I like almost everything about this album. Quirky, melodic, sarcastic, geeky, witty, eclectic, and fun (reminds me more than a little of The Judy's). The first major label release from TMBG, it is also generally regarded as their best. Seconded. While the duo's other albums are hit-and-miss for me, this album is almost all hit. Many hardcore TMBG fans are oddly dismissive of this album, but I'm not in that group. Sure, the songwriting is madly derivative, but I think that's the point. A classic that's catchy as all get-out. Warning to my co-workers: you'll be hearing me singing songs from this album all morning at work.
On a related note, a live version of this album is currently available for download, free of charge:
Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #75
Tracks: Lots and lots of brief, clever stuff; 19 tracks in 44 minutes. My favorite is Birdhouse In Your Soul, followed closely by Dead, Your Racist Friend, Particle Man, Twisting, Someone Keeps Moving My Chair, and They Might Be Giants. There's also a fun cover of Istanbul (Not Constantinople). If I skip a song, it's usually Hearing Aid or Road Movie To Berlin. Favorite lyric comes from Twisting: "She wants to see you again, slowly twisting in the wind." Yikes!
For an exhaustive analysis of the songs, check out the album's Wikipedia page, which has an obvious fan bias.
Personal Memory Associated with this CD: When this album was released, I was in my first year of my first "real" job (meaning one with a pension and health insurance) in the Dallas area. Me and that job didn't get along well and that relationship ended badly, but I digress. At the time, my crappy Oldsmobile Firenza only needed two preset buttons on the car radio: 106.1 KOAI "The Oasis" for smooth jazz and 94.5 KDGE "The Edge" which was the first alternative radio station I ever came in contact with. On the latter, I heard Birdhouse In Your Soul, liked it from the first time through the chorus, ordered this CD from Columbia House to fulfill my obligations to them, and never looked back. The CD has been in rotation around here for 25 years.
Of course, anytime I hear someone mention the term "minimum wage," I start singing that song, complete with cracking whip sound effect.
Previously revisited for the blog:
Factory Showroom (1996)
John Henry (1994)
Why Does the Sun Shine? (The Sun Is a Mass of Incandescent Gas) (1993)