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5.0 out of 5 stars Not Your Typical Album.
They Might Be Giants are one of the most unappreciated and bizarre bands around. Their music doesn't fit into any genre. They have a dementia flavor, mixed in with a little bit of comedy, and a pinch of rock 'n roll and pop. I was first introduced to the band several years ago working on a children's radio show. One of their songs on this album "Particle Man"...
Published on Nov. 19 2003 by tvtv3

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3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not their best....
I've been a TMBG fan for a long time, and my viewpoints may be somewhat cast to the wind and ignored by this simple, whispered thought: I DON'T LIKE ISTANBUL (NOT CONSTANTINOPLE.) I think it's one of their weakest, most pop-centric songs ever. Now that that's out of the way, perhaps you'll appreciate the rest of my review; Flood is a great album, (and a quintissential...
Published on April 16 2001 by D. Jackson


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4.0 out of 5 stars Nice, but not their best, June 7 2004
This review is from: Flood (Audio CD)
Debate has waged on in the TMBG camp for ages about the quality of this album. One side (the Floodies) maintain that Flood is the best album that TMBG ever did, while the other point out the album's unevenness and make the case for the album being among their worst. The debate is never going to end, of course, but I believe the truth lies somewhere in the middle.
When Flood is good, it's very good. "Birdhouse in Your Soul" deserves mention by itself, a wonderfully beautiful instant classic that proved what the two Johns could do with a major label recording budget. "Dead" is wonderful in its bizareness, "Twisting" takes on the tale of a psychotic ex and her quest to destroy her former loved one, and "We Want a Rock" is a brilliant piece of nonsense, just to note a few of the great tracks scattered across the album.
However, the album also has its downsides. The criminally overrated "Particle Man" is nothing more than nonsensical fluff (despite having nostalgia value for being on Tiny Toons and its instant novelty appeal), "Hearing Aid" is a bad idea that starts nowhere and ends nowhere, and "Your Racist Friend," while somewhat fun, is also overtly preachy.
Flood still rates among their better releases, and that's largely due to the sheer charisma and energy put into the songs. The group had a large budget to work with now, and they were going to use it in any way possible, ending up with a batch of experiments that either failed miserably (the afformentioned "Hearing Aid"), worked wonderfully (the group's sublimely bizarre theme song of sorts, "They Might Be Giants"), or fell somewhere in between ("Letterbox" is at turns interesting and frustrating). This experimentation, however, is key to what makes Flood such a hard album to categorize, even now, and is part of the album's appeal.
Flood might not be as good as the group's first two releases, but it does make a nice introduction to the group along with Apollo 18.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not Your Typical Album., Nov. 19 2003
By 
tvtv3 "tvtv3" (Sorento, IL United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Flood (Audio CD)
They Might Be Giants are one of the most unappreciated and bizarre bands around. Their music doesn't fit into any genre. They have a dementia flavor, mixed in with a little bit of comedy, and a pinch of rock 'n roll and pop. I was first introduced to the band several years ago working on a children's radio show. One of their songs on this album "Particle Man" was on the WHERE IN THE WORLD IS CARMEN SANDIEGO? cd and received many requests and a lot of airplay. Since then, I've grown more fond of the band, though none of their albums since then is as lighthearted as this one. My favorite songs on the ablum include:
"Birdhouse in Your Soul"
"Istanbul (Not Constantinople)
"Particle Man"
"We Want a Rock"
"Someone Keeps Moving My Chair"
"Minimum Wage"
"Whistling in the Dark"
"Road Movie to Berlin"
The most famous song on the album is "Istanbul (Not Constantinople). "Minimum Wage" is basically an instrumental piece, but with a catchy flavor that captures the spirit of minimum wage workers. Overall, this is a great album to own especially if you're tired of the same old drivel. I play a couple songs on the internet radio show I host and people are always asking about it. A good album from a great band.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Pure pop, slight but fun, Jan. 12 2003
By 
Gena Chereck (Nebraska, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Flood (Audio CD)
1990's Flood was They Might Be Giants' third album, their first for a major label, their commercial breakthrough and, frankly, an artistic step backwards; as a whole, it lacks both the musical adventurousness of their 1986 debut and the lyrical depth of 1988's Lincoln. But while I would sooner recommend 2002's Dial-A-Song anthology to the uninitiated, Flood -- easily TMBG's slickest, sunniest and most accessible effort -- is probably the best studio album for beginning fans to start out with before checking out the Johns' deeper, more experimental and more satisfying earlier records.
