Review by LarryG|
3½ stars out of 4
TMBG are good candidates for the most fun band of the 90's. They've
consistently been able to have a good time and still use their brain.
All their records have multiple moments of pop genius but Flood is the
best example of what makes TMBG great. Flood starts with a mock serious
overture, "Theme from Flood" then works into the pop perfection
of Birdhouse in Your Soul. Birdhouse exemplifies the charms of John Linnell
and John Flansburgh of TMBG. Linnell's charming nasal whine tells the
story of Blue Canary the nightlight. The music, propelled by a simple,
big beat, keeps gaining momentum before reaching an ecstatic conclusion.
Flood maintains a balance, staying fun, not getting too stupid. Your
Racist Friend is able to communicate a serious topic in a straight
forward, unpretentious way. It's also a great rock song but the Johns
realize that the fun, silly trappings of other songs wouldn't fit.
Particle Man, Dead, the story of being reincarnated as a bag of groceries,
and We Want a Rock, on the other hand, are proudly and joyfully goofy.
Flood was a transition record for TMBG. It was the last time the two
Johns played almost all the instruments with the help of a drum machine.
They're darn good musicians. Their take on Instanbul(not Constantinople)
is brilliantly inventive and gleeful. Twisting, an ebullient rocker has
Linnell's charmingly cheesy keyboard and a great fast guitar line from
Flansburgh. It makes sense that TMBG would want to use professional
musicians as their ambitions grew but Flood has a great DIY feel of guys
who were getting better, having a great time and realizing that people
were actually interested in what they did.