They Might Be Giants: Then: The Earlier Years

They Might Be Giants: Then: The Earlier Years

-

They Might Be Giants

Album: Then: The Earlier Years
Label: Restless

Goofy instrumentation, spastic lyrics and general inscrutable weirdness aside, They Might Be Giants' John Flansburgh and John Linnell are among the best songwriters out there today: Their early work in particular is a shining example of what can be done with a couple of random instruments, a few hundred dollars, and a bucketful of talent. Now Restless Records has collected all their good old guitar, accordian, and Casio sampling-keyboard tracks into a gorgeous two-CD set. Of course, the art is nice, and there's a mandatory little booklet of recording notes and early concert posters and interesting whatnot. But what you really get is the first two TMBG albums, They Might Be Giants and Lincoln, plus the Miscellaneous T collection, plus many early favorites from the duo's famous Dial-A-Song service—total, 72 songs. If you already own one or two of the aforementioned records, this means you have a tough decision to make: Do you want to hear the rare pop gem "Now That I Have Everything"? Do you want to hear TMBG sing in Greek? Do you want to hear the band cover "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You"? You should. If you don't yet own any early TMBG albums, you now have no excuse—plus you'll get to hear a bunch of little kids singing "Particle Man," accompanied by a crappy upright piano.

More Music Review