They Might Be Giants, Flood

Unknown source, 1990
by Mary Kaye

"He who puts 19 songs on one record album runs risk of including dud"--an ancient proverb that still holds true. However, there being a flip side to every album and proverb, 19 tracks also means a better chance of good songs too. That's true of Flood, and a lot of the tunes are much more than good-"Birdhouse in Your Soul," a little love song so catchy it will make you sick, is particularly delightful. TMBG fans will find plenty of what they've always liked here--inventive mixing and matching of musical genres, witty wordplays, heavy-on-the-energy arrangements--and something else. Funny, eccentric, ironic, and (dare I say it?) quirky are the adjectives usually leveled at the duo of John Linnell and John Flansburgh, but this time around there's a disarming sweetness that balances the frenetic cleverness. It's a kinder, more tolerant thing--please stop me before I call them gentle Giants. ****