Top positive review
Good, but not incredible
on March 5, 2012
The first things I have noticed while reading these reviews:
- Most people long for the same 90's feel
- Some people want them to change (I just read some guy who essentially said that he liked them in the beginning, then started not following their changes, and now like them returning to form, but somehow still want them to change.)
- There's been a lot of bashing on The Else and other recent albums
First, I liked The Else. It was different, kind of moody, but it had some really great tracks, Bee of the Bird of the Moth (which I concluded was a metaphor for the Theory of Evolution), The Shadow Government (great music video), The Mesopotamians (another great music video), and my personal favorite, With the Dark (kind of like a rock opera in itself). And to complement the main release, there was the bonus disk, Cast Your Pod to the Wind, which had more of the classic track structures from TMBG, which might be just as good as the first disc. Usually, the people criticizing The Else haven't heard the bonus disc.
That said, Join Us is a lot more like their earlier releases. After listening through it twice, the songs that mainly come to mind are Cloisoneé, Canajoharie and The Lady and the Tiger. Let Your Hair Hang Down, When Will You Die and Can't Keep Johnny are fun, but the lyrics aren't nearly as interesting as the ones before. That said, there are also some pretty bad tracks, like You Don't Like Me, Old Pine Box, Never Knew Love and Celebration (kind of sounded like a badly conceived pop song.) That said, the only one that I'd consider skipping over is the latter.
Putting this in contrast to other albums is pretty hard. On one hand, you're don't have any songs that fill exactly the niche as Birdhouse in Your Soul or The Guitar (the best song off of Apollo 18). But on the other hand, because really no good They Might Be Giants song sounds like another, you really can never get a song that is as good in a certain way as another. And besides, the more I listen to this, the better it tends to get.