Genuinely clever, profoundly sophomoric -- this NYC duo carry on tweaking pop songcraft in fine Bonzo Dog Doo Dah tradition. "The Statue Got Me High" is the zippy standout; other winners include "Narrow Your Eyes," "Guita... more »r" (a smarmy remake of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight") and the cut-and-paste dementia of the 21-part "Fingertips." --Jeff Bateman« less
Genuinely clever, profoundly sophomoric -- this NYC duo carry on tweaking pop songcraft in fine Bonzo Dog Doo Dah tradition. "The Statue Got Me High" is the zippy standout; other winners include "Narrow Your Eyes," "Guitar" (a smarmy remake of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight") and the cut-and-paste dementia of the 21-part "Fingertips." --Jeff Bateman
Zachary F. (wolfie) from SELLERSVILLE, PA Reviewed on 8/17/2006...
It's a great CD! My wife and I both had one when we got married.
Morgan Phillips | Savannah, GA United States | 07/31/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This album stands out as one of TMBG's finest. The music is just brilliantly written, with their trademark lyrics that venture somewhere between profound and confounding. Straight from the get-go, you jump right into the fast and thunking "Dig My Grave" and from there into the incredibly fun "I Palindrome I". The masterpieces that really stand out here, however, are "Statue Got Me High", "Fingertips"- the absurdist collection of seconds-long songs, and "Guitar"- a witty parody of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" that is very popular live.
Every song in this album is a keeper- I find it very hard to skip from track to track. The sounds never jump around inappropriately- you glide from song to song without question of its location. Somehow you start in the thrashy sounds of "Dig My Grave" and end up in the glorious instrumental masterpiece that is "Spacesuit" (my personal favorite). This is an album that all people must have- some of the best music ever written is on this album. The rest of the best music ever written is on TMBG's masterpiece "Flood".
1. Dig My Grave- 4/5 2. I Palindrome- 5/5 3. She's Actual Size- 4/5 4. My Evil Twin- 4/5 5. Mammal- 5/5 6. Statue Got Me High- 5/5 7. Spider- 4/5 8. Guitar- 5/5 9. Dinner Bell- 4/5 10. Narrow Your Eyes- 5/5 11. Hall of Heads- 4/5 12. Which Describes How You're Feeling- 4/5 13. See the Constellation- 5/5 14. If I Wasn't Shy- 4/5 15. Turn Around- 5/5 16. Hypnotist of Ladies- 4/5 17. Fingertips- 5/5 38. Space Suit- 5/5 (#1 song on the album) "
Flansburgh rules on this oddball effort
Gena Chereck | Nebraska, USA | 01/13/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"1992's Apollo 18 is quite possibly They Might Be Giants' strangest set of bite-size pop tunes. Let me say this about "Fingertips": I thought it was madly inspired as one unbroken four-and-a-half-minute track on the Dial-A-Song anthology (2002), but it's even cooler as 21 separate tracks. Just play this disc in "shuffle" or "random" play mode and see what I mean; you can also play the song straight through (tracks 17-37) and skip over any parts you don't like. And the most accessible track here is "The Guitar," a funky jam which features sweet-voiced Laura Cantrell crooning nonsense lyrics set to the tune of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," and John Flansburgh chirping an entirely different set of nonsense lyrics. Speaking of Flansy, he pretty much rules on this disc (as he did on TMBG's idiosyncratic self-titled debut). In addition to "The Guitar," he turns in some of his finest performances on the power-poppish "My Evil Twin," the '60s-style pop confection "Narrow Your Eyes" (a bitter breakup song leavened with lovely Beatle-esque harmonies), and the urgent, psychedelic rocker "See the Constellation," a rather moving breakup song wherein an abandoned and spiritually depleted fellow identifies with a figure he sees in the stars: "No cigar, no lady on his arm, just a guy made of dots and lines." (On that last one, dig the opening line, a deliberate echo of Warren Zevon's "Poor Poor Pitiful Me": "I lay my head on the railroad track"!) To a lesser extent, I also enjoy the snarling "He's a Hypnotist of Ladies" ("You won't remember why you liked him!") and the campy "She's Actual Size." (However, I'm a little disappointed in "If I Wasn't