Istanbul (Not Constantinople) - They Might Be Giants, Kennedy, Jimmy
Your Racist Friend
We Want a Rock
Someone Keeps Moving My Chair
Whistling in the Dark
Women & Men
Sapphire Bullets of Pure Love
They Might Be Giants
Road Movie to Berlin
TMBG has always been a great reason for math and computer science majors to add a real rock album to their collection of John Williams and Weird Al records--and Flood is a bacchanalian celebration of dorkiness. Lifting off... more » from their previous album, Lincoln, which was a sort of transitional hit-or-miss, Flood is a soaring, catchy sing-along album destined for people who love quoting Monty Python sketches. Try not singing the words to "Particle Man," "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)," or "Birdhouse in your Soul." (Apparently, "Particle Man" was so catchy that the song was later used as a sing-along in a cartoon show for children.) Combining a book-smart, funny love of history, junk culture, and film noir, this is the album to own. Put it on loud, sing along, and dance very, very badly. --Todd Levin« less
TMBG has always been a great reason for math and computer science majors to add a real rock album to their collection of John Williams and Weird Al records--and Flood is a bacchanalian celebration of dorkiness. Lifting off from their previous album, Lincoln, which was a sort of transitional hit-or-miss, Flood is a soaring, catchy sing-along album destined for people who love quoting Monty Python sketches. Try not singing the words to "Particle Man," "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)," or "Birdhouse in your Soul." (Apparently, "Particle Man" was so catchy that the song was later used as a sing-along in a cartoon show for children.) Combining a book-smart, funny love of history, junk culture, and film noir, this is the album to own. Put it on loud, sing along, and dance very, very badly. --Todd Levin
Jerry B. from LOS ANGELES, CA Reviewed on 5/13/2013...
This is a classic, perhaps their best.
Debra T. from POPLAR GROVE, IL Reviewed on 10/8/2012...
Great fun. Unique lyrics and melodies. A striking combination of cerebral humor and ludicrous entertainment.
Chen-Chen W. (CCC) from SARATOGA, CA Reviewed on 10/6/2006...
They Might Be Giants were one of the first of this genre...hilarious lyrics, even though they sometime don't make sense. This is still by far their best album to me.
2 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
This album made me a TMBG convert!
bensmomma | Ann Arbor, Michigan | 09/06/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you are a TMBG fan, you already know own and love this album, so there is nothing new I can tell you. I'd like to address the newbies who might be browsing this page.I admit than when I first heard "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)" and "Birdhouse in Your Soul" on the radio (you might not think they got ANY radioplay, but I swear that Live 105 in the Bay Area used to play them), the songs drove me crazy (not in a good way). They were so catchy I couldn't get them out of my head, and I misunderstood the oddball lyrics to mean "Ms. Radiolistener, you are so dim you will listen to any weird thing".But I would like to publicly apologize for my miscomprehension. I was wrong!! Taken out of context (i.e., on the radio) I was unfairly condemning them. Most songs these days are completely tuneless and show no imagination. But every song on FLOOD is catchy and hard to forget, yes it's true, but that's a GOOD thing. Most lyrics these days are trite and cliched, but there is no a single cliche on Flood that I can find. Now, when TMBG sings of a "birdhouse in your soul" I hear the joy of an uncensored imagination. (Or two uncensored imaginations, to be more precise). If you are having a bad day at the office, put it in your CD tray, you will feel completely liberated and you will be bopping around your desk."
Get out the life rafts.
Josh Dorsha | Milwaukee, WI | 02/02/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The first time hearing any TMBG song was on the aforementioned children's show in the Amazon review. That must have been about 7 or 8 years ago--but I got so hooked on the music at that point that I searched for about 4 years looking for this album. Eventually, I found it, and it has changed my life. To this day I cannot get the "Particle Man" tune out of my head, and "Birdhouse in Your Soul" still causes me to draw a blue canary (whom I have rightfully dubbed Filibuster Vigilantly) unintentionally on letters and essays. The best part of this album is not only that the songs are pure genius, but they require you to make time in order to get used to the music and interpret it. The Johns allow you to actually take an active role and let you enjoy it as you see fit. It ultimately led me to buy Apollo 18, an equally exquisite piece of art. Believe me when I say this--if you want to be a better person, buy this CD. It makes you see everything in a new, often warped point of view, and will be a driving force in your own imagination and creativity. And the music sounds pretty good, also."
Average TMBG fare, but a good starting point for new fans
Nathan M DeHoff | Absurd City | 08/28/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is an album that seems to receive more than its fair share of both praise and criticism. Some people seem to consider it the only worthwhile album They Might Be Giants have ever made (probably without having actually listened to any of their other albums), and I get the feeling that some TMBG fans consider this to be the band's weakest work simply because it IS the most popular. Personally, I would take a middle ground here; it is certainly not TMBG's best work, but it IS a solid effort, and a good place for potential fans to start. Most of the songs have a fun, accessible kind of sound, welcoming fans and non-fans alike. People tend to have widely varying opinions on which Flood tracks are the best, but just about everyone can agree that one of the highlights is the famous "Birdhouse In Your Soul," an excellent pop song about a nightlight. Other personal favorites include "We Want A Rock," a song featuring a violin and lyrics about prosthetic foreheads and winding string around rocks; "Whistling In The Dark," with similarly odd and amusing lyrics (although the chorus can get a bit tedious) and a clever horn arrangement; the fast-paced "Letterbox"; and the slow piano-sing-along-type "Dead." Quite frankly, there isn't much on this album that I DON'T like, although the extended ending to "Hearing Aid" (featuring about a minute of the sound of machinery breaking down) comes close, and I've grown rather tired of "Particle Man," although that might be due simply to having heard it so many times; taken in and of itself, it's a cute little song, although not the one song I would want people to think of when someone mentions TMBG, which, unfortunately, it seems to have become. All in all, this is a good record for someone unfamiliar with TMBG, and absolutely essential for a fan."
