's Mink Car, was a decent but rather disjointed collection of tunes. The Spine, billed as the Brooklyn-based alternative-pop duo's 10th studio album, is their most cohesive to date, and among their best (though not quite as endearing as their self-titled 1986 debut, nor as consistently strong as their 1988 follow-up Lincoln, still my 2 favorite TMBG albums). With 16 songs crammed into 36 minutes, there's scarcely a wasted word or note -- though it kinda makes you *wish* there were more! The disc's overall sound is a fresh, invigorating mix of retro New Wave, power-pop, and psychedelic rock with traces of funk, electronica, jazz, cabaret, and vaudeville. For the most part, the usual playful absurdism and dark humor of TMBG's lyrics are reconciled with a newfound middle-aged gravity; after all, sweet-voiced singer-guitarist John Flansburgh turned 44 and twangy-voiced singer-keyboardist John Linnell turned 45 earlier this year.

A few of these tracks can actually stand among the Johns' very best: Linnell's rollicking ode to alcoholism, "Thunderbird" (a staple in the band's live shows since the late 1990's, finally making its way to CD); his unusually emotional ballad "Museum of Idiots"; Flansy's vulnerable, melancholy closing track, "I Can't Hide From My Mind" (the first verse and chorus of which he originally performed in the 2003 rockumentary Gigantic); and "Memo to Human Resources," Flans' affecting ode to white-collar depression and alienation, originally featured on this spring's Indestructible Object EP. But the remaining tracks are generally worthy additions to the TMBG songbook.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellence, some of the best tracks in years July 13, 2004
Format:Audio CD
Lovely little album.
Experimental Film-- A superb song that just feels *so* much like Them.
Spine-- Short, sweet and cute.
Memo To Human Resources-- Decent song from Indestructible Object EP
Wearing a Raincoat-- strange, wonderful song. Of the class of songs that I feel TMBG wants you to have fun singing (like Hovering Sombrero, House at the Top of the Tree, etc)
Prevenge-- Good, but much more a Mono Puff song than TMBG.
Thunderbird-- Delightful Linnell song. Probably will be one of your favorites.
Bastard Wants To Hit Me-- AMAZING. The first brilliant experimental song by TMBG in years. The other reviewers can't stand it, but I think they're just crazy. Give it a chance, it's so crisp, fun and paranoid. It's not dance music, but it is genius.
The World Before Later On-- Slow, short, solid track.
Museum Of Idiots-- You have to love this rendition. Crisp, beautiful, with horns playing accompaniment. They even seem to use horns for percussion. They've played MoI so many times Live that it must have been easy to perfect it on CD.
It's Kickin' In-- Another Mono Puff sort of song, but is experimental enough to stay in the TMBG realm. Quick, hopping, somewhat psychadelic.
Spines-- Half-minute of odd 'pop' music.
Au Contraire-- One of the best TMBG songs in years. Also on Indestructible Object.
Damm Good Times-- Flansburgh having fun, neat song.
Broke In Two-- Music reminds me a little of custom Weird Al riffs. Not overly impressive, but not bad.
Stalk of Wheat-- They're completely having fun with this one. So cute and playful.
I Can't Hide From My Mind-- Old school Dial-A-Song track, back with a completely different tune and a bit extended. Pleasant, slow and a bit tropical.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Renew My Subscription
Renew My Subscription is one of the best songs I have ever heard, and Linnell's voice fits it so perfectly. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Isaac F.
3.0 out of 5 stars Some skippable tracks
I'd say I like about half of the tracks on this album. A lot of it just seemed like filler unfortunately... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Kyle
5.0 out of 5 stars Aaaall of the people applaud!
I got this CD because it has the single "Damn Good Times" on it. Another great song I like is "Stalk of Wheat". Solid album from TMBG.
Published 7 months ago by Frank
4.0 out of 5 stars I Can't Hide from This Record
Upon my first listen to The Spine I felt a wave of disappointment wash over me. Where were the irresistible melodies? What happened to the clever wordplay and bizarre lyrics? Read more
Published 8 months ago by Lunar Boulevard
5.0 out of 5 stars TMBG Rocks Again!
They Might be Giants release a fantastic CD with tons of excellent songs. If you're a TMBG fan and dont own this CD, you should be ashamed. Read more
Published on August 10, 2010 by Bobby Chapman
4.0 out of 5 stars Hoodoo these guise think they R?
I borrowed this CD from the library out of curiosity and becuase I liked the "cartoon" artwork. I'd heard OF They Might Be Shrimps, but never heard any of their music (AFAIK). Read more
Published on November 11, 2009 by B. Clay Shannon
5.0 out of 5 stars A spine that grows on you
I have been a longtime fan of TMBG, since the "Flood" days, and I've seen the Johns in concert more than any other band. A curmudgeonly older fan, as another reviewer put it. Read more
Published on November 9, 2007 by Brian A. Schar
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Rich Tapestry
`The Spine' is another wonderfully eclectic offering from TMBG, with rich musical arrangements and extraordinary lyrics. Many tracks seem simultaneously familiar and new. Read more
Published on October 10, 2007 by Grimnebulin
5.0 out of 5 stars Meta-music
TMBG keep getting better--and even way better. The Spine exceeds my expectations. I fell in love with spines.

I hadn`t listened to any TMBG since "Factory Showroom". Read more
Published on July 23, 2007 by Ivan Yager
4.0 out of 5 stars Gonna make you fall in love again.
This was TMBG's 2004 release. It's pretty much what you expect from a TMBG album. Short songs with catchy melodies and absurd lyrics. Read more
Published on March 16, 2006 by Johnny Heering
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