Shy"; I can buy it when he finally sings "I'd ask you, if you don't mind, to kiss you a hundred times," but when he asserts that he would "burn all the uniforms" and "steal somebody's Cadillac," it sounds forced.)Bandmate John Linnell turns in a couple of very strong performances, as well: "I Palindrome I" is a disturbing song about a grown man at odds with his mother, leavened with cheeky wordplay and a cheery melody; and the rousing "The Statue Got Me High" is about a man so affected by a work of art that he explodes (he may mean it to be a metaphor, but the lyrics do get a little graphic...). He also contributes a pair of cute, "educational" songs, "Dinner Bell" -- about Pavlov's experiments with dogs -- and "Mammal" ("So the warm blood flows with the red blood cells, lacking nuclei, through the large four-chambered heart, maintaining the very high metabolism rate they have...").The bulk of these tracks are pretty slight -- the aforementioned "She's Actual Size," "If I Wasn't Shy," and "Dinner Bell;" Flansburgh's punkish "Dig My Grave," Linnell's too-brief "Which Describes How You're Feeling All the Time," the silly, supernatural cuts "Hall of Heads" and "Turn Around" -- but only the instrumental "Space Suit" (a wee afterthought following the tour-de-force that is "Fingertips") and the spoken bit "Spider" (unlistenable even at 50 seconds) are utterly skippable. Nice work, otherwise!"
Oh, Dem Golden Fingertips!!
Chief Quimby | Berkeley, Ca | 06/08/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"My best friend in high school, who actually was a huge John Williams/Weird Al fan (as mentioned in the review of "Flood"...weird!) tried to get me into this in high school, and i didn't quite bite. But 8 years later i found myself thinking about the masterpiece "F I N G E R T I P S ! ! " and had to buy it. I was not let down, amigos! This album is a little disjointed, sort of hit and miss (although even the 'misses' are quite nice), but the sheer weirdness and effort put into Fingertips is worth it. Totally bizarre and wonderful.
And yes, I am over the age of 13."
Ronald Battista | Colorado Springs, CO | 02/07/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"from the two shy guys of They Might Be Giants. Uncompromising, yet attempts to function as a normal pop album. It fails, much to everyones delight. Released when the "Shuffle" button on your CD player was a novelty, they invite you to shuffle it so that the 20 or so little odd five to twenty second snippets comprising "Fingertips" pop up around the regular three minute ditties. In this case, youll be listening to say, "Narrow Your Eyes", a relatively straightforward song, and then suddenly,"...whats that blue thing, doing here?" issues from the speakers only to continue on innocently with the next song as if the part about the blue thing was a hallucination. So, it's fun in that sense. Doesn't quite have that classic feel of "Lincoln" or "Flood", but still a very good, of course clever installment in the TMBG catalog. However, it should be noted that this was the last TMBG cd I ever bought. Im still not sure why."
This is why the human race is in existence.
Josh Dorsha | Milwaukee, WI | 02/02/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"All hail Apollo 18! The first time I sat and listened to this album, every other word that came out of my mouth was "What the heck was that supposed to be? " I, unfortunately, was listening for appealing beats, nice instuments, etc...not the thing to do when listening to these guys. After getting a bit more into it, though, I saw that this CD was a gift from the heavens (or Brooklyn, at least). The lyrics are witty and intelligent, the music, once gotten used to, is catchy, and the subjects sung about are so strange and utterly obscure that no one can help but love Apollo 18. Fingertips, though seeming to be a jumble of babbling having nothing to do with anything, actually tells an interesting little story that, of course, you can make up (and I have yet to make use of the shuffle-and-listen). Perhaps the best way to describe this album is to allude to one of it's songs-"The Statue Got Me High." This statue will get you very high, and once it gets you into full swing, human company shall pale before this monolith...most likely because you won't want to leave your stereo system."