Seven of Flood's 19 tracks appear on Dial-A-Song, but they actually sound better in their original context. Aside from TMBG's famous cover of "Istanbul," John Linnell's standout tracks "Birdhouse in Your Soul" (a madly catchy pop tune narrated from the viewpoint of a night-light) and "Particle Man" (which is lyrically open to interpretation, but also works as just a fun singalong) both became hits, and deservedly so. John Flansburgh's contributions are lesser-known but equally worthy: The garage-rocker "Twisting" tells the tale of a vindictive ex-girlfriend (and manages to name-drop both the dB's and the Young Fresh Fellows); the giddy "They Might Be Giants" is a sly poke at tabloid journalism; and the best of the lot is the gently catchy and socially conscious "Your Racist Friend," with Linnell's harmonies bringing an undercurrent of edginess to Flansy's plaintive lead vocal. I must also mention the hilarious 43-second instrumental "Minimum Wage"; the way it kicks off with the sung title phrase and the sound of a whipcrack speaks volumes about the plight of the average working stiff.
Dig a little deeper, though, and you'll find even more gems ... Nasal-voiced keyboard/accordion/sax-player Linnell contributes "Someone Keeps Moving My Chair" (a wry comment on insensitivity, as "the ugliness men" ignore "Mr. Horrible's" distress and use his politeness as a license to walk all over him), the goofy folk-rockers "We Want a Rock" and "Women and Men," and the loopy reincarnation tale "Dead" ("I came back as a bag of groceries accidentally taken off the shelf before the date stamped on myself"). Guitar-player and versatile vocalist Flansburgh contributes the divorce-themed rockabilly rave-up "Lucky Ball and Chain," the short but sweet "Sapphire Bullets of Pure Love," and the elegant, mournful "Road Movie to Berlin" ("We were once so close to heaven / Peter came out and gave us medals, declaring us the nicest of the damned"). Even if you already own Dial-A-Song, these more obscure cuts are worth the purchase of Flood.
The remaining tracks are pretty hit-or-miss, though, and you can take them or leave them. Most gratuitous is the opener "Theme From Flood" -- it seems as though the Johns were already trying to make a joke of commercial success. Flansburgh's overlong and sluggish "Hearing Aid" is another working-stiff's lament on the order of "Put Your Hand Inside the Puppet Head" and "Snowball in Hell," minus the hooks and the deeply felt details, and on "Hot Cha" he ruins a promising idea with an annoying performance; also, a lot of people seem to like Linnell's "Letterbox" and "Whistling in the Dark," but I find them rather irritating. However, despite these minor complaints, I still think TMBG newcomers should warm up to Flood's bright pop hooks, goofy charm, and sunny vibe first, and *then* explore the rest of John & John's darker and more challenging body of work.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This album made me a TMBG convert!, Sept. 6 2002
By 
This review is from: Flood (Audio CD)
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.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Flood is like a mixed case of micro-brewed beer, June 5 2002
This review is from: Flood (Audio CD)
OK, this analogy is a bit of a stretch... Like the beer, "Flood" is better than most of the best-selling stuff out there. But being a mixed case (like a sampler pack, for example), you are going to like some of the beer/songs better than the others. Which ones you think are best may vary a lot from one person to the next as a matter of personal taste. But watch out - if you overindulge it will probably make you sick and throw up.
"Flood" shows off TMBG's knack for catchy tunes with off-the-wall wordplay. At best, the songs are a blast to listen to over and over to try to figure out what - if anything - the lyrics are supposed to mean. At worst, some songs sound like whiny commercial jingles that you can't get out of your head.
Some of the best songs are the big hit "Birdhouse" and also "Istanbul" (which, strange as it is, was not written by TMBG - it was a hit in the 50's for the Four Lads!?!?!) The album having its own theme song is a funny idea, but how often do you ever want to hear it again?
