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They Might Be Giants' eleventh album, released 11/06/02, and the first on their own imprint "Idlewild Recordings". The album is aimed at children: most the songs have some aspect that relates it to childhood, or school, in some way, and in general the style is geared towards the young. However this is "an album for all the family" and there's plenty for adults to enjoy in there too. Established TMBG fans will definitely want it. A few songs, such as I Am Not Your Broom have been floating around for quite a while, through Dial-a-Song or TMBG Unlimited or live concerts but, until now, haven't appeared on an album.

The CD features an interactive section which you can view on your computer which let you play with the animated segments and sing along to the lyrics while you listen to the song. If the samples at the No! web site (http://giantkid.net) are anything to go by, it should be lots of fun. The interactive content is designed by The Chopping Block (http://www.choppingblock.com) who designed the funky (even though it uses Flash) TMBG web site (http://tmbg.com). (The Chopping Block now have their own TMBG-written theme tune: Oranges And Graphic Design.) The No! web site also features clips of all the tracks on the album.

The flavour is, on the whole, a light-hearted evolution of the ever-diversifying yet unique TMBG style. As always, the songs are catchy as heck.

Fibber Island is a great nonsense song reminiscent of Edward Lear and Spike Milligan. In The Middle might have been taken directly from an educational cartoon to teach kids how to cross the street. The Edison Museum is, in the tradition of James K. Polk, Meet James Ensor and Why Does The Sun Shine? one of those TMBG songs that manages to slip in some genuinely interesting factual information with an immensely enjoyable tune. Lots of lyrical wordplay. Fantastic all round. The interactive extras are just the icing on the cake.

Also, if I'm any judge, the album will hook new generations on to the Johns. Get them while they're young!

Tracks:

  1. Fibber Island
  2. Four of Two
  3. Robot Parade
  4. No!
  5. Where Do They Make Balloons?
  6. In The Middle, In The Middle, In The Middle
  7. Violin
  8. John Lee Supertaster
  9. The Edison Museum
  10. The House at the Top of the Tree
  11. Clap Your Hands
  12. I Am Not Your Broom
  13. Wake Up Call
  14. I Am a Grocery Bag
  15. Lazyhead and Sleepybones
  16. Bed Bed Bed
  17. Sleepwalkers

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