One of my Top 10 albums
Bruce F. Webster | Parker, CO USA | 09/16/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"That's not to say that this is one of the 10 greatest albums ever produced. Instead, if I were banished to the archetypical desert island, this is one of the 10 albums I would take along, both to keep my spirits up and to sympathize with what would be occasional bouts of self-pity and perhaps madness. (Hey, didn't any of you see Tom Hanks in "Castaway"?) In this album, TMBG manage to be goofy without being stupid and edgy without being pretentious. No mean feat, that. The irony is that I ran across this album because one of my daughters had left it behind after she went off to college. I ran across it a few years later, popped it in the CD player, and was hooked by the end of "Birdhouse." I have several other TMBG albums now, but this remains my favorite. ..bruce.."
Through the Looking Glass
Michael Browne | Escondido, CA United States | 03/30/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Exploring the seemingly eclectic work of They Might Be Giants is always taxing - the first several listens, especially for newcomers, inspire more disgust than endearment - but I've found that it almost always pays off. "Flood" was the first TMBG album I tried, and I hated it for a long time. Even now, the last half of the album gets on my nerves, because the songs themselves are a lot less fun and start to sound either redundant or simply too high concept for their own good. That's the thing with TMBG - they're weird, with their constant fluctuations between rock, wacky sing-song anthems, 1930s swank, and downright freaky hybrids ("Hearing Aid" is impossible to describe), yet in the end, you can pinpoint their style pretty easily. As long as there's an accordion, and John Linnell's nasally, flat-sounding (but not really) voice is spouting off about something that makes absolutely no sense in the context of human knowledge (in "Dead" he sings about being reincarnated as a bag of groceries), you know it's TMBG. They may shift speeds, take turns using a variety of instruments, and defy all predictions at the start of each new track, but there's a familiar glow about them. Both their style and the rhythms of their music are insantly recognizable. Over time I've adapted to "Flood" beyond the few highlights that inspired me to buy it in the first place (the absolutely perfect pop chant "Birdhouse in Your Soul", perhaps their greatest song to date, plus "Istanbul [Not Constantinople]" and "Particle Man", which talks more about the bullying Triangle Man than the title hero, and which features not just a killer musical combination of accordion, tambourine, and handclaps, but also one of TMBG's funniest concepts, that of Person Man. And then, in a rare display of relevance, they actually play on the meaninglessness of his name by descriinge him as a worthless oddity in the world of superheroes). Unfortunately, as often befalls my music ventures, the songs that initially drew me to the album are better than anything else on it. If any song on Flood comes close, though, it'd be the fast-paced, country-flavored "Lucky Ball and Chain". It hooked me a lot quicker than the others. In general, I have no idea the rational significance of ANY of these songs, though there are times when recurring ideas almost build to an actual point. In some cases (i.e. "Istanbul"), the concept is so simple that, thematically-speaking, there's no need for a closer look. But most of the time the lyrics are baffling to the point where you start thinking that maybe they're just being deliberately delirious, like what would happen if you took Lewis Carroll to the 20th century and put a keyboard in his lap (unless someone call actually explain to me who is Mr. Horrible and why does he keep telling the "ugliness men" (????) that someone keeps moving his chair?). If I seem frustrated, it's only because I enjoy them so much that I wish I had a better understanding of their intentions as musicians. Are they conveying their real messages beneath the overtly goofy material? Is TMBG the Paul Verhoeven of music, unwilling to ever reveal their conceit, or the fact that IT IS a conceit, even at the possible expense of making that crucial connection with their audience? Or are they just absurdist craftsmen having fun and going nuts exploring the limitless playing field of music? Probably the one that sounds less pretentiousFlood is one of their best albums, scoring just below Severe Tire Damage (the requisite live album, which has all of their coolest songs, as well as my very favorite - "Dr. Worm"), and just above Apollo 18, Lincoln, and the recent Mink Car. Even if the results are not always rewarding, you gotta admire the ambition of They Might Be Giants, as they hardly ever stick with the same sound more than once. And if you like cheeky, surreal music (think the geeky class-clown charm of "Weird Al" Yankovic if he performed totally random tangents instead of parodies, or the inventive worldplay of Bloodhound Gang sans the vulgarity), or easy-to-swallow pop, or even if you're just looking for something new, then Flood's a gem. It's unlike most anything you've ever heard (besides other TMBG albums), which may not seem that special - anyone can come up with a new sound, at the lowermost level - but these guys have been around for nearly 2 decades, and Flood isn't even their first release. They're masters. And if nothing else, unlike virtually every other musician working for a record label, TMBG never skimp on content. The average size of their albums is about 18 tracks, and keeping in mind that they're also a lot more diverse than most artists, that's enough to guarantee that the casual listener can find at least one decent song on here (and trust me, it'll be either "Birdhouse in Your Soul" or "Particle Man"; the glee I get from hearing these 2 is nearly unparalleled by any other song in existence, but to each his own, and I sense "Whistling in the Dark" is the majority fave from this one)BIRDHOUSE IN YOUR SOUL (A+)
Lucky Ball and Chain (B+)
Istanbul (Not Constantinople) (A-)
Your Racist Friend (B)
Particle Man (A)
We Want a Rock (B)
Someone Keeps Moving My Chair (B-)
Hearing Aid (D)
Minimum Wage (B-)
Whistling in the Dark (B)
Hot Cha (C)
Women & Men (C+)
Sapphire Bullets of Pure Love (C+)
They Might Be Giants (C+)
Road Movie to Berlin (C)"