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CD Review: They Might Be Giants

Join Us (Idlewild/Rounder)


After spending the past few years recording kids albums, They Might Be Giants return with their first new record for grown-ups since 2007's The Else. The results are irresistible, thanks to the duo's ability to blend genres and knack for theatrical music that never sounds too precious. Don't like a certain song? Wait about two minutes. The guitar-driven power pop of "Let Your Hair Hang Down" segues into the falsetto-laden soul shuffle "Celebration," which leads to the staccato-horny "In Fact" and the starry-eyed jazz lope "Protagonist." Elsewhere, TMBG dabble in classic-rock riffage, low-fi indie, campfire jangle, and even hints of hip-hop. Join Us' genre jumping uses precise, measured arrangements, not chaotic abandon, and the even-tempered style suits TMBG. You could even say it's keeping them young at heart. — Annie Zaleski

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