Lincoln (named after the duo's Massachusetts birthplace) is every bit as eccentric as its predecessor, and even more eclectic. Fleshing out their core ensemble of electric guitars, an accordion and a drum machine with a host of other instruments, the Giants (John Flansburgh and John Linnell) deliver eighteen new mischievous and hook-filled ditties. Lurching from one idiom to another, they commandeer everything from stomping power pop ("Ana Ng" and "Purple Toupee") and salsa ("The World's Address") to ballroom jazz ("Kiss Me, Son of God").
But while the Giants roam all over the musical landscape, their lyrics remain suspended in a twilight zone of edgy weirdness. At times this penchant for the bizarre leads them into pointlessly sophomoric zaniness ("I saw my baby wearing Santa's beard"). More often, though, the undertone of nervous alienation keeps things from getting completely silly. "I find myself haunted by a spooky man named me," says the narrator of "Piece of Dirt." "I wish that I could jump out of my skin." At their best, the songs are peppered with wry wordplay reminiscent of Elvis Costello ("If it wasn't for disappointment, I wouldn't have any appointments").
Yet for all their quirky wit, it's the Giants' ability to churn out compact and punchy pop songs that makes Lincoln so instantly appealing. This knack may also account for the recent contract offer made to Flansburgh and Linnell by Elektra/Asylum. Now that they're graduating to major labeldom, it's nice to know that Lincoln captures the Giants with their freewheeling inventiveness very much intact. Daring to be odd, they've produced another oddly satisfying album.
(Posted: Jan 26, 1989)
Click the play button.
Register or enter your username and password.
Let the music play!
Review 1 of 1
This album deserves 5 stars not as just this album but if you took their self-titled debut album and Lincoln together. Both albums you can probably never get sick of and they aren't epics or band session songs. The best song off the two is "Don't Lets Start" or "Ana NG", but with every TMBG album comes the joke songs which make their albums more unique than Captain Beefheart or Frank Zappa. John Linnell performs excellent with his keyboard and accordian while John Flansburgh jumps up and down with his electric guitar. They even took the slogan from the Who's song "My Generation" and changed it to "I Hope That I Get Old Before I Die". Its a perfect combination by the duo and their debut is probably an album you would want to get before you get too old to die.
Jul 27, 2006 12:24:35