Album 0110: They Might Be Giants – Factory Showroom

Release Date: 1996
Genre: Alternative Rock

Tracklisting:

1. Token Back To Brooklyn/S-E-X-X-Y (04:52)
2. Till My Head Falls Off (02:54)
3. How Can I Sing Like A Girl? (04:32)
4. Exquisite Dead Guy (02:02)
5. Metal Detector (03:50)
6. New York City (03:03)
7. Your Own Worst Enemy (01:46)
8. XTC Vs. Adam Ant (03:37)
9. Spiraling Shape (04:25)
10. James K. Polk (03:05)
11. Pet Name (04:04)
12. I Can Hear You (01:58)
13. The Bells Are Ringing (03:32)

Total Length: 43:40

Token Back To Brooklyn is actually a minute-long hidden track that starts before the album on a CD. Kind of a neat bonus. S-E-X-X-Y has some neat moments, but something about the production and pacing of the song just puts me off. It’s like I want to like it, but there’s a mental block. Till My Head Falls Off just kind of feels boring. I recognize that there are some good ideas in it, but again something is blocking me from liking it.

How Can I Sing Like A Girl? starts off with some really cool synths, but this time I can place exactly what I don’t like about it. The pace is atrocious, the song needed to be sped up for sure, it doesn’t feel like it goes anywhere. Exquisite Dead Guy feels like a bunch of unfinished ideas and none of them really work. Metal Detector however is a pretty great song. I don’t really like the idea of almost all the vocals being really subdued by whichever John it is, but this song has a lot of things going right that cancel that out.

New York City gets pretty close to greatness. I like some bits of the arrangement, and the lyrics and vocals are good but something puts me off like a bunch of the other songs on here. I know I don’t like the guitar sound on this particular track. Your Own Worst Enemy is an odd song that I’m glad is over with quickly, because once again it doesn’t seem to do anything. XTC Vs. Adam Ant has a terrible, terrible intro, but once the song gets going it’s a lot of fun. Once again I can’t stand the guitar tone, but the rest is very cool.

Spiraling Shape isn’t terribly bad, but it doesn’t really please me a ton. It goes on a bit too long and doesn’t really feel defined. James K. Polk is really cool though and this is probably because it’s an older song they re-recorded for the album. Pet Name is fairly good, it’s got some neat moments but like most other tracks just feels sluggish. I Can Hear You is a very cool technical thing. They actually recorded it on a cylinder, so the juxtaposition of a modern song with synths being recorded on one of the first recording devices is very cool. The actual song isn’t too interesting though.

The Bells Are Ringing is almost a good song. I like the vocal line, and bells are always a good thing but the last bit of the song kind of falls apart. This album should be good, but it isn’t. I can’t quite describe what it is about the production that throws me off (other than the guitar tone) but I feel like the songs could be good if they were arranged better and sped up some. As it is though, it’s a decent album with a few songs I really like.

Final Rating: 6/10

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