Overall, I recommend this disc. If you like "quirky", you can't go wrong with this one.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Through the Looking Glass, March 30 2002
By 
Michael Browne (Escondido, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Flood (Audio CD)
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 pretentious
Flood 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-)
Dead (B)
Your Racist Friend (B)
Particle Man (A)
Twisting (B)
We Want a Rock (B)
Someone Keeps Moving My Chair (B-)
Hearing Aid (D)
Minimum Wage (B-)
Letterbox (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)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely the most enjoyable album They have ever made!, March 15 2002
By 
M Jacobs (West Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Flood (Audio CD)
My way of determining how good a CD is, is to listen to it over and over again, and see how many times I can listen to it before I get sick of it. I've been a TMBG fan for about two years now, and the first album I bought was 'John Henry' which I'd heard was the weakest of Their albums, but nonetheless it was the cheapest, so I went for it. I actually quite enjoyed it! Some people called me mad, but I did. I'd previously listened to rock and heavy metal music, but when I listened to the CDs, all the songs seemed to be exactly the same, so what a breath of fresh air TMBG were! I managed to listen to 'John Henry' about once a day for around two weeks but I've been listening to 'Flood' for over three months now and I still don't tire of it! Every single song is unique and holds a story behind it, which makes it interesting every time you listen (even though the Theme From Flood does get a bit tedious, but I suppose I do have something again opera-type songs). Some of my favourites are: 'Birdhouse In Your Soul', 'Dead', 'We Want A Rock' and 'Letterbox'. You'll love it - BUY IT!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars i will never say the word procrastinate again, Nov. 15 2001
By 
T. Gore "ExPatDude" (Europe) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Flood (Audio CD)
Somewhere between the Beatles and Spike Jones lies They Might Be Giants. They've been the most underrated and most clever pop band of the past 15 years -- and this album is a tribute to their pop rock legacy. A lot of people criticize the album for being mainstream and "too popular". I would agree that this is not their best album. It would rank, perhaps, third behind Lincoln and John Henry. But I've seen the two Johns live (3 times) over the past ten years and they always play the hell out of this album in concert -- and the crowd loves it! So, as the proverb says, "there is no smoke without fire." And the fact that so many fans love this album, there must be something good to find within the digital grooves of this recording. "Bird House In Your Soul" is the best pop song TMBG have ever done -- and one of the best I've ever heard. And there's lots more to love about this album. A much lighter and more accessible album than anything else TMBG have done -- and also a good starting point for the uninitiated. -- Highly Recommended!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not their best...., April 16 2001
By 
D. Jackson (Cookeville, TN) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Flood (Audio CD)
I've been a TMBG fan for a long time, and my viewpoints may be somewhat cast to the wind and ignored by this simple, whispered thought: I DON'T LIKE ISTANBUL (NOT CONSTANTINOPLE.) I think it's one of their weakest, most pop-centric songs ever. Now that that's out of the way, perhaps you'll appreciate the rest of my review; Flood is a great album, (and a quintissential drinking album, for those of you 21 and over *cough*).. it is a story of highs and lows, commercial breakpoints and nebulous entries into alternative rock.. but, for my own little contribtion, I find "We Want A Rock" and "Sapphire Bullets of Pure Love" to be the strongest moments on the album; though, dead is a very close, and fighting for second, third. "Well"? I hear you say. "What should I get, if Flood is not their strongest work?" Get Apollo 18, or the 19 song Debut LP.. or, the "Why Does the Sun Shine" single.. for my favorite song ever, is probably the never-discussed "Whirlpool." (Curt Kirkwood?)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Remember "Tiny Toon Adventures?", Dec 14 2000
This review is from: Flood (Audio CD)
My first experience with They Might Be Giants (TMBG) came in the early 90s, when a cartoon show called Tiny Toon Adventures (Remember it? Of course you do!) had an episode wherein two cartoon "music videos" of TMBG songs were played. The combination of cartoon nuttiness and musical lunacy were enough to convince me for years that They Might Be Giants were nothing more than a figment of some coffee-loaded late-night cartoonist's imagination. It was not until much later, when a friend lent me a poor quality copy-of-a-copy tape of Flood, that I realized that TMBG (of which Buster Bunny had said, "Who ARE these guys??") were a real, live, insane band with real, insane, rabid fans and--contrary to many people's beliefs--MORE than one album. However, if you are just starting on the road to TMBG madness, Flood is essential. Besides the staples ("Birdhouse In Your Soul," "Particle Man," "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)") you also get a taste of TMBG's rowdy wackiness that suddenly makes the phrase "happy mosh pit" make sense. But beware--TMBG albums are like the famous potato chip: you can't have just one.
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Flood by They Might Be Giants (Audio CD - 1990)
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